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PARKER: Squad Goals for the win

Image Credit: Compilation/Jennifer Stahn
June 29, 2015 - 8:02 AM

There were two hashtags that broke the Internet this week and for once, they seemed to play for the same team.

#LoveWins was the chosen representative of the legalization of same-sex marriage in all 52 states. Powerful and to the point, the love wins hashtag became home to many celebration sentiments, heartfelt 140 character memoirs and, of course, love stories. Rainbow filters took over Instagram, rainbow stickers took over manicures and hundreds of couples raced to courthouses around the country to tie the knot with no resistance.

Riding the wave of all this #lovewins bliss, in Hyde Park, London, Taylor Swift stood on stage belting out the words to her song Style while around her waltzed five of her closest gal pals and Kendall Jenner, who is listed separately because I still can’t figure out why she was there. #SquadGoals took flight and landed on viral media sites from MTV to Buzzfeed.

Earlier this year we traded in the standard clique terminology and opted for a more intense yet less negatively thought of the word, squad. One's squad is simply the closest handful of friends you share life’s experiences with — also, the ones with whom you most likely share a group chat.

The difference between a clique and a squad, however, is that while the clique was primarily focused on the Mean Girl style of friendship, the squad is built to support the endeavors of each member. There is no ‘do as we do’, there is only ‘do you’.

This is why we often see squads comprised of multiple successful women from all walks of artistry (Taylor Swift and Lena Dunham and Karlie Kloss?) Somewhere along the way, these women realized having friends wasn’t enough; they needed friends who were going to support, assist, challenge, question and inspire.

A community of people who support and inspire each other — whether that’s two or 200 — is going somewhere. Why wouldn’t we want that as our squad goal?

Of course, if one already has a squad, that squad needs goals of its own. A united front is even more powerful than the individual crusader. So we decide that by the time we turn 30 every one of us has to be in Forbes (or whatever). #squadgoals.

The concept of squad goals is one that showcases the progression of humanity from our millennium-encouraged selfish ways back to our roots. A recent Vancouver Foundation study found that one in four people who live in the city consider themselves to be lonely and why wouldn’t they when their selfie stick has become their closest friend? We’re starting to realize it’s not just a bunch of talk, we are meant to interact with each other and maintain relationships. It’s our natural way of being.

I don’t have a squad.

That’s not to say I don’t have a group of close friends, but the friends I have never really made the choice to bind together to form an unstoppable force to be reckoned with. We bought into the millennium mind trick (or was it Fleetwood Mac) that we could go our own way and then just share it with each other every time we went out for dinner in our leather leggings.

But I think I’d like a squad. I’d like to have a group of people I can share my creative brainchildren with at 2 a.m. and then acknowledge them on my thank you page. I’d like to make them my entourage, Taylor Swift style. I’d like them to make me their entourage, Taylor Swift style (I’m not sure which one of us is playing Taylor Swift yet...) Maybe squads are the new mentors?

Whatever they are, their goals blew up this week. And let’s not forget #lovewins either, because that, my friends, is the ultimate #squadgoal success story.

— Andria Parker is an Instagram-obsessed idealist with at least 600 words to share on every topic, ever.

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015
InfoTel News Ltd

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