When we think of girl squads, we think of Taylor Swift’s “prestigious” friend group that entails only the A-listers of Hollywood. We think of how anyone whose name is known through social media is in her friend group and everyone is labeled as Taylor’s “best friend.” Okay, I might be a little bitter I don’t have as lavish of a life as her. But the term “girl squad” has taken on a meaning for everyone these days. Girls everywhere call their group of friends their squad and talk about specific celebrities they’d kill to have in their group. But what if we could put together THE ultimate girl squad? Who would you choose? Why would they be chosen? As a 22-year-old woman influenced by social media and what society tells us is right and wrong, here is MY ultimate girl squad, and who I want fighting on my team at the end of the day.
If you don’t know who she is, I suggest you get out from under your rock. She created one of the greatest series of books that first introduced the world to the fantasy world of wizards and magic and the fight of good versus evil. The names “Harry Potter” and “J.K. Rowling” go hand in hand as the creator and her creation that shook the world. It’s now been decades since she went from living on welfare to creating this multi-million-dollar franchise that has become the definition of some people’s childhoods. Not to mention she is the only person on the worldwide list of billionaires to lose her spot and be taken down to the millionaire's list because she has donated an absurd amount of money to various charities.
Speaking of Harry Potter, Emma Watson is one of the greatest actresses to come out of this series. But rewarding her for the impact she has on Harry Potter is almost an insult. She has gone above and beyond doing so much more aside from just Harry Potter. She has broken out of her role and played multiple characters in other movies. Playing an American teenager in “Perks of Being a Wallflower,” and her latest role as Belle in “Beauty and the Beast” she has proved that Hermione Granger is just one character on her resume. But perhaps the most aspiring role she has played is of herself. If you haven’t seen her speech to the United Nations about gender equality, I suggest you watch it. Right after she received her Masters from Brown University, she gave this speech that went viral around the world and people realized she inhabited both beauty and brains.
As FLOTUS, Michelle Obama taught us that the First Lady isn’t someone to stand in the background of her husband. Nor did Barack allow her to. She taught the world that perhaps the saying, “behind every great man is a great woman” is indeed true. Barack always paid homage to her and she never used it against him but rather thanked him for the tributes. Aside from being First Lady, she became the nation’s Mother. Proving she was loving, affectionate, and influential to both Malia and Sasha, she passed her wisdom through her campaigns about fighting childhood obesity and what it means to be a parent in this spotlight. Now that she’s out of the spotlight she is still influencing the nation with her wisdom and advice in all sorts of headlines and stories. Not to mention she has fabulous arms!
Providing laughter and smiles to America, Ellen’s long-running talk-show has provided us with average guests and highlighted their achievements. making them famous and turning their lives around. She can take some of the most hated people in America, put them on her show, and somehow influence everyone to like them. For example, when she brought Kim Kardashian on the show and had her talk about her Paris incident, the world felt sorry for her and saw a different side of Kim. One that only Ellen could bring out. Ellen has also paved the way for same-sex marriage and what it means to be "different." She has taught us all that it doesn’t matter who we are or what we entail, as long as we are true to ourselves.
Possibly the wealthiest woman in the world, Oprah has given back to the world in more ways than one. Her talk show that ran for 25 years hosted guests from celebrities to Nobel Prize Winners, to everyday people who had a story to tell. She has reunited families from Africa after the genocide in Rwanda, put thousands of children in poverty through college, and provided a school in Africa for girls who are not allowed an education. This is just a fraction of the work that Oprah has done for the world. She has struggled with her own personal issues, she grew up in poverty, was sexually abused by a close family member and overcame racial inequalities in the media world. She is one of, if not the first, black woman to make a name for herself in media. It’s fair to say if you can be addressed by just your first name, you’ve made it big. Oprah has done exactly that. She has changed lives across the world and changed the views of what a talk show can provide to viewers.
Now usually I am not one to incorporate ANYONE from Taylor’s squad. But Karlie deserves a spot on this list. She might be a Victoria’s Secret angel but that doesn’t mean she inhabits the stereotype. In fact, she’s not the norm at all. She’s probably one of the brightest women in that entire industry, being a guru on coding. She even has her own academy and program called “Kode with Klossy.” At NYU she is studying computer science and hopes to take on a career in that industry. I guess modeling is just a fun side hobby she takes part in on the side? Did you ever wonder why we didn’t see her at the 2016 VS Fashion Show? Homegirl was too busy studying and didn’t want to get distracted. Snaps. To. Her.
If you haven’t read “I am Malala,” I suggest you go to the nearest bookstore and pick up your copy! The girl who protested her right to an education in Pakistan was shot in the head by the Taliban. Miraculously, she survived the gunshots and now speaks about women’s rights in education and bettering herself. Though she has had multiple death threats thrown her way thanks to the Taliban, she advocates that she is not living in fear. She will continue to outsmart them and prove that love, peace, and unity will overcome all that the Taliban can throw her way. Oh, I forgot to mention. At 16 years old, she became the youngest winner of the Nobel Peace Prize. Casual, right?
From her stint on SNL to all the movies she’s starred in, she has brought laughter to many. Her whole life she has been viewed as a nerd who didn’t fit in with the popular crowd. That didn’t stop her from being herself and becoming the woman she is now. Her outlet was telling jokes and making people laugh, which turned a defense mechanism into a hobby, which landed her a career. She constantly advocates that beauty isn’t what will get you far in this world, but it’s the way you use your beauty and what your brains and talents can do for you.
No one says classy like the Kennedy family, am I right? Not only is she the most influential woman in the fashion industry, but she taught us how to walk in heels all while looking as classy as can be. Long before Michelle Obama and Nancy Reagan lived in the White House, Jackie O was balancing motherhood, her role as a wife and influencing woman in America in the mid to late 60’s. Nothing says classy like this woman who gave us round sunglasses and at one point the “World’s Most Eligible Bachelor.” But perhaps what we should praise her most on is her education. She didn’t marry into the Kennedy family strictly for money or fame. She was equally as educated as John and could have had her own career if she needed. When her husband was shot right in front of her, she did what any mother had to do and raised her two children on her own. She became a single mother who had a nation standing right behind her to applaud her brave performance through the good times and bad.
Lady Di brought class and good looks back to the Royal Family. Thank god for her looks because could you imagine what the world would be stuck with if she wasn’t the mother of William and Harry? Going from commoner to royalty, Princess Diana never let the fame and status get to her head. We possibly saw her in casual clothing more than we ever saw her in gowns and dresses. She was close friends with people like Elton John who, though he was famous, wasn’t royalty. She did more philanthropic and charity work than she did sitting in her palace doing nothing. And she worked closely alongside Mother Theresa and other influential people in history. Though she has passed, her legacy still lives on in her two boys who are dedicated to doing charity work and giving back to the world as their mother once did. The Royal Wedding was one of the biggest events that was broadcasted on national television around the world, and her death brought millions to mourn her passing. Lady Di is someone that has had an influence on many and will continue for decades to come.
So the next time you’re thinking of some of the most influential women that are out there in Hollywood and in media, remember what these women were capable of doing. They didn’t use their looks to get them far in life. They used their education and their ability to give back to get them where they are today. If more girls sought woman like these to be in their squad, the girl world would be a better place.