I was looking at a photo of Taylor Swift the other day, surrounded by all her friends. Taylor Swift #everyonelovesher (even my boyfriend follows her on Instagram) is so adored that she doesn’t hesitate to surround herself with friends who are just as beautiful and successful as she is.
It’s the kind of thing we rarely used to see: how many times did you ever see Madonna hanging out with her famous, talented friends, for example?
Not so many. In the past, when two women’s jobs fell into the same category, we had a tendency to pit them against one another. It was probably a ploy to pique people’s interest – and that idea hasn’t totally disappeared yet (apparently Taylor Swift and Katy Perry hate each other but, hey, that’s probably just some BS from the tabloids, I don’t know, who cares?) but now, thanks to social media, everything has changed.
Supporting each other, showing yourself in natural selfie mode with your friends, has become cool. Ok – and it can also bring in tons of followers.
Ok so this “get more followers” craze is getting a little bit out of hand, sometimes – during fashion week, in particular, you can observe groups of girls taking photos of themselves in “best friend love love kiss” mode and, as soon as the camera stops, everybody turns their backs to each other (probably to check their likes) and only exchange three or four words before going their separate ways.
But sometimes hysteria can lead to good things.
Like friendship, one of the treasures in any woman’s life.
So I was looking at Taylor Swift and her friends with a slightly irritated attitude, ready to bring out my cynical French spirit, when suddenly I realized that it’s the same for me. I’m also surrounded by beautiful, talented, adorable, caring, amazing friends.
In fact, I’m kind of like Taylor Swift and her group of friends. We’re totally #girlpower. I have friends who support each other, encourage each other, and aren’t afraid to help each other shine. Girls who know that, if their friends succeed, deep down, they succeed too.
Share both good times and bad.
That’s kind of the little black dress of friendship. Without that, friendship doesn’t mean anything at all.
Support each other professionally.
And I don’t mean by complaining about their boss (what a stupid image – it’s still perpetuated by some types of media, as if we were still in the 60s where a woman having a job meant she was automatically a frustrated secretary!!!) but by sharing their networks. Joining forces. Giving each other advice. Creating companies together…
With some of my friends, we have real consulting sessions that last an hour or two, where we’re not allowed to talk about anything other than work.
It’s amazing how talking to an intelligent, caring woman, who you can be totally honest with about both your successes and failures, can bring you so much perspective and inspiration. We should all do it.
Compliment each other, but stay honest.
Another classic, but it’s so important – friends who know when it’s the right time to give an honest point of view. Because knowing and loving someone also means knowing when to tell that person to stop checking out Tinder for two seconds, start looking for a new job, or get rid of the platinum blonde hair.
Communicate in a million different ways.
I have a friend I love, and my relationship with her is 80% textual (hahaha). We text each other all the time. Sometimes we see each other in person, and it’s great, but we text each other a lot more often than we see each other. I think we could make a book out of our text messages someday, as much as we talk about things both profound and random, but way too many super inappropriate things would be revealed in the process, because with my friends, we really let loose. We talk about anything and everything, no shame.
With another friend, our favorite thing when we see each other is to REALLY see each other. So we plan entire days together, from manicures to restaurants to shopping to tea to couch surfing, so we can “really debrief,” as we say. We don’t manage to organize those days very often, but when we do, it’s mega-chill, and it does me so much good.
I have other friends I talk to on Skype, and other friends I go on vacation with.
They’re all different kinds of friendships, but each one is just as great, funny, and meaningful as the rest.
Sometimes I manage to bring all my friends together at once, and that’s one great big international love fest – so good.
It’s nothing new but, more and more, the lines between generations are becoming blurry. And even though we don’t have the same problems to deal with at 20, 40, or 60, that’s exactly why we have so much to learn from each other.
I have friends from 19 to 65.
I don’t know if you watch Grace & Frankie on Netflix, but I have a friend who is 65 years old, and she’s exactly like Frankie, (including the smoking joints part) and honestly, she’s beautiful, refreshing, and always surrounded by gorgeous guys (I don’t know what her secret is, I think it’s just that she’s so cool) and she’s taught me a lot of things about life… But actually, my 20-year-old friends have taught me just as much.
At the end of the day, my friends are like a laughing army that supports me, helps me, protects me from rough times, and makes me deeply happy. Friendship is one of the things that makes me love life, and it’s one of the most important things to cultivate. So #girlpower forever, and vive Taylor Swift ;)
Translated by Andrea Perdue