Does Taylor Swift's Squad Still Exist?

In the Hollywood playground hierarchy, Taylor Swift holds court. She and all of her carefully curated friends live enviously Instagrammable lives, and have incredibly successful careers. Come summer, we ought to be expecting a surge of party pics and color-coordinated selfies, including on July 4th at Swift’s Rhode Island home, celebrations of the so-called squad.
However, recent events in young Hollywood lead us to believe that all might not be well in Swiftville. Selena Gomez just made her debut with Abel Tesfaye (aka The Weeknd). Previously, Tesfaye dated Bella Hadid, another member of the Swift Squad. Sure, a tight friend group can withstand what some may assume are minor ruptures in girl code. We wonder, though, if there aren’t other fissures occurring amongst the famous friends.
Here, we take the temperature of each major Swift friendship. As 1990s It Girl Heidi Klum would say on Project Runway, “One day you're in, and the next day you're out.” We’ll still hold tight for July 4.
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Happy 4th from me, @gigihadid, @marhunt, @britmaack, @serayah and @haimtheband :)

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The Swift Squad’s Origins

Friendship is an integral element of Taylor Swift’s brand. Around 2014, Swift retreated from the media and rebranded herself as a Really Good Friend. Instead of being known for her boyfriends, she’d be known for her bevy of women comrades. At any given time, Swift and her friends were exchanging PDA on social media, or posing in large and impressive photographs.

Key members over the years include Selena Gomez, Karlie Kloss, Martha Hunt, Lorde, Hailee Steinfeld, Cara Delevingne, Lily Aldridge, Zendaya, Lena Dunham, Jaime King, Gigi Hadid and Bella Hadid. But really, the list of impressive women friendships goes on and on.

Swift even hangs out with Ina Garten. Now we're jealous.
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The “Bad Blood” Era

In May of 2015, Swift recruited her friends to star in her music video for “Bad Blood,” a song about the dissolution of her friendship with Katy Perry, ironically enough.

In the ensuing years, Squad members either veered closer to or farther from Swift’s orbit. Which are teetering towards Perry territory? Which are flying ever closer to Swift’s sun? Let’s take a peek.
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Squad Member: Lena Dunham

Status: In with Taylor, apathetic about the squad.

Dunham and Swift’s friendship is air-tight. In fact, Dunham looks to Swift as a role model. In an interview with Rolling Stone, Dunham remarked, “Watching the way that [Swift] understands the vicissitudes of the cycle, and she just keeps making her work — that’s just really impressive to me. That’s how I hope to live my life, which is not as a slave to public opinion, but just as somebody who continues to make things. She’s truly just an artist who has to make things to survive.”

In addition to Dunham wanting to emulate Swift, there’s also a family connection: Swift collaborated with Dunham’s boyfriend, Jack Antonoff, on her album 1989.

That said, those big group hangouts aren’t really Dunham’s thing. In February 2017, Dunham told Howard Stern, “I'm more of a one-on-one hanger. A big group hang is not my specialty,” referring specifically to Swift's squad.
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When Ed shows up in a red coat for the 4th of July because he just can't let it go. @teddysphotos

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Squad Member: Ed Sheeran

Status: “He is the James Taylor to my Carole King.”

Sheeran’s one of the few boys in Swift’s girl club. His relationship with Swift is based on shared interests: family, cats, and music.

In an interview with Rolling Stone, Swift explained the glue to their love: “We‘ve gotten matching Scottish folds, made each other arts and crafts Christmas presents, vacationed with our families, and had each other‘s backs. He is the James Taylor to my Carole King and I can‘t imagine a time when he wouldn't be.”
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Meet Destructa X. @elliegoulding #BadBloodMusicVideo

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Squad Member: Ellie Goulding

Status: Awkward territory.

There’s some love triangle drama in Swiftville. Goulding dated Calvin Harris before Swift, and then proceeded to set the pair up. “They're both good people, both dear friends. I thought it might work — and it did,” she told Cosmopolitan.

In 2016, after Swift and Harris broke up, Goulding was spotted hanging out with the music producer.

Goulding was also seen socializing with Katy Perry, Swift’s pop culture arch nemesis. In 2015, Goulding uploaded a photo to Instagram of her partying with Perry, and then quickly proceeded to take it down. Suspicious? Possibly.
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This is what you came for. @gigihadid @lilyaldridge

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Squad Member: Lily Aldridge

Status: Currently occupied.

All is well with Swift and her Victoria's Secret model friend. Last year, Aldridge visited Disneyland and celebrated Christmas Eve with Swift. Aldridge also some kind words to say about Swift's posse. "We are a really nice group of women who support each other and really, genuinely have each others' back and it's awesome," she said in October 2016.

While Aldridge is still socializing with squad members, it’s clear she busy raising a 4-year-old, too, and has retreated in the last few months.
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Squad Member: Selena Gomez

Status: Precarious.

Here's the drama you've been looking for. In 2015, SelGo and Swift were thick as thieves. Gomez even defended Swift's character following the Kardashian/Swift debacle of 2016, saying, "She's killing it and she kind of always has been."

Now, though, the friends are caught amidst rumors of tension. With Selena dating Bella Hadid’s ex-boyfriend, there’s bound to be even more issues. Gomez recently unfollowed Bella on Instagram — though she’s still following Gigi Hadid, Swift’s friend and a key squad member.
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Squad Member: Gigi Hadid

Status: Team Swift.

With SelGo casting her die in The Weeknd's camp, the Hadid sisters are staying with the Swifts. For Swift's birthday in December, Gigi Hadid wrote on an Instagram caption, "So inspired every day by what an incredible friend you are."

In a statement to Harper's, Swift gushed about her friend. She wrote, "As a friend, Gigi is one of the first people I go to for advice... She is an innately kind and inclusive person who has managed to become a huge power player and businesswoman without ever compromising that."

Also, just as Swift makes music with Lena Dunham's boyfriend, Swift recently collaborated with Gigi Hadid's boyfriend, Zayn Malik, for the single "I Don't Wanna Live Forever."
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Squad Member: Lorde

Status: Reigning like...a lord.

Like the rest of us, Swift was caught jamming to Lorde's new single, "Green Light." In an Instagram post, Swift wrote, "g2g brb just gonna make up an interpretive dance to this magnificent bop for the ages. ELLA I LOVE YOU"

Clearly, the singers have kindled such an intimacy that Swift can call Lorde Ella, her real name. But remember: She's Lorde to the rest of us.

Last November, Swift threw Lorde the best 20th birthday party ever. All the intellectual It Girls were there, plus Aziz Ansari.
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Meet Cut-Throat. @Zendaya #BadBloodMusicVideo

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Squad Member: Zendaya

Status: Bad blood.

Zendaya appeared in Swift's "Bad Blood" video in 2015. A year later, though, the singer got involved in the Kardashian/Swift feud of July 2016.

During the Twitter wars, Zendaya favorited some anti-Taylor tweets. Then, after realizing that action was garnering media attention, Zendaya un-liked the tweets. Still, the damage was done. The friends haven't been photographed together since.
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Squad Member: The Haim sisters

Status: Swift's a part of their pack.

Este, Alana, and Danielle Haim's friendship with Swift was enough to garner a shout-out in their recent Rolling Stone feature. In 2015, Swift wrote in an Instagram caption, "Ever since you, Alana, and Danielle adopted me into your wolf pack, life has never been the same."
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🎂❤️ Happy birthday❤️🎂 @dakotajohnson #facetimefamilyphoto @taylorswift

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Squad Member: Cara Delevingne

Status: Tight, but also independent.

Spending her 24th birthday with Swift, Delevingne is clearly a member of the Swift Squad. But Kendall Jenner has also recruited Delevingne into her own friend pack, called, the Super Natural Friend Group.

Jenner's group also includes Hailey Baldwin, who reportedly wants nothing to do with Swift's squad. Baldwin expressed perplexity at the concept of the squad to Yahoo's Be, saying, "I don’t know what having a squad means. I just have my friends and that’s it... I don’t think that you need to create a public squad. I don’t know what that proves."
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Merry Swiftmas and Hailee New Year. @haileesteinfeld

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Squad Member: Hailee Steinfeld

Status: Not that close.

Steinfeld's long been associated with Swift's friend group, but according to the actress, their connection isn't as deep as everyone thinks.

"I think people think we spend a lot more time together than we actually do! "She's amazing though." Steinfeld told Seventeen.

In an interview with Refinery29, Steinfeld got real about the difficulty of carrying out friendships in the public eye, saying, "I can tell you there's a lot that isn’t observed, and those are some of my favorite moments. I have found that I'm rarely at the same place at the same time as my friends." But she feels "so lucky to be able to call some of my favorite artists and human beings my friends."