Gina Mei
December 11, 2015 4:38 pm

Rowan Blanchard is fast becoming one of our favorite young feminists. Along with being an all-around talented and delightful human being, the Girl Meets World star has always been loud and proud about her feelings on gender equality — and she’s written multiple must-read essays to prove it.

Lucky for us, Blanchard shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon. In a recent interview with Jared Jr., the talented young teen sat down to discuss everything from the new season of Girl Meets World to a potential future career in writing and singing. (Fingers crossed!) But perhaps most notably, Blanchard also delved deep into her thoughts on friendship and feminism, and how important it is that we practice inclusivity in both. She went on to explain why she takes issue with the rise of “squad goals” — the term inspired by Taylor Swift and her wonderful group of lady friends — and we absolutely loved what she had to say.

“Of course female friendship is a beautiful thing. It’s insanely powerful,” Blanchard told Jared Jr. “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.”

As much as we love T-Swift and her crew, Blanchard does have a point. As she explains, the term can feel very exclusionary if you’re not a part of the group in question — and it’s fair to say that most of the “squads” portrayed in popular media are way out of reach for us normal folk.

As its used, the term “squad goals” unintentionally promotes a clique mentality and a very narrow ideal of how a group of friends should look. But as Blanchard suggests, it’s important that we’re mindful of those who aren’t in our “squads” — and those whose experiences might differ from ours.

Basically, by promoting a more inclusive approach to making friends, not only will we foster more rewarding and fulfilling relationships, but also a more open approach to feminism. In fact, this is ultimately why Blanchard argues that “squad goals” — in its own small way — can be destructive to the feminist movement.

“It makes feminism look very one-dimensional,” she told Jared Jr. “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,” she continued. “‘Squad goals’ can polarize anyone who is not white, thin, tall and always happy.”

While we at HelloGiggles are more than proud to call ourselves feminists, we also know that the fight for equality is so much more complex than labeling ourselves with a word. As always, it’s important that we work towards achieving equality for all, not equality for one group at the expense of the rest. Acknowledging intersectionality is essential in doing this — so why shouldn’t it be essential in our approach to friendship, too?

It might be easy to dismiss Blanchard’s thoughts on “squad goals” as petty or “PC,” because she’s critiquing a term that we might normally consider fun and harmless. But if “squad goals” polarizes so many people, maybe it’s time we give it an upgrade. Just because something seems harmless, doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have the power to do harm — so let’s expand our definition of the term and make it into something more inclusive.

Let’s be clear: There’s nothing wrong with fangirling out when all your fave celebrities appear to be BFFs. And there’s nothing wrong with fantasizing about somehow magically receiving an invitation to join that coven of fabulous humans. But it’s important we remember not to get caught up in unrealistic friendship ideals at the expense of real life — and we couldn’t be more grateful to Blanchard for the reminder.

(Image via Shutterstock.)

Related stories:

Rowan Blanchard explains why she wrote her incredible feminist essay

Here’s how Rowan Blanchard responded when people kept telling her to smile

Advertisement