The TikTok Girl

The TikTok girl is always put together. The TikTok girl is always showcasing the newest trends on her body. The Tiktok girl’s hair is always done, and her makeup is always right. I see her a hundred times a week, in different forms, through different accounts in different parts of the world. She leaves me chasing an idea of picturesque womanhood that I’m tripping over my feet trying to catch up with. I never catch it.  

I tell myself her content is inspirational. After all, she has the answers to everything. She has the perfect skincare concoction that’ll get rid of the pimples that keep springing up on my forehead.  She has the right at-home Pilates workout that tightens up the insecurities on my body. Most importantly, she is the idealization of productivity. She always has the energy and time to cook, clean and finish work. She encourages me to follow in her footsteps as I mindlessly consume her content while ignoring the ever-growing coursework and chores I have to do. She’s never tired. I feel like I always am.  

I keep scrolling through the app even though it’s late and I have to be up early. I put my phone down eventually, thinking of ways to improve myself. I dream of waking up earlier and fitting in a workout. I dream of drinking smoothies and looking the best I absolutely can. I dream of making a to-do list and successfully checking everything off it and ending the day with a home-cooked meal and feeling satisfied with all that I accomplished. I dream of becoming the TikTok girl. 

Who was the original TikTok girl? I think of one girl who was the natural epitome of femininity that bestowed her wisdom and fashion sense onto us girls who lacked it. I watch one girl on TikTok flawlessly apply makeup to her perfect face, and she reveals something to me: she has a filter on all her videos to hide her acne. In a split second, she manages to shatter the illusion that social media has been able to uphold since its creation. I am confronted with a new reality. 

Perhaps we all are chasing this unattainable vision of a girl that has never existed. Before I turn my face into a Picasso painting in an effort to meet an unrealistic beauty standard, I have to remind myself that the girl on my screen is trying to look like the girl on hers. The TikTok girl is only showcasing her best moments. You never see her insecurities; you don’t see the days she skipped out on the workout to sleep in. You don’t see the acne and the bad hair days. The TikTok girl isn’t just a commodity selling a lifestyle, she is a human being. The TikTok girl is just a girl.