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Want to be “that girl?” I know I did… Until I realized how detrimental and unsustainable it was for me. I loved the inspiration, but drastically changing my lifestyle to be what I was portrayed on social media was just not it. In the end, I became incredible sad and ungrateful for my life. I was always striving to be something that I wasn’t in that moment.
Don’t get me wrong “that girl” is a real lifestyle and it absolutely works for some people! If you fall into that category I LOVE THAT for you. Seriously, you are killing it.
But, if you are also someone who isn’t sure where to start with this concept or is already feeling burned by it… I feel you. I know it can be discouraging to constantly be bombarded by media that convinces you that you have to be something else. The media isn’t the only part of it, I know that I am just as much at fault for convincing myself that it is something I need.
I’m now choosing the best parts of it and leaving other things out. I am defining it for myself, not to be “that girl, but to be the best version of me.
Identifying who that girl is comes with a few common themes: productive, go-getter, put together, and independent. Now, some of the more stylistic elements could vary. “That girl” for you could mean someone who is preppy or maybe who lives a luxury lifestyle. For me, she is someone who kills the “athleisure” game and has the coziest home decor with the cutest dog. This is the “that girl” that shows up on my social media, whether I like it or not.
While “that girl” could be different in style, I think the themes of productivity, organization, and independence are the most common things I see.
So how did we all get to this conclusion?
I would venture to guess that many of us feel that many parts of “that girl” are appealing. Wouldn’t it be amazing to be more productive and organized in my every day life? Yes. But, am I? NOPE. It’s something I have had a hard time with, especially outside of school when it’s up to me to build a schedule instead of deadlines pushing my productivity forward.
Not to mention, of all the videos portraying this type of person are so incredibly aesthetic! Each video gives me the feels as they pour their coffee, put together an effortless but stylish outfit, and proceed to go on errands that look fun. How am I supposed to keep up with that when I roll out of bed in the clothes I wore the day before and walk down to my living room to find the clutter from the day before.
This is where I’ve seen more controversy. It seems that many people have thrived with this idea and have really made it work for them. To that, I say great! But, I have also seen people who have struggled with this infamous person who bears no name but occupies our thoughts and tells us how to live.
There is nothing wrong with being more productive, organized, or independent… but I think it needs to be on our own terms. If you have made yourself feel like you have to become this “elevated” version of yourself but haven’t made your own parameters then you are destined for failure.
I say that because that was me. I desperately wanted to be the girl who wakes up at the butt-crack of dawn and lives a whole day before others have even had their second cup of coffee. So, I tried to wake up for sunrise yoga, go to the gym, cook an incredible breakfast, and clean before I logged into my job… Unfortunately, it made me really sad.
I asked myself “how can I be that girl?” and immediately started watching YouTube videos to get a better idea of what I would be working towards. If you look up “that girl” on YouTube then you will immediately start to see just how many views these videos got. This doesn’t include the numerous videos on TikTok with equally alarming numbers. You’ll begin to realize how deeply “that girl” has permeated the content being pushed forth these days.
Once I started acting on the videos I watched, I immediately failed to maintain the early morning lifestyle. I knew this would happen because I had tried earlier on in life, I just can’t do it… I started working out and cleaning in the mornings. Errands still weren’t my favorite, but I dragged my feet and still got them done.
It felt great to be more productive, but none of it felt fun or glamorous. That was hard for me – why didn’t my life look like the videos I’d seen? Was I doing something wrong?
The one part that felt like a win was getting rid of clothes. I went through my closet and got rid of clothes that didn’t serve me any longer. That felt great, and would highly recommend. I was able to sell them which was the start to me buying more elevated but comfortable clothes. Start here for some tips if you want them 😉
Beyond the clothes win, my everyday life never felt like “that girl”. Even on the weeks where I’d wake up, workout, and clean the house a bit before working I still felt normal. What was it about this journey that I felt like would change me? I’m not quite sure. But, I thought I’d leave my experience feeling like a new person.
I think the problem with wanting to be “that girl” is that it doesn’t drastically change you in the way you envision. Again, maybe it works for some people. For me, I was left feeling disheartened that I wasn’t as productive, healthy, pretty, skinny, fun, or independent as the girls I saw in the videos.
After this experience I felt worse about myself than when I had entered the process. I felt gross, unhealthy, ugly, unproductive, and a failure for not being able to keep up with the challenge I had set before myself. Overall, I was worse off and more unmotivated than when I had begun.
Is that a problem? Absolutely! I think this trend can be detrimental to many if they aren’t able to accomplish what they had thought. Or, if it’s not as glamorous as they wanted it to be. Isn’t that just typical of our expectations though? We think the world of them and they end up being disappointing.
All in all, this project taught me a few things. I wasn’t a complete failure in this project, as I realized some important lessons to make this more productive for you!
Don’t take things too seriously, it’s not going to be a life altering or out-of-the-world experience… Have fun with it.
Go at your own pace. Change doesn’t happen overnight and you shouldn’t expect it to. Give yourself grace and time.
Pick one thing at a time to focus on, this will give you the greatest chance for success. Don’t overwhelm yourself.
Then, pick one area that you will allow yourself to fail in. The area that will be the hardest will need the most grace in order to succeed.
Finally, you will need to have a solid idea of “why” you are doing this. Becoming “that girl” can’t just be because it looks nice and fun. A solid why is because you an inspired by what you see and what to encourage growth and change in your own life for yourself.
So I don’t think being “that girl is totally bad, but, I think it could easily become that. Hopefully the things I’ve learned can be of benefit to you and your journey.