In an opinion piece for the Hollywood Reporter, world-renowned social critic Camille Paglia criticizes Taylor Swift’s “model girl squad” for being a prop that promotes elitism.
She argues, “Swift herself should retire that obnoxious Nazi Barbie routine of wheeling out friends and celebrities as performance props.”
Paglia argues that the modern squad should encourage individuality and the sharing of creativity amongst its members.
She writes, “In our wide-open modern era of independent careers, girl squads can help women advance if they avoid presenting a silly, regressive public image — as in the tittering, tongues-out mugging of Swift's bear-hugging posse.”
Swift rallied her “model girl squad” around her for her “Bad Blood” music video, rumored to be directed at fellow pop star and former friend, Katy Perry. This included actual models Cara Delevigne, Lily Aldridge and Swift’s new BFF, Karlie Kloss.
Camille Paglia would not approve. She writes that in order to leave their mark on culture, women need to “cut down on the socializing” and “transcend a narrow gender factionalism that thrives on grievance.”
She’s not the only one to frown on T-Swift’s girl squad.
The subject of Swift’s “Bad Blood,” Katy Perry tweeted, “Finding it ironic to parade the pit women against other women argument about as one unmeasurably capitalizes on the take down of a woman...”
Using your squad to make a music video that takes a takes a dig at a former friend is probably not want Paglia would have in mind to empower women.
The term “Squad” is nothing new, but thanks to social media, it has lost its 90’s street edge and is now “girly” and “bourgeois” according to Paglia.
She also believes that women should look to male friendships as a model.
She writes, “Women need to study the immensely productive dynamic of male bonding in history. With their results-oriented teamwork, men largely have escaped the sexual jealousy, emotionalism and spiteful turf wars that sometimes dog women.”
Maybe she’s on to something. Men do tend to have a lot less drama in their friendships than women do.
What is most apparent in her article, however, is that 68-year-old Paglia is definitely not a fan of Swift’s.
When discussing her analysis of the singer, she compares the pop star to the bullies of her youth: “Writing about Taylor Swift is a horrific ordeal for me because her twinkly persona is such a scary flashback to the fascist blondes who ruled the social scene during my youth.”
Shake it off, Taylor.