“That Girl” Is Lying to You: What You’re Not Seeing Behind the Social Media Aesthetic Trend
You know that girl- the one with the seemingly perfect body, wardrobe, morning routine, and diet. It’s not one girl in particular, but a social media trend that became popular last year on TikToc (Yes, it’s still around and just as toxic).
That Girl wakes up an hour earlier than everyone. She chugs a glass of warm lemon water before even thinking about coffee. Wait, coffee? No, probably a matcha or turmeric latte.
She works out every morning before drinking any caffeine.
Does some light journaling.
Eats some oats with a green juice.
Finally, gets ready for work where she effortlessly makes it on time.
That girl is a wellness lifestyle aesthetic that’s been wildly popular on social media for the last year. The aesthetic largely focuses on health food, exercise, skin care, and perfecting the daily routine. That girl honestly looks like she has it all figured out- and maybe that’s why we’re all obsessed with her.
As I scroll through my social media feeds I’m constantly haunted by that girl and those girls as a whole. They are everywhere. In the morning with photos of their oats and lattes. In the afternoon with posts about their mid day smoothies. Pre-workout posts in the most incredible matching gym clothes. Their lives look like editorials and to be honest I crave the hell out of that lifestyle.
Meanwhile, I’m on my second cup of coffee today. Usually ten minutes late to work without makeup on. While I did workout today, I did so in the middle of my living room wearing some pajama shorts and one of my husband’s old shirts. I skipped breakfast like most days because no matter how healthy the food may be, my body just does not agree with eating before 11am. I’m pretty proud of the Greek salad I made for lunch, but my plates are old/cheap and the lighting in my house sucks so why even bother posting a picture of it on Instagram?
Let me be very clear here. I’m not hating on those girls or their lifestyle. I’d love to have an Instagram feed that looks half as good as theirs. But like most things on social media, it’s a fad drenched in hyper-perfectionist traits, materialism, and toxic hustle culture.
While many of the that girl aesthetic accounts are generally trying to motivate others to live a happier healthier life, they leave out the reality of it all. They leave out the bad days when something triggers them to emotionally eat fast food. Or when their mental health takes a decline making it impossible to even think about working out or wearing something other than sweats for a week.
The aesthetic of that girl is fueling this false narrative of the holistic wellness world. Wellness is not beautiful or effortless. It’s messy and emotional most of the time- especially in the beginning. The more we promote wellness from a perfectionist stand point, the less relatable and achievable it seems to those starting a holistic journey.
Things to Remember When Being Faced with That Girl
Social media is a fairy tale world filled with perfectly edited photos and videos. The people behind that girl aesthetic are human. They are only showing you the highlights of what their lives truly look like. They break their diets, skip workouts, and fall out of that perfectly crafted morning routine way more often than they’d like to admit. They hate their bodies some days and feel ugly without makeup on sometimes. The truth is, behind most perfect social media feeds is a person simply longing to be accepted and liked.
Your wellness journey is just as valid as the girl behind those perfect social media accounts. The picture perfect recipes, wardrobe, or daily routines are irrelevant to the personal steps you take each day to create a life that’s your own. Try finding inspiration in your own journey.
When you’re scrolling through social media it’s easy to forget you’re usually just looking at the highlight reel of someone else’s life. It can easily cause us to compare our lives with others and make us feel less than. Chances are you have more in common with them than you think. Check out my podcast episode on hyper-competitive culture where I dive deeper in to this topic.