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If you found Taylor Swift's 'squad' narrative insufferable, she sees your point

“I shouted it from the rooftops.”

KARLIE KLOSS APPEARED on Watch What Happens Live this week and, as is the show’s premise, faced some questions designed to make her squirm.

On this occasion, she was asked how she felt about Taylor Swift’s recent comment which suggested that her ‘squad’ – of which Karlie was once famously part – was an embodiment of her insecurities.

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As one might expect, Karlie neatly sidestepped the question and instead heaped praise on Taylor as a friend and an artist. Fine, hardly surprising.

However, some might argue that the subject in itself deserves a little more consideration.

If you cast your mind back a few years, you’ll surely recall that ‘Taylor’s squad’ was discussed as frequently – if not more frequently – than her music, taking second-place only to her love life.

Considered some of the most influential young women in the music, film and fashion industries; Taylor and her group of friends, who included Selena Gomez, Gigi Hadid and Cara Delevingne, dominated headlines as fans and followers were spoon-fed their latest update; many of which manifested on private planes and yacht decks.

While wholesome, all-American and seemingly earnest in their support of sisterhood, there existed more than a hint of exclusivity – and let’s be honest ‘smugness’ – when it came to Taylor and her gaggle of girls.

2015 MTV Video Music Awards - Show Source: EMPICS Entertainment

And that’s before we even consider their inclusion in Bad Blood – a video reportedly aimed at Katy Perry following her infamous spat with Taylor.

Whether Taylor realised it or not at the time, the squad seemed to be the embodiment of secondary school sensibilities – an intensity most women leave in the classrooms and corridors from which the friendships initially flourished.

When it came to adult friendship as most women know it, it was all a little too feverish, a little too frantic.

However, if Taylor’s recent essay for Elle magazine is anything to go by, the 29-year-old singer – with the benefit of hindsight – now seems to recognise this.

Indeed, she is cognisant of the negative connotations her ‘squad’ had, and the implications it may have had for myriad young women, who looked up to her.

“Never being popular as a kid was always an insecurity for me,” she wrote.

Even as an adult, I still have recurring flashbacks of sitting at lunch tables alone or hiding in a bathroom stall, or trying to make a new friend and being laughed at.

“In my twenties I found myself surrounded by girls who wanted to be my friend,” she continued.

So I shouted it from the rooftops, posted pictures, and celebrated my newfound acceptance into a sisterhood, without realizing that other people might still feel the way I did when I felt so alone.

Taylor’s intensity – given her teenage years – was of course understandable, but she believes tackling the issue head-on may have been the healthier approach.

“It’s important to address our long-standing issues before we turn into the living embodiment of them,” she said as she reflected on this period.

For someone who always felt somewhat uncomfortable when forced to consider the Taylor squad narrative – both its origins and its implications – it’s somewhat reassuring to learn that the person at its centre is no longer mired in its mentality.

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About the author:

Niamh McClelland

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