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Taylor Swift’s squad seems to have perfection down to a science. It’s clear that her marketing team knows what’s up. The Squad is seen as an example of female empowerment; a strong bond of famous, beautiful women that fights the catty, gossipy stereotype of female celebrity friendships.
And yet, something about her squad doesn’t sit quite right with me.
Saturday Night Live poked fun at the T-Swift squad in a recent sketch, in which the Squad takes over the entire world by forcefully recruiting everyone. Joking aside, that would never happen in real life because Swift’s squad is an exclusive club reserved for certain people. You’ve got to fit the bill to join, which means you have to be beautiful, thin, rich and white.
You might be thinking, but Taylor has non-white friends! Well, she’s also been called out for not having enough non-white friends in her squad in the past. One can’t help but wonder if the few non-white women in her squad were strategically placed there after the criticism took place.
Another major reason why the Squad doesn’t sit well with me is because it reminds me of a middle school clique. There are rumors that Swift has very specific and odd rules for her squad that reminisce of what I witnessed in my middle school days. You remember that group of popular girls that was really mean to everyone (including each other), always had the coolest clothes, and got all of the cute boys in the class? That type of behavior isn’t female empowerment, it’s straight-up creepy when it’s going on in a group of adult women.
Taylor Swift covertly masks her squad under the guise of being an empowering female friendship group, when it’s simply “a more subtle extension of adolescent hierarchy.”
Much of her music was written under the pretext that she was previously an underdog; she was just like me when I was a dorky middle-schooler! Her music is so relatable to the average girl! Who are we kidding here? “Swift is not coming from behind; she was ahead since she started. And watching her collect best friends during a moment in history when womanhood is finally beginning to to feel valued does not only feel uncomfortable – it feels evil.” To even dream that she would invite you or me into her little friendship club is delusional to say the least (unless of course, you’re famous and look like Gigi Hadid).
The gorgeous models she parades around as her “squad”, and the multitude of celebrities (including the US women’s soccer team) she features in her live shows aren’t there to empower women, as she might claim. They’re there for Swift’s self-promotion; she’s simply using them as ornaments to decorate her ever-growing Christmas tree of fame and fortune. If she really wanted to empower women and be relatable, she would “have an all-female backing band like Charli XCX”, or “she’d give speeches about intersectionality.”
Sorry, but Taylor Swift is not #SquadGoals
Photo courtesy of YouTube