May 29, 2023

Exhausted from having to be rich and beautiful like on TikTok


AmericaDynasti deGouvill, 22, of Georgia feels exhausted following the #ThatGirl and #CleanGirl trends on Tiktok.

To be perfect, the videos advise deGouvill to get up at 5am, exercise, journal, meditate, eat clean food and wear designer sportswear.

The hashtag #ThatGirl, which has attracted about 6 billion views on Tiktok, is an example of online content that aims to inspire users to change their lives in real life. Research shows that beautiful images and descriptions of happy life from videos can motivate internet users to make healthy lifestyle changes and apply new skills. But they can also leave them feeling overwhelmed, exhausted, and unfulfilled.

#ThatGirl has been criticized for its one-sided depictions of its body, race and economic condition for repeatedly sharing posts that promote thin, white women who exude wealth. In fact, this trend does not help all.

Many young girls are pressured and distracted by videos with rich and beautiful content on social networks. Illustration

Earlier this year, deGouvill discovered the social network shared a series of videos about #ThatGirl. This caused her to start comparing her life with others. “Having a lot of free time after graduating from university, I started to build myself as an attractive, successful woman on social networks,” she said.

Jayne Charneski, founder of US-based consumer research firm Front Row Insights & Strategy, said the same content about #ThatGirl, but Tiktok has more video shares than other platforms, due to less censorship.

“Not to mention the nature of the TikTok algorithm is to make viewers fall into content holes. In other words, they make viewers think everyone has to live as people see on social networks and reverse the question why body doesn’t do the same,” said Professor Chirstian Montag at the University of Ulm (Germany), who specializes in research on the link between social networking habits and personality.

In December 2021, TikTok announced that it was diversifying new proposals, reducing the number of videos with similar content. Head of safety and trust Cormac Keenan, said that the company has reduced the frequency of video recommendations related to health topics such as diet, exercise and continues to experiment. A spokesperson for the platform also said next week will roll out features to filter specific hashtags starting with #.

To follow the trend, deGouville has to wake up at 5 a.m. to write a diary, drink a smoothie, and do a 7-step skincare routine before going to work. At the end of the day, she goes to the gym to perform high-intensity exercises. When I get home, I prepare healthy meals, read books and meditate before going to bed.

“To do all of the above is exhausting. I am under pressure and uncomfortable as if I have to meet the deadline,” the 22-year-old admits it is difficult to maintain a constant schedule. Earlier this month, she gave up on the #ThatGirl trend and found life easier.

Blau, 19, from Massachusetts, is constantly watching lifestyle and health videos while surfing TikTok. The female student at Western New England University considers it an inspiration to change her lifestyle following the #ThatGirl trend.

Since following the trend, Blau says his mood has improved and he feels happier. But instead of doing the whole routine in the morning, the 19-year-old prefers to do it at night. Any habit that doesn’t work, she will stop doing. “I watch videos to recreate good habits, but without sacrificing what I enjoy,” she says.

Photos sharing nutrition and exercise regimens of young girls on social networks.  Screenshots

Photos sharing nutrition and exercise regimens of young girls on social networks. Screenshots

Experts suggest a number of healthy, selective ways of doing lifestyle content on social networks that don’t adversely affect physical and mental health.

Always ask yourself how do you feel?

Before and after viewing lifestyle content on social media, psychologist and Harvard Medical School faculty member Jacqueline Sperling recommends rating scales. If you find it uncomfortable, cut back or try to adjust what you find inappropriate. Use the “don’t care” feature to prevent technology algorithms from repeating those videos.

Limit phone use

Setting time limits on social media helps reduce consumption and access to unwanted content. Professor Montag advises users to switch their phones to grayscale, which removes bright colors to make smartphones less attractive.

Consult experts

Social media is flooded with advice on nutrition and exercise, but more importantly, maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Instead of following amateurs, girls should look to nutritionists or professionals to get useful information.

Consider practicality

Social media videos are all shimmering, but you never know what’s behind the scenes. To avoid being affected, viewers need to analyze right and wrong, based on actual knowledge to consider whether to continue or stop watching.

Minh Phuong (According to WSJ)

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