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BFFs, Besties And Girl Squads: Why Female Friendships Matter

Actresses Geena Davis (left) and Susan Sarandon (right) weigh their options in the 1991 film "Thelma And Louise."
Fotos International/Getty Images
Actresses Geena Davis (left) and Susan Sarandon (right) weigh their options in the 1991 film "Thelma And Louise."

Thelma and Louise. Abbi and Ilana. Stony, Cleo, Frankie and T.T.

There’s something special about female friendships. And the way we view them is evolving — in pop culture and in real life.

Here’s what HuffPost’s Julia Craven writes about her tight-knit group of “magical black women.” She says their bond began when they watched Beyoncé’s “Lemonade” together in 2016.

We take hikes and dance together at parties. We coordinate brunches and dinners. We speak every day about our lives, politics and memes. Whenever one of us needs a shoulder to cry on, everyone runs to her aid. We’ve held each down through breakups, deaths in the family and career frustrations. We’ve been there to celebrate every birthday, every career goal hit and every personal achievement reached.

In our own way, we mirror the fall and subsequent rise Beyoncé put forth in “Lemonade.” Every scene in this film boils down to something my friends and I know well: how race intersects with our womanhood, our relationships with our families and our interactions with men. And, somehow, we always manage to persevere when life beats us down via our sheer determination and the community we’ve built among ourselves.

But not all friendships are forever. And when longstanding ties unravel, it can be earth-shattering.

“That’s the heartbreaking thing about friendship: when you drift apart from someone, you’re losing connection with the person you used to be,” writer Lauren Mechling told Observer. She’s the author of a forthcoming novel about the pain of a fractured friendship, How Could She? “Even when friendships erode and you have no business being friends anymore, it’s still so hard to sever the ties. It’s irreplaceable.”

We talk about the value of female friendships, how they evolve and what happens when they end.

Show produced by Paige Osburn.


Lauren Mechling, Author, “How Could She?”; columnist, Vogue Magazine; @laurenmechling

Janice McCabe, Professor of sociology, Dartmouth College.

For more, visit https://the1a.org.

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