“That Girl” Lifestyle: Redefining Productivity for Today’s Youths
Join CHARLIZE KON as she embarks on a week-long experiment, immersing herself in the “That Girl” lifestyle which has captured the attention of today’s youths.
Hype Issue #57
July 19, 2023
Early morning and nighttime rituals, invigorating exercise routines, nourishing and healthy meals, productive work sessions, and indulgent self-care activities. Have you ever scrolled through TikTok and found yourself captivated by the world of the “That Girl” lifestyle? I know I have.
Endless video content on the ‘That Girl’ trend will pop up when searched on social media platforms like TikTok. Photo by Charlize Kon.
The term “That Girl” lifestyle refers to a popular trend, particularly on social media platforms like TikTok, where individuals, typically young women, showcase routines, habits, and choices that convey an image of being an organised, motivated, and confident individual.
The ‘That Girl’ trend on social media has the intention of motivating others to adopt similar habits and routines to improve their own lives. Photo taken from @annaastrup on Instagram.
I first found out about the “That Girl” lifestyle trend on TikTok. As I scrolled through my feed, I was drawn in by the perfectly orchestrated routines and the undeniable confidence exuded by these content creators.
One of TikTok’s most popular That Girl accounts, @.becomethat.girl, is dotted with a variety of ‘That Girl’ morning-routine videos. Photo by Charlize Kon.
Alexa Esco is a 19-year-old TikTokker (@virgohabits) living in San Diego.She regularly posts #thatgirl content to her community of followers. Photo taken from @alexaesco.
As I dived deeper into this world of flawless routines and picture-perfect moments, I couldn’t help but question the authenticity behind the screen. Were these curated glimpses into their lives truly representative of reality, or were they just carefully constructed facades?
Driven by curiosity to understand this phenomenon on a deeper level, I decided to take matters into my own hands. Armed with an abundance of TikTok scrolling sessions and countless articles, I embarked on a personal experiment: living the ‘That Girl’ lifestyle for an entire week.
Gathering ideas and inspiration from social media platforms and online articles, I crafted my ideal version of the ‘that girl’ lifestyle. Photo by Charlize Kon.
Day 1 – 2:
Filled with excitement and enthusiasm, I embarked on this popular routine with a strong resolve to see progress, experiencing a surge of motivation to complete a productive day. I eagerly checked off each task in my meticulously planned schedule, relishing the empowering feeling of being in control of my day.
I attempted to make the viral green smoothie from TikTok for my breakfast. Photo by Charlize Kon.
In my morning skincare routine, I made sure to include popular TikTok skincare products and follow all the necessary steps. Photo by Charlize Kon.
I tried recreating the clean and minimalistic makeup look that many of the ‘That Girl’ content creators on TikTok and Instagram use. Photo by Charlize Kon.
Day 3 – 5:
I started to experience some challenges. The unfamiliarity of the routine made me feel lazy at times, and my body began to feel the effects of the intensified exercise regimen. Sore muscles and fatigue started to set in, making it tempting to skip workouts or give in to thoughts of rest. Moreover, I found myself craving sweets and fried foods, perhaps as a result of the heightened discipline I was imposing on myself. It became a battle between sticking to the plan and indulging.
During self-care sessions, I noticed my attention drifting and I became increasingly distracted. The initial excitement began to fade, and I had to dig deep to stay focused and committed.
For my meals, I opted for a healthy and nutritious salad or grain bowl. Photo by Charlize Kon.
I also spent long and productive hours doing school work at cafes or in the comfort of my home.Photo by Charlize Kon.
Day 6 – 7:
I found myself looking forward to the week’s end. While I acknowledged that the routine had helped my body become more fit and provided me with increased energy throughout the day, I couldn’t shake the feeling that it wasn’t as enjoyable for me as I had initially anticipated. The repetitive nature of the schedule made it feel like a chore at times, lacking the spontaneity and variety I craved.
To pursue my personal development, I chose to read an inspirational book, ‘You can heal your life’ by Louise Hay over the 7 days. Photo by Charlize Kon.
I rotated between high-intensity pilates and running workout sessions for a week. Photo by Charlize Kon.
Reflecting on my experience, I recognised that while the ‘That Girl’ lifestyle had its merits in terms of physical well-being and productivity, it wasn’t a perfect fit for me. I realised the importance of finding a routine that aligns with my individual preferences and brings joy rather than feelings of obligation.
In my quest for understanding, I sought the guidance of Ms Amirah Munawwarah, an art psychotherapist at Promises Healthcare who mentioned that it is to be expected that we might be prone to role-modelling those whom we interact with online.
“The [That Girl] routine may seem perfect, however, it often negates the fact that there are challenges and moments of struggle which we may feel pressured to hide due to not seeing it online and wanting to appear “perfect,”Ms Amirah said.
Content creator Anna Astrup posted a picture of her indulging in a time of painting as part of her self-care time on her Instagram. Photo taken from @annaastrup on Instagram.
Ms Amariah emphasised that life does not adhere to a one-size-fits-all approach, and that the lifestyle that suits us best should not be solely based on what society presents online.
“Being reflectively driven is a way to ensure that you are not forcing yourself to conform to society and trying to fit in. This includes setting online boundaries by consciously following individuals online and limiting the use of social media,” Ms Amariah said.
I have had some time to reflect after this chat and have thought about my recent experience. The biggest takeaway that I can share is that I have learnt to embrace imperfection as a beautiful part of being human. The empowered “That Girl” is not flawless; she is unapologetically herself. She knows that true productivity is about finding harmony between achievement and well-being.