Maybe it's the fact that I just recently watched Pitch Perfect 3, or maybe its the fact that I now, more than ever, am grateful for my best friends, but I wish there were words to describe how important it is to have a girl squad, or a guy squad, or a mixed squad. The point is, there are few things I am more passionate about than the importance of having a solid group of friends.
With the new semester, I changed the quote on my whiteboard into a series of quotes I stumbled upon on Pinterest. Perhaps my favorite is the one that reads, "Surround yourself with the dreamers and the doers, the believers and thinkers, but most of all, surround yourself with those who see greatness within you, even when you don't see it yourself.
That is so important!
There is nothing worse than a "friend" who doesn't believe in you, especially when you don't believe in yourself.
Friends are meant to be some of the most important people in your life, they're the family you get to choose. Friends are meant to bring you up, view you in the most positive light, and guide you to be the best you can be. In regards to why I find, girl squads in particular, so important, I am sick and tired of this girl vs girl mentality.
Even when girls are meant to be the best of friends, they are consistently pitted against each other. Take for example some of the most iconic girl on girl friendships in TV history (or at least the TV I watch).
Betty and Veronica of Archie and Riverdale fame, although they are meant to be everyone's #bffgoals, are pitted against each other, whether it be the constant mentioning of how different they are, or fighting for Archie's attention, it is not enough for them to be friends, there needs to be drama.
The same can be said about Brooke Davis and Peyton Sawyer on One Tree Hill. For years they competed for Lucas Scott's love. (Which by the way, I will never understand. Lucas was probably the most boring character on One Tree Hill. The same can be said about temporary characters like Jenny, Psycho Nanny Carrie, and even Alex who were initially brought on the show to fight with the main characters over a boy, whether it be Jake, Nathan or even Julian.
Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately, who really knows, conflicts aren't limited to just boys. Blair and Serena on Gossip Girl are constantly pitted against each other. They fight over being the "it girl", over getting into Yale, over Nate and Dan, yes, but for the most part, the driving force of their six seasons of conflict is ruined in Blair's insecurities and need to be competitive. They can never let the other enjoy praise and success, instead, they must fight and embarrass the other.
There are few female friendships that aren't rooted in competition, like Ann and Leslie in Parks and Recreation, or Meredith and Cristina on Greys Anatomy. However, those are rare and far between. Even some of my favorite shows of all time subtly, pit female characters against each other. On Girl Meets World, Maya and Riley (the best friendship of all time) fight over Lucas (another boring male character). On Glee, Rachel, Santana and Mercedes fight for the spotlight, and in later seasons Marley and Kitty do the same, as well as fight over a boy, much like Rachel and Quinn.
Why do writers insist on focusing so much attention on female conflict? Far more attention than they do on male conflict. And even then male conflict has to do with power, money, or land, rarely a girl, or romantic interest.
I strive to form the strongest female friendships and show the world that us girls don't have to compete with each other all the time. Some healthy competition is fine, if it weren't for my over-achieving friends in high school, I would not have worked half as hard as I did. Do like all the Urban Outfitters shirts say and support your local girl gang. I am tired of girls being depicted as catty and rude, instead of as loving, kind and supportive, like the girls in my life. I do recognize that girls are depicted this way because some tend to act this way. However, try considering the opposite. Maybe girls act this way because they are depicted as such?