Life Opinion

The toxic trend of becoming “that girl”

A TikTok trend seems to be encouraging people to lead a perfect, healthy and organized lifestyle. But the unrealistic expectations it sets up can lead to poor mental health.

“Becoming that girl” has been an internet trend for almost a year, especially during the lockdown due to Covid-19 in the summer of 2021. During that time, everyone spent a lot of time on their own and reflected on different aspects of their life, trying to improve themselve

But trying to improve yourself while following social media accounts that show off a seemingly perfect, productive, healthy and organized life proved to be unhealthy for some.

“Becoming that girl” is a trend in which people show off their daily routine, their diet and their new habits in an aesthetic way on TikTok. The idea is that this should motivate others to become the best version of themselves by making changes in their daily routine like working out every morning, waking up extremely early so that there is more time in the day and cooking healthy food. But becoming that girl carries some strict rules that you have to follow. The pressure to live up to these aspirational posts can lead to real mental health issues like eating disorders.

When you search how to “become that girl” one source recommends to develop new habits and follow these steps: 

  1. Organize your life
  2. Make time for yourself
  3. Embrace a positive attitude
  4. Find a way to exercise every single day
  5. Choose a good diet
  6. Have fun

At first glance, this might seem fairly innocuous — even healthy. But there are some problems here.

For starters, working out every day can be  problematic. it is not good for your muscles and your body to work out every day! It is highly recommended to have at least one day between each workout so that your muscles can recover. If the muscles are not able to recover between the workouts, not only will you be unable to progress, you also put yourself at risk of injury. 

Another problem is that no one on the internet shows their failures. Followers on social media only see people succeeding. As a consequence, the pressure will increase and it will lead to mental health issues. 

In addition,”that girl” is always nicely dressed, follows an expensive diet and is aesthetic in every possible way. This creates a need for the social media follower to have some special products and a specific style. So in order to fully be the best version of yourself, you have to spend money on products to accomplish the diet and to look like “that girl.” That is why the trend is often marketing for expensive brands and diets. 

Another problematic aspect of the trend is that “that girl” also has a special mindsets which includes prioritizing herself and cutting off people that are not fitting to that mindset. While it is good to prioritize yourself, the result is that ”that girl” is only surrounded by people who think the same. As a consequence, it puts peer pressure on others to follow this trend if they want to remain friends with someone who does. 

In general, the version of “that girl” is so strict and clear which means that there is little space for an individual’s rules and personal opinions. The steps to follow are clear and you either accomplish or you fail. Since many will find it difficult, if not impossible, to succeed in the diet, balance friends and sports, and follow the strict rules, this trend can lead to stress and dissatisfaction with oneself. That includes having wrong priorities, an unhealthy mindset and in the worst case, serious mental health issues.

TikTok user Mili…v is one of many who have posted about their negative experiences with the trend. ”I was obsessed with this mindset last year and I can confirm that it was not good for my health,” Mili…v said in a video.

Another TikTok user, Typicallytana, states: “When I think back at this time I could start to cry. In order to become this person I started losing myself and now I am still dealing with the consequences because this toxic mindset is like a devil which is always there even though I thought I have healed.”

One high school student who spoke this 8forty agrees, stating “The problem with this mindset is that it creates an unrealistic standard, which will inevitably affect their self esteem.”

Even though this trend is really toxic and dangerous for young people, there are some ideas that could be good and useful if they want to improve their life. The idea of being productive and organized is definitely a good mindset. Furthermore, working out and having a gym routine is also something which can be done. Although having a balance is as important as starting slow and giving yourself time!

Finally, and perhaps most importantly for your mental health, let’s remember that everyone is different, so don’t compare yourself to others, despite what social media encourages you to do.

Cover Image: Marco Verch Professional Photographer

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