Backgrounder – Blog Post #3
Ever heard of the famous trending phrase circulating all over social media: Becoming That Girl? It has actually become part of TikTok’s lingo with over 1.3 billion views on the app using the #ThatGirl hashtag. It is known as the Wellness version of Summer 2019’s trendy phrase: Hot Girl Summer.
The trend sees women creating videos documenting their daily routines, on their quest to become ‘That Girl’ . The idea is to encourage self-improvement, focussing mainly on productivity and mental health.
Becoming popular back in April 2021, an idea created on social media of a girl who has her life together from aesthetic pleasing meals, peak fitness journeys, to reading for pleasure, and having the perfect self care routine resembling a moving Pinterest board.
Over the summer, the trend has also caught on in YouTube’s lifestyle community, with different creators testing the trend or uploading how-to guides. With over 2.33 billion search results on Google and 106 million available videos linked to Becoming That Girl, demonstrates how powerful this movement is and continues to be.
The Core Elements
“That girl” videos explore the concepts below, while making sure it follows a certain aesthetic :
– early wake-up time (preferably around 5:00 am or so!) ⏰, making an aesthetic meal (we’re thinking famous avo toats with lots of fruits) 🥑🍌🍍, having a skin care (morning and night routine) 🧖🏼♀️💄, connecting with nature 🌿, working out ( ideally with a matching set) 🏃🏼♀️💪🏽, drinking LOTS of water 💧💧, dedicating time for a journaling session ✍🏻, hair clips (outfit staples!!) 🎀 and so much more.
The Controversy Around “Becoming That Girl”
What could possibly be wrong with a viral trend promoting a healthy and mindful lifestyle? What was so bad about encouraging others towards achieving the best version of themselves and reaching one’s set goals?
As millions hopped onto the trend, many believe that this trend can quickly turn problematic and even dangerous as it promotes disordered eating and prioritizes toxic productivity. It also happens to be a trend predominantly followed by heteronormative white women from a specific socio-economic background.
As you might have noticed with the pictures above, the body image portrayed in this trend totally lacks diversity and paints an unrealistic portrayal of personal growth. The “That Girl” trend sells a lifestyle that gives the illusion of being put together. It is trendy because of the idea that life would be perfect if only you could be That Girl.
The trend is just a singular example of our infatuation with aestheticism. The term “aesthetic” is becoming more and more involved within our course of actions, dialogue and consumed social media. It seems we’ve gotten a little confused and now we’re into a phase where the aesthetic is dictating our choices. And this creates a toxic environment where comparison and feelings of “not being enough” may occur.
If “That Girl” has proven anything, it’s that every individual has a unique experience with social media and the trends that emerge from it. While some might think that the ‘That Girl’ trend is an efficient tool towards achieving self-worth, others have had the total opposite experience.
Check out the following article by Sarah Beane for a list of pros and cons in relation to the trend.
Now that you are a bit more familiar with the trend, I am curious to know your opinion! Is the trend Becoming #ThatGirl potentially doing more harm than good?