Taylor Swift is headed for world domination, and it just may be her "squad" of famous friends that helps to get her there. Not through the power of friendship and the magic of sisterhood, but through simple marketing.
Though Taylor did not invent the phrase "squad goals," or even calling a group of friends a squad, her appropriation of the word makes her largely responsible for its migration from social media into the mainstream world. Having a "squad" is a full-blown thing now, and Taylor has been inducting new members into hers left and right. (SNL even did a skit about it.)
Taylor's friends have said that their famous squad is all about good vibes and girl power. Said Gigi Hadid, official squad member: "We want to be the generation and the group of friends known for supporting each other. 'Squad goals' is a big social media thing right now, and that's what we want to inspire in other groups of friends — to be proud of the power you all have when you're together, which can be amplified so much by each person."
Gigi continued, "That's what has been cool about everyone's willingness to be there for each other, and we don't want to be like other generations who are infamous for their cattiness. That was cool, and it worked for them and they were great. We just want to be the new generation."
So have we all just forgotten what friendship and sisterhood is truly about, and Taylor Swift and her slew of rich and famous girlfriends are here to show us the way? I call bullshit.
I don't doubt that Taylor and the horde of starlets she's often photographed with are friends IRL - or at least friendly - but the fact that Taylor and company decided to market their clique as a beacon of female friendship and profit off it, however indirectly, is truly next level. It's like name-dropping to the umpteenth degree.
Taylor Swift is a shrewd businesswoman, one who doesn't play around when it comes to her money or her brand. Her name becoming synonymous with #squadgoals is all starting to feel like a very calculated move, even if it started out with the genuine intention of empowering girls.
Social media has allowed celebs to connect more directly with their fan bases, and stars who are active and visible on social media have a better chance of sustaining their popularity, which can pay off financially in the long run.
Is Taylor's "squad" of famous friends helping to push her brand to new heights? With nearly 50 million followers, Taylor is now the most-followed user on Instagram and she makes headlines every time she's photographed with her girl power crew. Now, if only us average folk could get paid for having friends.