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Anatomy of a girl squad: How Taylor Swift's new clan is actually just like yours

Ice Spice, Ashley Avignone, Taylor Swift and Blake Lively react during the 2024 Super Bowl (AP Photo/David Becker) (AP)
Ice Spice, Ashley Avignone, Taylor Swift and Blake Lively react during the 2024 Super Bowl (AP Photo/David Becker) (AP)

If you thought Taylor Swift’s girl gang days died back in 2014 along with the Ice Bucket Challenge and Instagram’s Valencia filter, you couldn’t be more wrong. Because if there are two things Taylor Swift is committed to, it’s a) keeping her aesthetic firmly rooted in the early 2010s, and b) her ever-expanding, impossibly gorgeous girl squad.

This was apparent at the 2024 Super Bowl, where Swift and her rag-tag group of gals assembled in the VIP suite box looking like the Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants on steroids. Lana Del Rey, Blake Lively and Ice Spice accompanied Miss Americana, all looking amusingly out of place (save perhaps for Blake, who donned a full crimson tracksuit with heels and chains for the occasion).

Taylor Swift reacts during the first half of the NFL Super Bowl 58 football game (AP Photo/Ashley Landis) (AP)
Taylor Swift reacts during the first half of the NFL Super Bowl 58 football game (AP Photo/Ashley Landis) (AP)

It’s not just Swift who’s reviving the girl gang, there have been rumblings of its comeback for months. Just look at burgeoning It girl Rachel Sennott, whose late-night hotel room TikToks with the likes of Ayo Edebiri, Troye Sivan and Charli XCX are becoming 2024’s version of uploading a full album of messy digital camera pics to Facebook.

Or how the girlies are popping up in each others’ music videos again: Florence Pugh just made a cameo in bestie Rachel Chinouriri’s newest single, ‘Never Need Me’. And bringing each other out on stage, too. American indie pop band Muna’s long-standing friendship with Grammy-dominating trio Boygenius has made for some very crowd-pleasing crossovers.

Troye Sivan and Charli XCX (Charli XCX)
Troye Sivan and Charli XCX (Charli XCX)

Look, it’s not quite Bad Blood levels of multiversal girl gangery, but it’s something. And with each girl gang comes its well worn, oh-so-reliable tropes. Women may contain multitudes, but we’re also predictable as f***.

THE BABY

She might be younger in years (her birthday is always in August or July) or in spirit (maybe she went to an all-girls school and it stunted her), but she’s still your baby. This member of the group can do no wrong, even if she’s the messiest bitch alive nine times out of 10. She’s a little further behind in her development — she still thinks Shoreditch is cool and she doesn’t look out of place in a Simmons bar — but teaching her is all part of the fun. Much like Ice Spice learning the rules of American football at the actual Super Bowl.

THE MOODY COW

She’s impossible to drag out of her hole (read: Finsbury Park flat) and she hates just about everyone and everything, except her extensive supply of disposable vapes and her girl gang. Think Lana Del Rey’s strange goth GF presence in the Super Bowl box, incongruous but funny. She’ll issue the sharpest one-liners and most damning psychological take-downs of enemies of the group, but she’d answer her phone for any of you, day or night. In fact she has all the girls’ numbers saved as exceptions to her Do Not Disturb setting. That’s love.

THE RINGLEADER

It’s impossible to walk the streets of the capital with this friend because people from her past and present keep popping up like laser tag ops. Every restaurant or club you suggest, she’s been to. In fact, she knows the doormen at that one and she slept with a bartender at the other. ‘Oh, is it a members’ club?’ she says as she’s waved into another. Far from insufferable, she just wants to take people on this whimsical, star-studded ride. Queen of getting her round in, lends all in the group her Pret subscription.

THE DOMESTIC GODDESS

This girl is eternally wifed up, she’s never been single for longer than three months and all of her relationships are with men you thought only existed in the section of Hinge where you have to embarrassingly gift them a rose. She’s a hostess with the mostest, has more bottles of natural wine in her fridge than she knows what to do with and will be walking London Fields with a pram and a little yappy dog in no time. But she’ll make it all look so easy, à la Blake Lively.

THE CONTROLLED CAR CRASH

Unlike the baby, who’s just an occasional mess, this girl’s been in a managed and delicious decline since the day she was born. She has no wholesome interests: just drinking, dancing and romancing. She will not come with you for a mental health walk but she will always be there for a pint. With the constant energy of someone who’s vaguely hungover, you’ll most commonly find her in a Soho pub smoke pit in a big fur coat. Sunglasses on at night, hyperpop in the airpods. No night ends before 4am and no event is without guestlist entry. Spare pair of knickers in her bag, Uber Premium for all that cross-town jetsetting.