Not a fan. Camille Paglia is the latest in a recent string of detractors to call out Taylor Swift and her ever-growing posse of famous female pals, better known as her #squad. The feminist scholar penned an essay for The Hollywood Reporter that published on Thursday, Dec. 10, and called the singer, among other things, a “Nazi Barbie.”
“In our own 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,” she writes. “Swift herself should retire that obnoxious Nazi Barbie routine of wheeling out friends and celebrities as performance props, an exhibitionistic overkill that Lara Marie Schoenhals brilliantly parodied in her scathing viral video ‘Please Welcome to the Stage.’”
The “friends and celebrities” Paglia, 68, refers to include the 25-year-old singer’s industry besties, including Selena Gomez, Gigi Hadid, Cara Delevingne, Karlie Kloss, Lorde, Lena Dunham, Hailee Steinfeld, and Jaime King, among many others.
On Sunday, Dec. 6, it looked like Age of Adaline actress Blake Lively had finally jumped ship to join Swift’s girl squad in an Instagram photo of the two of them goofing off in Australia.
Paglia notes that for all of Swift’s photogenic outings, the pop star should hold herself to a higher standard when assembling such a group of high-wattage celebrities.
“Girl squads ought to be about mentoring, exchanging advice and experience and launching exciting and innovative joint projects,” Paglia write. “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.”
Paglia is far from the only critic of Swift’s squad, however. On Thursday, Girl Meets World star Rowan Blanchard told Just Jared Jr. that she doesn’t like terms like “girl squad” or “squad goals.”
“Of course female friendship is a beautiful thing. It’s insanely powerful,” the 14-year-old said. “Sisterhood is something so valid and important when you are growing up that I literally think the essence of it should be taught in schools. But, the ‘squads’ we see in the media are very polarizing. Feminism and friendship are supposed to be inclusive, and most of these ‘squads’ are strictly exclusive.”
Other detractors include fellow pop stars Rihanna and Miley Cyrus.
“I’m not trying to be in the squad,” Cyrus, 22, told the New York Times in August. “None of my friends are famous and not because of any other reason than I just like real people who are living real lives, because I’m inspired by them.”
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