taylor swift is my squad goals.

Yesterday I read an article that I disagreed with criticizing Taylor Swift’s “girl squad” and how it doesn’t advance women’s goals. I’m not even going to get started on the word choice of “Nazi Barbie” and “fascist blondes.” I think it goes without saying that those descriptors are inappropriate.

Once I got past the wording, I tried to see the logic. I will readily admit that I am huge Taylor Swift fan so it’s always difficult for me to accept the truth in scathing articles. There were definitely points I agreed with. I fully understood the perspective that girl squads have an opportunity to change culture especially in Hollywood. My issues lie elsewhere.

My first of the main problems with this is that it is not her friend group’s responsibility to be anything more than a group of friends. I understand that when a person becomes famous, they hold a lot of influence and they should use that influence for good. However, I don’t think that means that Taylor needs to center her friends around this. The author cites examples in pop culture of strong exemplary female friendships from TV shows. But they’re scripted. I think television is a useful medium but it is fictional. Real friendships stem from genuine connection and affection.

My second issue is this: who’s to say that they aren’t doing everything the author wants them to? How do you know they aren’t mentoring each other? No one puts that up on social media. My friendships with people are important and help me work through my life. My photos on Instagram are a split second moment of the time we spend together. They won’t necessarily reflect the deepest parts of the friendship. They don’t have to. The personal, private parts of friendship that make it rich are just that: personal and private.

The third fault I have with this article is the dismissal of Taylor’s squad as frivolous. Even though I don’t agree, why is it so bad to be frivolous? Why are photos of a group of women hugging and laughing “regressive”? Why is “silly” used as an admonishment? I read this past summer about how there aren’t any female minions because they’re silly and stupid. Initially, that might sound like a compliment but it’s actually harmful. The piece pointed out that while it’s good that women are presented as intelligent and serious, it’s dismissive to never portray them as funny or silly. So it’s okay that a group of women, ranging from young adults to mothers, are allowed to show the world that they’re having fun. It’s okay that they’re smiling and being goofy. It’s okay to show that they are more than whatever other image the media portrays them as.

I know that I am 20 and that when I’m in my late 60s I might feel differently. But as someone who looks up to Taylor Swift, I think her squad is doing a pretty awesome job of being #goals.

necessary conversations.

There’s a lot I love about Buzzfeed. It’s my favorite method of mindless procrastination. After all, who else is going to tell you what crayon name you would be, complete with a personality description?

But today I am thanking it for more than that. Today I am thanking it for it’s dedication to Mental Health Week. Thank you for normalizing but not glorifying mental health issues. Thank you for telling me that I am not an anomaly but that my suffering is not beautiful.  Thank you for telling me its okay that sometimes I am too gripped with fear to function; thank you for telling me that I am more than this.

Normally, being both Indian and Christian isn’t a noticeable factor in my life but when it comes to talking about mental health, it is. When I finally told my mom that I used to get panic attacks, she just looked at me and went, “Are you sure? I don’t think you did.” She still doesn’t understand why it’s such a struggle for me to make a phone call or how the pressure on me about school is suffocating.

Neither Indian culture nor the Church really knows how to handle this. I fully believe in the power of prayer and God’s healing, even in mental health. But to say “I’ll pray for you” without providing resources is not what someone needs. Trust me, I’m praying enough for myself. I know exactly which ten minute, slow worship song is going to lull me back to some state of half-relaxation.

What I need is for you to give me valid advice and tell me that it’s okay for me to get professional help. It’s condescending and isolating to assume that people of faith won’t ever have to deal with anxiety, depression, eating disorders, etc. So open up your church doors and pulpits and youth groups to these moments of honest vulnerability. Reach the people who are too scared to raise their voice about what they have gone through.

After all, no one thinks God is behind their panic attacks.


There are probably better things I should be doing now that finals have started but alas here I am writing a blog for absolutely no one like I told myself I should do all semester.

I’m still not entirely sure why I’m doing this as if the mess of thoughts in my head deserve to be written down let alone published on the internet for all to see. I guess occasionally I have thoughts and ideas and opinions that don’t fade into nothing as I go about my day. And instead of bothering my friends with my blabbering, I’ll just write it all here.

But let’s be honest, this is me and I’m probably going to abandon this in three weeks if I even make it that long.