Rowan Blanchard, Squad Goals, and Feminism

Recently, Rowan Blanchard gave a very honest and open interview with Just Jared in which she talked about everything from fashion and her television show Girl Meets World to more real topics of conversation like feminism and why she’s just not a fan of ‘squad goals’.

‘Squad goals’, for anyone who hasn’t seen the hashtag yet, is usually placed alongside a photo of a group of beautiful smiling girls.  It is posted on social media by a girl in the ‘squad’ and contains herself and her besties.  At first this seemed like nothing other than a cute way to spread some confidence and joy among friends, and while to some that still may be the case, in a world where internet popularity means almost as much to young people as high school popularity, it’s easy to see how ‘squad goals’ can make people feel a bit left out.

More weight seems to be placed on the shoulders of young people now than it ever was before – with social media growth – to be perfect, gorgeous, thin, and attractive.  There is almost a standard now, that young people feel like they’ve got to live up to and it seems that ‘squad goals’ is doing a bit more harm than good.  We are constantly finding more broken and bruised young people, specifically women, due to trying to fit in so hard that they go as far as to put themselves into situations that can cause them emotional and physical harm.  It’s not uncommon to see a young person who should be smiling instead hiding pain in their eyes in most social situations.

Blanchard, in her interview, explained it like this.

“Of course female friendship is a beautiful thing. It’s insanely powerful.  Sisterhood is something so valid and important when you are growing up that I literally think the essence of it should be taught in schools.  But, the ‘squads’ we see in the media are very polarizing.  Feminism and friendship are supposed to be inclusive, and most of these ‘squads’ are strictly exclusive.”

She goes on to say, “It makes feminism look very one dimensional.  Feminism is so multilayered and complex that it can be frustrating when the media and the celebrities involved in it make feminism and “squads” feel like this very happy, exclusive, perfect thing.  There’s so much more than that.  ‘Squad goals’ can polarize anyone who is not white, thin, tall and always happy.”

We can’t say we were thinking about that as in depth before, but we certainly are now – and we agree.  If you search the ‘squad goals’ hashtag on social media you’ll see an array of groups of friends – some of them are still the glamorized beautiful type while others look like they’re just enjoying the company of their friends in sweats and a t-shirt.  None of them are any less beautiful than the others but there’s a definite difference in types of squad goals and we believe that’s what Blanchard meant with her statement.

It’s true that a majority of celebrity ‘squad goals’ all seem to be beautiful, tall, smiling, white women which there is absolutely nothing wrong with being – but it’s not who everyone is.  It seems like regardless of how many beautiful strong, smart women there are that fit a different mold; a certain few remain highlighted.

Feminism should be celebrated as a movement that brings equality to women across the board and strengthens them and celebrates them for who they are; regardless of their race, weight, height, career, etc.  Women should be celebrated for who they are, not how they look, but we do live in a world driven by a physical standard and sometimes that is enough to make women not want to leave the house without a 3 hour hair and make-up routine because they feel inadequate.

Women should feel proud of themselves and their own “squads” – not made to feel like they don’t add up to the standards of ‘squad goals’ set across the board.  We appreciate Rowan for having such an honest and realistic view about the ‘squads’ we see publicized and for standing up and saying it’s okay if we don’t look the same way that they do!

If you’re part of your own squad, or even if you see squad goals on social media that celebrate the unique traits of all women – tweet us at @CelebMix and show us

 

Written by Ashley

Writer, coffee drinker, mother.