In my last analysis, I argued that Taylor Swift's underground network of famous girls is a lot like a centuries-old secret society that leaves pointy shapes lying around everywhere and controls world events through subliminal messaging in Beyoncé's music. I take it all back.
They're too advanced to compare to the Illuminati now. In a few months, they've evolved into a well-trained ensemble of elite boxerinas/munitions experts who run through walls like they're Kleenex. There are so many of them they have to serve *two* birthday cakes at any given celebration. But they're not to be feared. No—they're to be studied because, along with a femur-shattering roundhouse kick and an immaculate matte red lip, they've mastered friendship.
Here, we've created a guidebook on how to assemble, lead, entertain, and discipline your own squad—just like Taylor.
Communicate coordinating outfit choices via brain waves
You still text/talk in person? How quaint.
To increase your numbers, have your squad infiltrate other squads
The nice way to put this: cross-squad pollination. The realistic way: a hostile takeover the other squad didn't know was hostile until it was too late. (Except they'll enjoy the cookies and streamers and stuff, so it's all cool.)
Add new squad members, but keep the old (as part of your extended squad)
In inferior squads, the protocol would be to test an extended squad member's loyalty by leaving your phone unattended or an already-opened pack of Oreos out in the open. But if you want to follow Taylor's lead, you'll arrange a surprise Dashboard Confessional concert...because, weirdly enough, you trust them.
Praise your squad
Ten out of 10 workplace experts are like, "Whaddidtell you" right now.
Share your life philosophy with your squad
Give them something to believe in—besides you, of course.
Lean on them
Literally. (Look at Lorde.) Especially when they've all confirmed receipt of your mental iMessage to wear neutrals/denim/stripes.
Chelsea Peng is a writer and editor who was formerly the assistant editor at MarieClaire.com. She's also worked for The Strategist and Refinery29, and is a graduate of Northwestern University. On her tombstone, she would like a GIF of herself that's better than the one that already exists on the Internet and a free fro-yo machine. Besides frozen dairy products, she's into pirates, carbs, Balzac, and snacking so hard she has to go lie down.
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