I Don’t Want to Be in Your #squad

As I stared at the screen, images flickering, I didn’t feel
empowered. When I saw the word written proudly under celebrity Instagrams, I
didn’t experience a zip of glee. And as the hashtag grew to covering friends
social media accounts, I felt uncomfortable, not satisfied.

You see, I don’t like #squads.

Introduced to us on mainstream media from Taylor Swift and
her squad of Victoria Secret models on that
video, following a year in counting adorning Instagrammed photos, #squad and
#squadgoals has skyrocketed.

Squads are the newest way of being cliquey without anyone calling you out and saying “hey, you’re being cliquey”.

When Bad Blood debuted, I hated it. Instead of girl
empowerment I was expecting, all I could see was girl hate. Aesthetically
beautiful Victoria Secret models helped Regina George Taylor Swift take
down her Arch Nemesis to the delight of the media. She was applauded for taking
down another girl and walking with her #squad through the desert as explosions
go off and they all look oh-so-hot-and-glamorous.  Selena Gomez wasn’t Cady Heron and everything
was solved to a peaceful end – she was Janice and there was no forgiveness on
either side. Taylor Swift stayed Queen Bee.
Squads don’t symbolise girl power. Squad is a word to its
core that screams EXCLUSIVITY. It’s a hair flick away from the High School
Queens; think Quinn from Glee in her
Cheerios outfit publicly shamming Rachel Berry.
Squad is a big fat YOU WISH YOU WERE US. There’s no
empowerment, just lots of secret smiles and glances to you making you feel left
out. There’s no girl to girl love. By having Taylor Swift in a boob tube and
short skirt while Selena (or Arsyn as her character is called. You know, like
poison?) is in a ruffled, high necked PVC blouse and skater skirt. It makes us
automatically see Catastrophe as the sexy
girl and Ayrsn as the less cool
friend, so when Ayrsn betrays her, we start thinking “hey, maybe she’s jealous
of Taylor Catastrophe”. Yeah, already there’s got to be some girl on
girl competition between two friends, because when isn’t there?
Is that girl power?
I think not.
#Squad is the newest “you cant sit with us”. It’s being left
out of games in Primary School or not being invited to sleepovers at 14. It’s
the backhanded compliment, a giggle with a subtle middle finger no one notices.
It’s a feeling of not being good enough, not worthy enough, to be in this
Godlike elite group. You would be #blessed to be in this #squad, because after
all they’re #squadgoals. But you aren’t and that’s what makes it sweeter for
the squad and bitter for you, because you’re sitting on the other side of the
fence.
Dissecting exactly why I hate squads of the #squadgoals
movement is hard. It feels like a kickback to every other girl, like if I
publicly say ‘no I don’t like squads’ I’m somehow a girl hater. I’m pushing
back ‘girl power’ when I don’t see or feel the empowerment. I watched Bad Blood
and I was very aware how unskinny and very brunette I was. Instead of gleeful
excitement and empowerment, there was only a feeling of excessiveness and a
hollow feeling of being well, left out. Bad Blood brought squads into our
mainstream language and then dictated how exactly a squad should be. Look at
any of the gossip stories so many magazines now publish (Vogue, I’m looking at
you) and you see how todays celebs and Insta-models have their #squads spoken
about like they’re the cool kids in school. What happened to celebrating women
in general? Why do I have to be leggy and blonde to be praised for being
badass? Since when did what a girl look like make her more badass than the
woman sitting in an office designing the next thing for NASA or the medical
field?
Why do girls have to been in aesthetically pleasing crews to
be valued highly, and publically?
And why does there have to be misogyny when it comes to girl
squads, because there’s an idea girl can’t compete unless it’s between other
girls?
Which is why we’ve got #squadgoals as a way of weighing up each group of
women and deciding who’s best; so similar to the magazine polls of ‘who wore it
best?’
It seems I’m not the only one against the Instagram beloved
hashtag. Tweeting about the hope of #squad dying in 2016 and women tweet back
sharing a similar wish. The slim and whiteness of T Swizzle’s squad carries a
conversation of how damaging it would be as a young girl right now. There’s the
message of being valued or part of a squad; you’ve got to be white, thin and
blonde. Or atleast in Taylor Swifts crew. *It should be noted Zendaya is part
of the squad who goes on to fight Selena, but that doesn’t stick in people’s
minds.* Then there’s the ‘your friends are shit compared to mine ha ha ha’. You know, that this-girl-is-better-than-you thing? 
Squads might sound cool and get you a few Insta likes, but
girl empowerment isn’t about segregating women into groups. We’re to stand together against everything telling us
to hate each other, fight between each other and pas
s over for approval of a
‘higher power’. Girls don’t just stab each other in the back or fight between
each other.
We’ve got bigger things to do with our time, because we are smart and awesome and super cool.
Without the hashtag of #squad. We’re
friendly.
Let’s not reintroduce the Mean Girls mentality. Regina got
hit by a bus before she saw the light, so I think we can skip that step.
With that, I say thanks but no thanks. I’m happier to be in an
all-inclusive girl gang that promotes girl support and power, than squads
pitted against each other.

That gang? It’s me and the rest of girls around the world.

All my love,

Lou x
Want to send an email? Contact louisenicoleramsay@gmail.com
Twitter; @LouiseRamsay_
Instagram; @LouRamsayX
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3 Responses to I Don’t Want to Be in Your #squad

  1. This was such an interesting read, you write beautifully I love your style and the topics are so thoughtful and intriguing! I don't like the idea of squads, it reminds me that I don't have a close nit group of friends, I feel like I'm missing out when I see photos of people saying squad goals, I feel envious and lonely that I don't have that connection to people. A lot of connotations do appear around that word, sometimes I feel like it's related to the whole mean girl element you spoke about, The whole popular and bitchiness element! The post has opened my eyes to a new way of thinking about squads, it was very interesting to read!! Xxx
    Becky Shannon xx – Life-by-Becky

  2. Amy says:

    You're totally right. I much prefer the idea of the 'tribe', which is similarly prevalent Internet idea – people who have a similar mindset as you, that help each other out professionally and personally, that make you feel like you belong. It's all about being inclusive – or, at least, how I've encountered it.

  3. Pingback: Pepsi And Kendall Jenner Might Just Solved Everything - Predicaments of LouPredicaments of Lou

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