Grammy-award winning artist Taylor Swift is known for her legendary girl #squad. On her latest tour, Swift paraded her A-list gal pals, including Selena Gomez, Cara Delevingne and the infamous Victoria's Secret Angels, up and down a catwalk for the world to see - splattered across online media and Instagram.
While the use of the word “squad” to describe a group of friends has been around for decades, the phrase “#squadgoals” is now synonymous with Swift and her celebrity pals.
In an interview with Complex, Chloë Grace Moretz was asked whether she had received an invitation to join Taylor Swift's legendary girl gang. Her reply: "She's a very talented person". And yes, I agree, Taylor Swift is one of the most talented artists of our age, who is world-recognised for her 'women empowering women' anthems and catchy break-up tunes.
While Chloë did not elaborate on her comments, she did have something to say about modern Hollywood's concept of the "girl squad".
"They appropriate exclusivity. They're cliques," she said in the interview.
Chloë, you've hit the nail on the head! I've wanted to share a post about this for a while, but haven't quite been able to put my thoughts into words.
In our social media-fueled society, so many women are posting photos of their #squad. But may I present a thought: Is this really inclusive? Or is it exclusive? Because from the outside, these #squadgoals scream exclusivity, leaving others feeling unworthy, not pretty enough, and a little uncool. While on one hand, #squad can be a well-meaning proclamation and celebration of the incredible girls in your life. But on the other hand, when you #squad, without even consciously reailsing - the walls go up around you. Perhaps you think that others' insecurities are not your problem - I'd like to ask you to think again, and look at this from another perspective. #squadgoals is so much more than an Insta-thing. It's a real-life, every-day choice.
I will be honest with you. There are too many times to count, where I felt left out by the #squad, and I'm talking long before #squadgoals was even a thing. While I had plenty of friends in high school, I hardly ever felt like I fit in. Yes, I was social (anyone who knows me will know I don't struggle in the 'being social' department... I'm an extrovert, after all.). Yes, I had plenty of friends from different social groups. But the truth of the matter was that there simply wasn't any room for me in the #squads that surrounded me in my teenage years. Did that upset me? Yes. Did I feel awkward and out of place? Yes. I never had a group of friends who were #mygirls. I was in between one group of people, and another, and another, but never really 'in' any of the groups at all. And I know that I'm not the only one.
Please hear my heart. I'm not saying that you shouldn't have friends who you hold very dear to you. You definitely should. We all need these people, and we should celebrate these friendships. The people I allow beneath the layers of my life mean everything to me! What I am saying is that our friendship shouldn't be an invitation-only event. So let's ditch the #squadgoals and focus on #communitygoals. Now I know that may not be the sexiest hashtag to label our Insta pics with, but our community goals extend far beyond the realm of social media. This is what I believe they look like:
- Saying 'hi' to the new person
- Welcoming the one who's on the edge
- Inviting someone to spend time with you and your friends
- Letting the wall down, and letting others in
Ladies, I can't speak for you - but I can speak for myself. I want to be the sort of person who is INCLUSIVE. I don't want to #squad and slam the door shut, I want to leave it wide open to allow women from all walks of life into my life. and friendship circles. I don't want to be the person who destroys community, I want to be the one who creates it. And I hope you'll join me in building up a community of women who know their worth.
While I know these thoughts may be a point of contention for some of you reading this, I am willing to put the thought out there that we don't have to be all about our #squad. Instead, we can be all about #community. Who's with me?
I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below.