This Girl > That Girl: How a Mentality Shift Can Change Your Life

Angelina Astic, Contents/Copy Editor

Mindlessly scrolling through TikTok. Looking at posts on Instagram’s Explore page. Pinning pictures on boards to fit a specific personality on Pinterest. A trend cultivated by social media, created based on a specific kind of personality. One marked by societally-deemed “perfectionism”: ‘That Girl.’ Marketed to teenage girls and young women as the ideal way of life, users fall victim to the pressure to purchase certain products, dress a certain way, institute certain habits and essentially change all aspects of their personalities. But why do this, who does this appeal to? Who, what and why are we following what we do? Why do we allow ourselves to fall into the traps of something created to change everything about us? Why don’t we start embracing what makes us who we are and start being ‘This Girl’ instead of ‘That Girl?’ 

It follows you everywhere. The slick-back Olaplex buns, 5:00 a.m. wake-up times even on weekends, outfits that fit just right and sporting out-of-this-world price tags, daily journalers who seem to have their lives together that is just the beginning. You start noticing their workout routines, even skin, perfect bodies, hair that’s never out of place and a smile that seems to captivate the world. So, you decide, of course, I want that. That is what would make me happy. I want to be ‘That Girl.’ 

In the beginning, you start to change little things about yourself, things you do not even notice. You style your hair a new way. You start waking up earlier despite staying up late the night before. You start changing your clothes, creating a version of some outfit you saw your favorite influencer wear on TikTok or Instagram. You start watching what you eat more than normal, denying yourself the special treats you let yourself indulge in every once in a while. When working out, you push yourself more than you did before. You feel proud of yourself because every mimicking step means that you are one step closer to becoming ‘That Girl.’

Then you start to spiral. You never seem to have a good hair day. You second-guess your outfits, wondering where all the color went. You judge yourself in the mirror, scrutinizing every conceivable flaw you can find. Working out becomes something you dread. You always feel exhausted, not just physically but mentally. You start to question who you are: How did you become this? Why don’t you feel happier? If everything is going according to plan, how is this lifestyle not the fairytale you felt you were promised?

Becoming ‘That Girl’ does not just mean embodying the stereotypes I defined. It essentially means trying to become a version of yourself that is nothing close to who you truly are. You change the things you used to love about yourself, the things that made your personality the way it is, the things that make you, you. Sure, the version I described does exist somewhere for someone. But in this world we are living in, one dominated by the pursuit of becoming something we are not, trying to become ‘That Girl,’ removes the very essence of who we are and all that we were destined to become. 

What is funny is, this sounds awfully personal right? Well, what if I told you it was not? What if I told you that all these things are memories, screenshots, texts, conversations, FaceTime calls and little pieces of life that I have witnessed girls my age suffering through, all to fit some niche aesthetic trend?

Everyone deserves to live a life where they feel at liberty to be 100% themselves. Scratch that. Everyone must live a life where they know they can always be 100% authentically themselves. 

Choosing to flip that switch, to let go of the outside noise, to truly feel at ease with oneself and your life is not easy no one ever said it was. But the life you get to live is exactly that. This is your life. One you choose how to live. Stop living in the shadows and image of ‘That Girl’ and start being ‘This Girl.’

Embrace the things about yourself that you love. Give yourself grace about the aspects of yourself and your personality that you struggle with. Do not let the fear of what others may feel, think or act control you. The world needs you, the version of yourself that truly represents you. You are ‘This Girl,’ so start being proud of it.