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DISCLAIMER: The pictures in this article are only used to illustrate. They are not meant to promote the movement.
Have you found yourself falling into the depths of Tik Tok? After over a year of a global pandemic, I’m sure most of us have. If you’re one of us, you might have heard of a phenomenon known as “that girl”.
What is it?
That Girl is the kind of person who prioritizes their physical and mental wellbeing. At least, that’s what the messaging behind this movement is supposed to be. If you ask me, the message got lost in translation.
When it becomes more about looking aesthetically pleasing than being healthy. That’s when you know the truth of the movement got lost.
If you look up this topic, you’ll find hundreds of videos of girls whose lives seem perfect & put together. Their routines usually consist of:
- Waking up early
- Drinking lemon water
- Making a pretty-looking healthy breakfast
- Working out.
The thing is, these all sound like wonderful habits. It’s not the habits promoted that are the issue. The problem lies within the underlying point of these videos. Which is making your life look perfect. Making a wellness journey look aesthetically pleasing when it isn’t always.
Reality is that expecting life to be aesthetic all the time is unrealistic for most people. If not all.
The problem with the movement
I think the starting goal of this movement comes from a good place. When it became more focused on aesthetics than health itself is when the issue started.
It’s almost like there are certain boxes you have to fulfill to be “That Girl”. A lot of those are things that would be hard to achieve if you don’t have a high economic status. As well as if you don’t fit the societal mold of an “attractive” body type.
For starters, a lot of the things shown in these videos are very expensive. Trendy health foods like kombucha or superfoods. On-trend workout clothes. Vitamins. These are all things out of budget for many of us.
Second of all, most of us don’t have time to make everything look pretty. Most people need jobs for a living.
All content about this topic is very focused on doing all these healthy things in an “aesthetic” way. As if it’s more about looking like “the healthy one” than actually doing things to feel good.
Another pattern I’ve noticed in this trend is the lack of representation of all body types. In pretty much every content shared on this topic, the only body types shown are very skinny. That’s the body type used to represent a healthy and aesthetic person.
This lack of representation could be dangerous for people who consume this content. When everything you see tells you what is beautiful, you’ll believe it. It could lead to wishing you could achieve a body type that may not be possible. No matter how much you follow the lifestyle.
If everyone ate and exercised the same way, we would still look completely different.
Each body will have a different reaction to anything you do to it. Each body is its own universe.
The fact that there is a single body type to represent being healthy is not okay. It only reinstates the idea that skinny is the default to beautiful and healthy. Which is obviously untrue.
Truth is that a health journey won’t look aesthetic most of the time. It can be a difficult path of trial and error, of finding what works for you and what doesn’t.
No magic formula to achieving health will fall on your lap. Because health looks different for everyone. Each person has issues that will improve with different habits.
It’s not a linear journey of “I decide to be that girl today” and that’s it. Ups and downs in any kind of health journey are common. Whether it’s physical, mental, or both.
It's COMPLETELY NORMAL.
What this movement does is consolidate that being healthy has a certain look. It could be more detrimental than helpful to some people if they feel like they can’t achieve that exact image.
In most content about this movement, they advertise the aesthetic of a healthy person. It’s about doing the things people think healthy people do. To fit into the box of a “cool healthy person”. Being the healthiest and happiest version of yourself isn’t the priority.
For women, it’s tougher. Most content on this topic is directed at us. It makes up this idea of what an “ideal woman” is. Which, of course, is bullshit. And just another form of comparison that could make people feel less than.
If we put the focus on being the best version of ourselves, whatever that looks like. This movement could turn into a great thing.
Because healthy SHOULD be the new cool. Taking care of yourself SHOULD be the coolest thing.
If we want real change, we need to focus on real wellness instead of aesthetics.
To help you with that, we have some tips for you to become that girl (the real deal) in a maintainable way:
HOW TO BE THAT GIRL SUSTAINABLY
Figure out what you need to be your best version
Each person has different things they struggle with. Aspects of their life they want to improve. Our advice is to go into your wellness journey with a plan specific to YOU.
Don’t copy what other people are doing. Other people’s habits may not help you. They might not be right for your specific needs.
A way to figure out what YOU need is to sit down and evaluate. Think of what you want to improve, what unhealthy habits you could trade for healthier ones.
Making lists or a Pinterest board is great to narrow down what you want to focus on.
Move your body in a way you enjoy
DON’T feel like you HAVE to do a specific workout to get health benefits. Find something you like. A sport, the gym or even going for walks. Every kind of movement does the trick.
If you enjoy it, you’ll be more likely to be consistent at it. And that’s the key: CONSISTENCY.
Take it slow. Enjoy the process.
Make small changes slowly, that way it won’t feel like a shock to your system. It might make the transition a little easier.
Trying to do everything at once usually ends with quitting. Want your new habits to stick? Then take it slow.
Remember, it’s not a race. The point is to enjoy the process. That’s the only way you’ll be able to make it your lifestyle.
Focus on the journey, not the destination.
Put an emphasis on your mental well-being
Mental health is as important as physical health despite what we’re taught. If you want to go on a holistic health journey, your mental state should be a priority.
Not only will a healthier mindset make any physical habits easier to maintain. But, Improving your mental state will make your life better in general.
Journaling is a great way to develop a positive mindset. Putting what is weighing you down into words feels like stress leaving your body.
Meditation is also an incredible tool to be more at peace and get to know yourself better.
These are some examples, but everyone has different things that help them. Look for what works for YOU.
Find foods that make you feel good
Doing a specific trendy diet isn’t necessary to be healthy. As we’ve said many times in this article, you need to focus on YOU. Stick with the foods or diet styles that make YOU feel your best.
That looks different for everyone.
I’d say eat as many whole foods as possible and pay attention to the reactions your body has to what you’re having. This could help you figure out what feels good and what doesn’t.
Take a look at your mindset
A lot of the time, the reasoning behind a health journey is changing how you look. That can come with pressure. Even with the guilt of what you think you can and can’t do if you want to be healthy. SCRATCH THAT.
Change your mindset to being your healthiest and happiest version. When you start to do this for yourself I guarantee you’ll enjoy it more.
Changing your mindset is hard to do. But it’s the most important step. It makes a world of difference.
Don't pressure yourself
You don’t need to fit into any box to go on a health journey. Don’t put pressure on yourself on what you think your journey needs to be like. Let things flow. You’ll make it more enjoyable and you’ll be more motivated to do it.
Your wellness journey shouldn’t be about proving yourself to others. It should be about proving to yourself that you can do it.
Read more on wellness: Podcasts For Your Self-Development Journey
The point isn’t to show how aesthetically pleasing and healthy your life is. But, to be as healthy and happy as possible. The way you’ll achieve that is by letting go of your expectations and taking real action.
Implement habits you know you CAN follow. Don’t expect the journey to be perfect. Sometimes, it won’t be. It’ll be hard at times and you’ll need serious discipline to pull through.
If you implement sustainable habits, you will be able to do it while enjoying the process.
Lastly, keep in mind that whoever you are now is amazing. The mere fact that you want to work to be the best version of yourself already makes you pretty great.
Hopefully, these tips help you have a more fun & easy health journey. We would love to hear from you. What do YOU think about this movement?