A few years ago, one of my favorite singers launched her album called ‘1989’. Yes, it was Taylor Swift. Along with her fresh music in her new album, she also coined a new movement which soon became one of the most used hashtags on the digital world, #GirlSquad. It was a term to describe the selection of Taylor’s best friends, usually comprised of beautiful models and celebrities, and the term became famous after she launched her music video for a song called ‘Bad Blood’. From the music video and several Girl Squad appearances afterwards, it could be concluded that Taylor was trying to send the message to her fans that Girl Squad was the term for a group of girls who stick to one another, especially if one of the girls in the group was in a bad relationship with another girl from outside the group.
I used to think that it was the ultimate definition of a Girl Squad. But then I realized, the whole concept of ‘good vs bad’ could also be applied to bad girls cliques, such as the girl squad of Regina George in a movie called ‘Mean Girls’. I began to make my own definition of Girl Squad.
Girl Squad in my dictionary means: “girls who respect other girls’ choices”.
See? It sounds very simple. But the truth is that respecting other people’s choice is a very hard thing to do. Like it or not, realize it or not, we live in a society who likes to judge others. Hell, even we are not far from judging each other. Remember when we were teenagers and we made fun of that nerdy girl who didn’t like to wear the clothes that were trending? Remember when we were in high school and we talked about the group of girls who thought they were cool behind their backs? Here’s the 411: Society is all about judging, and no matter how we say that we are not judgmental, there’s a part of us who judge others if their choice doesn’t fit ours.
As a female young adult, living in the 21st century is hard. 21st century is the information era, the era where you can have anything you want to know on your fingertips. 21sr century is the century when relationships are hard, thanks to countless of dating apps. 21st century is the age when you have your own say in deciding what you want to be, where you want to stay, and what kind of life you want to live in. 21st century is the time when you decide your own definition of success.
Do you think that success means having a lot of academic titles behind your name? Then so be it. Study everything you want to learn about, make education as your best investment in life.
Oh, you think that you consider yourself to be successful if you manage to find the one, get married, and build a happy little family? Go ahead, nothing stops you from staying in love and maintaining a relationship with someone you love.
Or… you think that success means getting all the moolah by working hard and believe that you will reap what you sow? That’s also perfect. Money makes the world goes round, and thank goodness you understand that concept perfectly.
However… the situation I see among girls these days is different. Girls (or young women) tend to think that their version of success is the best one and they want the other girls, who may or may not share their concept of success, to follow their path. I see countless of literate girls with two or three academic titles in front or behind their full names, making fun of other girls whose main priority after college is getting married and raising kids by saying things like “We have plenty of options nowadays and you decide to be a housewife?”. On the other hand, there are also a lot of new moms giving snarky remarks to girls who put their education first by saying “A woman is whole/complete when they have given birth to a new generation”.
Women are complete just the way we are. We are not complete just by the numbers of academic titles we have obtained. We are not complete just because we have given birth to cute babies. We are not complete just because we become the CEO of a new, rising start-up.
We are complete by who we are, ever since we were born.
Girls, it’s time to support each others’ life choices. Honestly, I’m so tired of seeing girl hate, I’m tired of listening stories or afternoon chat of a young woman silently making fun of her childhood or high school friend who decided to marry in young age. I’m tired of politely nodding to those stories, simply because I don’t want to ruin my relationship with these people. It’s time for young women to start respecting other women’s life choices, and start realizing that the word ‘success’ is not defined by only one path. Every woman are entitled to their own definition of success, and when a girl is being successful with what she’s doing, it’s time for other girls to be happy for her, not talking about her behind her back.