There is No Such Thing as An It girl


If there is one thing Generation Z is good at, it is overconsumption. Consumption has only risen since the advent of the Industrial Revolution. It defines us. Our nights are filled with influencers on Tik Tok with heavy makeup and filters telling us what product we need to buy to become prettier, to become cooler, to live that supposed It Girl life.

 I have often found myself falling into this trap, wasting the money I make at work to buy a 50-dollar makeup product that either ends up hurting my face or is simply just smelly water in a bottle. The cycle continues the next time that someone who has photoshopped themselves advertises a product that they have never actually used. The influencer then gives a glowing review of the product because they were paid to do so. 

When the product does not magically make me feel prettier or better about myself, I feel bad. I wonder, why can’t I look like all the girls on social media?

The truth is, no one can look like the girls on social media. Even the girls on social media can’t look like the girls on social media. Hidden behind the mirage of beauty filters are companies who are using teenage girls’ insecurities made worse by everyday misogyny to make a profit. Every day there is a new aesthetic that is “in.” From “aesthetics” such as “vanilla girl” to being a “pink pilates princess,” girls are given so many different boxes they are supposed to contort themselves to fit into. Some of these “aesthetics” emphasize thinness, my “for-you page” is often flooded with videos of “What I Eat in a Day” or videos called body checks, where creators show off their bodies (which are often photoshopped). This has been a big factor in the rise in eating disorders in my generation. Thinking that there is a perfect type of girl, an aesthetic of perfection to reach, is dangerous because that perfection is nonexistent.

The Covid-19 pandemic left us stranded from each other, often going on our phones for all hours of the day for entertainment. All we ingested were these idealized ways of life, as we had lost our connection to real people in the real world. Generation Z is often told that we just need to get off of our phones and that how much we are affected by social media is up to us. While we do have some agency for our own screen time, it is social media and big business that need to be held accountable for preying on the insecurities of young people.

To all the readers, especially the young readers, there is no such thing as an It Girl. The idea of an It Girl is social media and big businesses’ way of taking advantage of us. Wear the clothes you want to wear because you like them. Wear makeup to empower yourself, not to become someone else. This may be cheesy, but the best type of person to be is yourself.