Trends, Tiktok, and That Girl

Trends%2C+Tiktok%2C+and+That+Girl

Isabella Ambrose, Writer/Designer

Introduction

     That girl: she is flawless, effortless, perfect. She has her life together. Deep down, we all aspire to be her. The idea of having your life together feels like an unattainable goal for most, but “that girl” manages to make it look easy. 

The “that girl” trend saw its beginning in mid-2021 on Tiktok. Its goal was to encourage everyday wellness and productivity. Its followers were teenage girls who aspire to live a social media-worthy lifestyle. However, the trend has since raised some concerns. Since it’s all about being productive, the trend lends itself to the idea of no “off days.” In other words, it’s not acceptable to have days when you don’t feel like getting out of bed (this is wrong, it’s okay to have off days). Additionally, the trend can be harmful to people who struggle with body image. It preaches healthy eating and exercising, which isn’t always possible for everyone. Healthy and organic food is often more expensive and less accessible than unhealthy food, and not everyone has a place where they can exercise comfortably. It’s important to recognize that everyone’s version of this trend is going to look different.  

Despite that, what if we did try to be her? What if we lived in her shoes for a week? For one week, I lived like “that girl.” I had a list of things that I did every day to be successful in this challenge. Is it really possible to be “that girl?”

Monday

     I didn’t start off the week well. I only got up two minutes before my alarm, and if I’m really trying to be “that girl,” two minutes is completely unacceptable. I did, however, manage to pick out a decent outfit. The outfit did not keep me warm when I walked outside to my car after school, but at least I looked good. I had a handful of fruit on my way out the door, too, and I left my house only four minutes late. I was as productive as possible during the day. When I got home, I did all of the homework that I remembered. (I did realize later that night that I forgot to do some of it, but I did it on Tuesday morning instead.) After my homework, I sat on my phone until I had practice. Did I limit my screen time? Absolutely not. I had practice for four hours, so check exercising off of the list. I came home, ate some pizza, spent time on my phone and then went to bed at 10:45 pm. That’s earlier than normal, so I think I redeemed myself. Overall, day one was a moderate success.

Tuesday

I was exhausted after Monday night, so I accidentally slept in until 6:50 am. For context, I leave my house at 7:00 am. So far, the day was not off to a good start. I got ready as quickly as possible. The morning ended up being an absolute catastrophe because I forgot to eat breakfast and didn’t put on a nice outfit. When I got to school, I finished my homework from the night before. Multiple times during the school day, I felt like falling asleep, but I remembered that I have no off days. I am “that girl.” I have to be productive all the time. After school, I did my homework right when I got home. I had multiple hours of practice after school too, and I sadly have no memory of what time I went to bed. It was probably later than when it should have been.

Wednesday

In my traditional fashion, I got up late again (but not as late as Tuesday). I dressed well, did my hair and made myself tea before leaving the house. This may be a controversial opinion, but I think that tea counts as breakfast. It doesn’t matter though; I didn’t end up drinking much of it because I forgot to. I left late again, but who’s surprised? I tried to be productive during the school day as usual. My day followed my normal routine: get home, think about doing homework (but don’t actually do it), go to practice, come home and sleep. I wasn’t any more successful than I had been all week.

Thursday

This day was pretty much like the rest. I got up late, left the house late and still somehow managed to get to school 20 minutes early. I was very productive during school. I had two tests. My productivity ended the moment I walked out of school, though. I got home and didn’t get off my phone until 5:30 pm. From what I’ve experienced so far, the hardest part of the trend isn’t staying productive under pressure, but staying productive without it. If I was forced to be productive, I was. I had no problem doing the work I needed to do. But the moment I was tempted to be not productive, I gave into the temptation. This may just be because I am a terrible procrastinator.  However, that’s a good thing about the trend: it makes you realize any unhealthy habits that you may have. I had practice again, but I did my homework when I got home. While my day wasn’t up to the trend’s expectations, I felt a lot more successful than I had all week. 

Friday

This was the last day of the challenge; I truly believed that Friday was my day. The morning started out like normal. However, things turned around when I got to school. I was busy all day long. I had tests, dissections and an assortment of other activities to do. Everything was going my way for once. It was truly a miracle. I think that what I did when I got home was the most impressive, though. From three until 5:45, I  did only homework. I did French homework, math homework, history homework and a myriad of others. Never in my life have I sat down for that amount of time for homework. I did call a friend halfway through, but they kept encouraging me to do my homework (which I was extremely grateful for). One thing I forgot to mention during the week was my use of a journal and planner. This was already one of my habits, so I did not document it during the week. I still did it every day. I had practice for a few hours, but when I got home, I did even more homework. I ate a good dinner but still went to bed a lot later than I should have. Overall, I am very happy with how the last day of the challenge went. It felt good to finally be productive.

My Thoughts

The “that girl” trend was an experience, to say the least. I do not have my life together, and I’m guessing that a lot of people feel the same way. As a high school student, it’s hard to find a balance between having a social life, school and still being present in everyday life. It feels like one or the other most of the time. That was my first problem with this trend. There were so many things I wanted to do, like my homework, but other things felt more important, especially after a long day of school. The trend has a big emphasis on being aware of what’s going on and how to balance everyday activities. I had moments when I felt balanced, but I was not perfect. To be honest, I was absolutely terrible at it. I had high expectations for myself, too, but my inner procrastinator clearly had other ideas. I would have to make a list of my priorities if I were going to try this trend again. I’m not upset about how I did, though. If anything, I learned more about myself than I would have during a normal week.