Girl power is the strongest when girls support each other and stick together.
Beyonce has said a lot of empowering things for girls growing up, yet one thing that was especially poignant for me was in her 2013 documentary she stated, “I love my husband, but there’s nothing like a conversation with a woman who understands you.” The older I get and the more difficulties I find when growing up, finding my feet, and adjusting to adulthood I have come to realise the blessing that is my girlfriends. Whether they are there just for a solidarity hug or for enlightening advice or dancing in a nightclub, they are important, this is sisterhood and they have been undervalued.
Girls, treasure your girlfriends and please do put sisters before misters because chances are girls will have your back more than a guy you hardly know. For many, female friendships are more of a primary partner in life than anything else as they are there for many of the milestones of your life.
Girl friendships, are portrayed as temporary till you find a relationship. The fact that the Bechdel test, a test to see if a movie or tv episode has a conversation between women that isn’t about a man, exists shows that girl friendships are perpetuated as just something that is there to help women get a man. When in fact, girl friendships are so much more than that, they are more complex, more valuable and more interesting than that. Movies that value girl friendships as an intrinsic good rather than a means to get a guy are things that should be expressed. One good example of this is the recent film ‘Girls Trip’ which is a movie about girls just having fun on a trip away, it expresses girl friendship in a real and refreshing way.
Songs, movies and books rarely talk about the heartbreak of when you lose a friend simply because friendship isn’t seen to be as much of a paramount importance when I believe friendship losses can hurt just as badly, if not more as breakups.
Many girls have said to me that they don’t like girl friendships or squads because there is ‘too much drama’ or because ‘girls aren’t as funny’, this is perhaps an over exaggerated stereotype. This stereotype is perhaps why so many girls are so desperate to get majority male friends whilst forgetting their girlfriends. The fact that many sitcoms and movies I watched growing up placed women in opposition and as enemies usually over a man may be the reason for this stereotype.
So I will end on this, one thing I have learnt from being at a girls only school is that girl friendships are fun, they are important and they help you grow into the person you are, they will teach you about the importance of understanding and the love you have for friends. Remember girls, your girlfriends are your team and not your competition. They are there to support you and not bring you down (most of the time) so cherish them and think they are just a temporary thing till you get a boyfriend. In years to come, I will remember fondly the laughs and good times I had with my friends. As Rupi Kaur states in her poetry book ‘The Sun and Her Flowers’: ‘we need more love/ not from men/ but from ourselves/ and each other’ because together we are formidable and powerful. Girl friendships aren’t annoying or a consolation prize.
So girls, love each other, support each other and value each other.