Rowan Blanchard Has a Problem With "Squads"

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Rowan Blanchard is the teen idol that the world has been waiting for. The Girl Meets World star isn't just a Disney Channel darling: she's also an advocate for feminism, as evidenced by her smart, poignant essays and speeches on the subject. Not a lot of 13-year-olds are able to talk about the complex topic, but Rowan always does so with eloquence and intelligence. Now, Rowan is critiquing the term "squad" - and whether it's really as pro-women as it seems to be.

Taylor Swift's media-coined "girl squad" may seem like they're having the best ever, but Rowan sees a problem with seeing these women as a beacon of female friendship. In an interview with Just Jared Jr., Rowan got real about the topic:

[T]he '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...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.

While it's unclear if Rowan is talking specifically about Taylor here, she is right that the famous "squads" that we celebrate are often occupied by white women who fit into conventional standards of beauty. It's also accurate that the term "squad" is in itself exclusive: if you're not in someone's squad, you're automatically an outsider. Everyone is entitled to a circle of close friends, but the idea that one should covet a position within a certain crowd is not an ideal way for female friendship to be presented.

While it's up to you whether you want to use "squad" in your vocab, it's awesome that Rowan is challenging standards, and questioning the effects that certain social terms might have on women as a whole. She's the smart role model that girls need, even if she exists outside of a squad.

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