The issue with Taylor Swift’s “squad”
By now, I’m sure everyone who has any access to social media has heard about Taylor Swift’s “squad” of friends. They’re a clique of female celebrities who show up at her concerts, hold massive parties and support each other through drama.
The problem is, they are not
a squad, nor are they “goals”. It’s the worst thing to happen to celebrity culture in my lifetime.
The media has attached onto this accomplished group of twenty-somethings as the ideal friend group. They’re supportive, encouraging and they do seem to have fun together. But that’s where the positivity ends.
The term “squad” refers to a group of people, typically young black individuals, uniting against the oppression they have been faced with. By using squad, we’re recognizing that the specific group of people has faced opposition and have overcome it, or are currently fighting it, together.
Swift’s gaggle of supermodels and A-listers are appropriating the term and taking the identity away from the oppressed.
Also, it’s simply just not true.
This “squad” had a lot less struggles in life than most of us. Gigi Hadid was already modelling for Guess at age two. She comes from a family of a model, a music producer and a real-estate entrepreneur worth about $200 million, according to the Business Insider. Cara Delevingne comes from a long line of upper class London families, including Lord Mayors and actresses.
Swift herself came from a long list of bankers. Her family financially supported her singing from the very beginning. She received a convertible Lexus for her sixteenth birthday.
Though all the ladies are very talented, they would not be where they are without the boost of their wealthy families and connections. Their struggles are petty compared to the ones the term “squad” refers to.
Though some, such as Selena Gomez, worked their way up in the industry on their own, by the time they were in the “squad” they were already extremely successful.
From any given picture of the friends, their privilege is obvious. The vast majority are all very white. They’re blonde, tall and slim. They all have “pretty” faces. They’re the faces in front of the cameras, not the faces behind them.
They’re what the system puts up on a pedestal, all wrapped up into one group and glorified as being the perfect friends.
Because of this group, our sense of image has changed as a culture. Society’s no longer just attacking our self-image, it’s attacking our support systems as well. For as long as I can remember, it was always about what you look like and how you act. Now, that’s expanded to how your friends look and act when they’re with you.
I don’t know anyone with a friend group that’s like Taylor Swift’s, and I probably don’t want to. I kind of picture it like a scene from Mean Girls in the real world. But this is what the media wants us to strive for. Expensive parties, travelling the world, famous boyfriends, society’s beautiful bodies and music videos. And if you’re not doing it? You’re missing out.
If you’re not one of them, you want to be. And that’s exactly what the media is going for.
But the worst part about the whole thing is that this “squad” refuses to acknowledge their privilege. Instead of focusing on real issues, they jump to the defense of each other over boyfriends, Photoshop and the “Kim Exposed Taylor Party.” Their fame and influence could be used for so many more meaningful things, especially with all of them in the same room.
They portray themselves as underdogs, but they’re not. And they’re taking the “underdogs” away from the real squads who need our support.