You can't scroll through Instagram for very long without coming across a #squadgoals photo, just as you can't watch a Taylor Swift concert or video without hearing her name-drop one of her many friends.
But much as we'd like to roll our eyes at Swift's tendency to flaunt her famous friends onstage, the new, high-profile emphasis on female friendship is actually pretty important — and novel.
Model Gigi Hadid, who counts herself among Swift's squad, told Elle Canada that the group wants to emphasize the role friends play in our adult lives.
"We talk about it a lot; it's a conversation we often have," Hadid said, telling the magazine that the group is all about bolstering each other, personally and professionally:
"We want to be the generation and the group of friends known for supporting each other. 'Squad goals' is a big social media thing right now, and that's what we want to inspire in other groups of friends — to be proud of the power you all have when you're together, which can be amplified so much by each person.
That's what has been cool about everyone's willingness to be there for each other, and we don't want to be like other generations who are infamous for their cattiness. That was cool, and it worked for them and they were great. We just want to be the new generation."
A generation that puts friends first: It might sound obvious that having friends is important. But as Hadid says, adult female friendships can easily become competitive and antagonistic, particularly as we grow into our careers.
As Ann Friedman noted in her New York magazine article on the "shine theory," women often find themselves competing in fields where female hires are few and far between. We can also find ourselves competing at a distance by measuring our professional accomplishments against another woman's.
Even though there's high potential for female adult friendships to sour, having friends is crucial to our grown-up development. As Hadid says, our power, not to mention our confidence and sense of contentment, can be amplified if we surround ourselves with good people. Doing so can even make us healthier, science says. But that requires us to make friendship a priority in our everyday lives.
Is Hadid's dream of changing friendship norms for an entire generation idealistic, coming from an international model with plenty of time and money to spare for her equally famous BFFs? Perhaps. But it's a sentiment we can all get behind — even if we've tired of the #SquadGoals hashtag.