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That Girl is an aesthetic that originates on Tiktok, but later spread to Pinterest and YouTube, mostly in terms of vlogger content. In this aesthetic, women, typically from college-aged to early thirties, show images and videos of being productive and engaging in self-care and self-betterment. They live regimented routines that encourage healthy eating, beauty rituals, fitness, organization, productivity in work and study, and mental healthcare in a clean and simple aesthetic.

The aesthetic is a continuation of many other aesthetics by young women that focus on health, and it has many precursors in marketing, especially in the skincare and fitness industries. The self-help and productivity part of YouTube, where vloggers demonstrate how to be productive and have a routine, is also an inspiration.

It is an aspirational aesthetic and people in the aesthetic are concerned with becoming one's best self in terms of mind, body, and spirituality. This also involves a confident feeling and being kind to others, including gratitude. However, the aesthetic has largely been criticized for being part of the larger trend of toxic productivity and "hustle culture," where people are expected to spend every moment of their lives bettering themselves to a manufactured and unrealistic standard instead of living an authentic life.

History[]

The That Girl trend is part of a larger movement in the social media landscape where mental health and self-care has become a concept that people are concerned about.

Visually, the aesthetic bears a lot of resemblance to spa culture. The marketing and ethos of spas share the same ideals of wellness, beauty, and relaxation, with imagery of face masks, spa water, meditation, etc. Likewise, many beauty companies, especially ones that emphasize skincare, have the same emphasis on aspirationally beautiful and clean women. That Girl culture is also a result of the more natural and "dew-y" beauty trend and brands that emerged after the Baddie beauty trends of heavy makeup. Glossier is an example. In this trend, the emphasis is on skincare and "no makeup makeup," which That Girls wear, similar to Clean Girls.

The first instance of the term "That Girl" is a viral TikTok by the user @angelxadvice in 2021. In it, she dances as a bullet-pointed list of New Year's resolutions showed on screens, with points such as "eat more fruit and veg" and "read more books, trust me." Later that year, the tag was born.

Philosophy[]

That Girl is largely based on the ideas of self-improvement, both externally in one's career and relationships, as well as internally with physical and mental health.

You become "that girl" in your own way; how someone portrays becoming "that girl" will differ greatly from how anyone else portrays it. Becoming "that girl" is similar to being healthy, making changes for the better in your life, and constantly challenging yourself to improve. The theme of "That girl" is total mental and physical health. You are not required to always eat well-balanced meals and be the fittest female in the world. It's all about improving yourself, and you should do it on your own time and solely for yourself.

Visuals[]

Visuals of this aesthetic can include tidy spaces, organized drawers/cabinets, and clean bathrooms. Plastic compartment trays and bins where everything is uniform and in its place has a strong emphasis, especially with skincare and makeup collections. Organizing a space is a popular subject for many YouTube videos and TikToks, as well as cleaning vlogs being popular among this community as well.

Healthy foods are also incredibly common in this aesthetic. Because of the strong emphasis on morning routines in this aesthetic, most of the foods shown are breakfast foods. Fresh fruits and vegetables are featured heavily in foods such as avocado toast, yogurt, salads, granola, peanut butter toast, açai bowls, smoothies, and fruit platters. The latter three are also notable for being colorful and would look pretty in the mostly white posts of That Girl.

In addition to the food is the emphasis on beverages such as spa waters, coffee and matcha green tea. These drinks are often fancier than a plain coffee with milk, such as in the inclusion of milk alternatives, flavorings, cold brew, and foam. Many vlogs show these girls making the drinks themselves or going out to a Starbucks or a local coffee shop as a treat. They also emphasize the importance of routine and labor, as they often make the beverage daily and show the relaxing motion of cutting the fruit, foaming the milk, etc.

Because That Girl is primarily a routine and vlog-oriented aesthetic, visiting different mundane locations is incredibly common. Largely, the gym, neighborhood parks, and grocery stores are often featured in these videos. Exercise at home or at the gym is common.

Fashion[]

That Girl fashion is rooted in trendy, basic apparel. White and tan are the most prominent colors in That Girl aesthetic, with green oftentimes appearing as accent color.

Normal attire[]

  • Matching sets (mainly workout sets)
  • Leggings
  • Sweatshirts
  • Tennis skirts
  • Pieces from yesstyle, brandy melville, ect.
  • Lounge wear

Shoes[]

  • Jordan 1s
  • FILAS
  • Nike running shoes

Jewelry[]

  • Pearls
  • Gold, beaded, clay, or silver rings
  • Simple necklaces

Hobbies[]

Hobbies for this aesthetic are meant to be enjoyable yet productive and good for the person involved.

  • Skincare
  • Reading
  • Workouts
  • Journaling
  • Social media

Food[]

  • Spa water
  • Fruit
  • Veggies

Music[]

Music for this aesthetic mainly includes upbeat music and modern R&B artists

Artists[]

  • Taylor Swift
  • Doja Cat
  • Ariana Grande
  • Nicki Minaj
  • The Weekend
  • SZA
  • Beyonce

Playlists[]

Resources[]

Pinterest Boards[]

Youtube channels[]

Criticism[]

This aesthetic is largely criticized for being an example of toxic productivity, which is a mindset where people are overly concerned with work and bettering oneself at an expense of giving up free time and relaxation. Although many of the activities in the aesthetic are deemed relaxing, all of these are pursued for the sake of becoming "better" and involve mental labor that does not need to be done for a functioning life. Many people have connected this to corporate culture, where people are encouraged to "hustle" for the sake of becoming better employees and leaders.

In addition, the aesthetic is a mode of productivity that has been traditionally pushed on by pop culture that emphasizes routine, habit-formation, being a morning person, and organization. Many people are not suited for regimented routines and are more productive as night owls. In pushing the narrative onto young women that this type of lifestyle equals productivity and is the source of confidence and mental wellness, the people who are not suited for these habits may feel discouraged.

Like many other aspirational aesthetics, people also criticize this aesthetic for being upper-class. The visuals emphasize purchasing items that are incredibly expensive, such as serums and avocados. In addition, there is a lot of emphasis on free time, where the vlogger is able to do the various activities because she is self-employed or not being required to do work that poorer people must do.

However, other people disagree that "that girl" has a harmful outlook. Although many people depict it as being all about remaining thin and healthy, that is not the case. When you feel compelled to act in a certain way or to look and act in a certain way, even though the reality is that becoming that girl doesn't look the same for everyone, you have a poisonous attitude. Simply having the desire of improving oneself is enough; you don't need to be striving to be flawless or thinner. Bettering yourself doesn't just mean changing the way you look; it also means improving your internal well-being and increasing your sense of fulfillment, joy, and self-assurance.

Male (pref., but not always) and edgy (weird and ridiculous for its own sake) version of this, with those criticisms (toxic, looks-only, unhealthy competition...) seen above, is Sigma, Incel/Doomer-related hot(s)pot ideologies, and (among similar such others) Manly Men - bearing similar (That Girl) connotations due varying similar themes.

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