Friday, 4 March 2016

The power of girl groups

Girl group(noun): A group of friends who all identify as female.

Well, duh.

I have been part of several different 'girl groups' throughout the years. There was a certain group in ninth grade, which was probably my first group; and there was the trio of best friends, including two brilliant, talented, amazing girls that I am still extremely close to. Despite having experience in being part of a cluster of girls who had a certain identity as a separate entity, I never understood what was so great about being a member of one. What is it that chick flicks are based upon, why do they put so much emphasis on it? Why is it a recurring theme? Simply put, what is the hype about? 

Well, I recently went for a four day business competition called 'Young Leaders and Entrepreneur's Summit'. which took place in LUMS, Lahore. It is there that I met the coolest, funniest and smartest people, and it is there where our group was formulated and developed. This very group is what plays a huge part in making my A level life what I envisioned it to be. Here is a short manifestation of our girl group, through visual documentation of a certain, magical night and small profiles that capture the essence of some of the individuals I am so glad I got know.

Simran here is a party girl. And by party girl, I don't mean what we usually equate to the term 'party girl'. She's the kind of girl who just knows how to have fun and how to make those around her have a good time. We live extremely close to each other at a two minute distance  and that makes me feel cool considering that I supposedly live in 'isolation' and far away from all my friends. Simran is bubbly, chirpy, fierce, endearing, funny and is a great dancer(ahem ahem). She's the girl I know I can go to when I feel like the days are dull and dreary. We have also had some pretty great heart-to-hearts as well. I feel like Simran and I have our moments at night. It's just an observation but any moment that I feel is extremely significant in the development of our friendship always occurs when it's dark outside. Car rides, epiphanies, parties, silently looking at each other and just..understanding things without having to say a word to each other. I honestly feel as if we communicate through our eyes, and our small, silent smiles. It is in that moment when it is just impossible to feel alone. 

This is Shanzeh. She's my muse at times, and I take the concept of muses very seriously. I will be honest-I didn't like her much when I first met her in my Accounts class. Well, I definitely did not feel as if we would ever get close. Again, I would like to thank YLES for introducing me to the side of her that isn't reserved. Oh, my god. There is so much to uncover about individuals, there is so much that makes them THEM, and I absolutely love being aware of that. Layers upon layers, complexities upon complexities-there is just so much to human beings and I don't think I can get enough of it. Shanzeh is the best dancer I know. She's damn smart, and unfortunately and to my irritation people do not think so, at first. But the amount of times people have come up to me and told me about how smart Shanzeh really is, how taiz she is, it's amazing. She is fierce, and you can see it in her eyes. She is loud and loving and fun and that spark is evident. She's also very gutsy, and well, when you're wired to do stupid, spontaneous things, you can talk to Shanzeh about them and she will probably be the one tying your hair for you in a tight braid so that it doesn't come in your way while climbing over a wall in order to trespass(I'M KIDDING MOM, you should be well acquainted with my terrible sense of humor by now). 

All these pictures originate from Shanzeh's surprise birthday. I like to believe that we have an aesthetic attached to us, as if we are a brand. Magical, strong-willed, sentimental and subtly flirtatious. I feel that this 'aesthetic' is distinctive in our pictures from the night, and the way we planned out the surprise. Let's just say it involved cramped cars, a certain playlist, blindfolds, dark basements and Ramleela(friends who dance to Ramleela songs together, stick together).

Irha is quite the character I must say. She is known in school for being the dramatic one, and we do NOT use that term lightly when it comes to her. You see it in the way she expresses with her big eyes, the way she stresses on syllables when she talks and even in the slightest of gestures. It's something that one can only truly understand once they meet her. I promise, spend just five minutes with her and you will be entertained by just observing how she talks and acts. If we had a homecoming queen stereotype in our society, I feel like Irha would be categorized in that, hands down. She walks the halls in that way(by halls, in Lyceum terms I mean taking rounds in our campus, the floor carpeted with bird poop. I kid, I love my school, the bird poop doesn't bother me much), she talks the talk, you can literally quote her and turn what she says into a famous line of some chick flick. She models, throws great parties and surprises, designs her own clothes and is a selfie queen. There's never a dull moment when Irha is around.

Whoosh, random strand of hair ruining a really cute picture. It's okay, this is better than the first take for sure. So I think I am in love with Xenub. Again, I never thought I would get close to her. At first, we had this very awkward atmosphere that would build up whenever we would talk to each other. We are both in the music society and let's just say we were part of different 'factions' in that society, hence it seemed like we would never get along and would only be able to maintain a sweet, formal relationship, perhaps with fake smiles and small talk. However, this all changed when we were put into the same team for YLES. We spent one evening without our other team members, walking the breezy lanes in the community I live in, chasing sunsets, filming pretty things and slowly getting to know each other. We were still formal then too, but Lahore broke that formality from the very start. Being on the same team means a lot of interaction and cooperation, and soon alongside of stressing about different business modules we started getting dressed together, talking about makeup, borrowing clothes, walking back to our dorm and having heart-to-hearts, and learning to trust and to confide in each other with the $60 incident(It's a secret guys, shh). She is one of those girls that I can be extremely girly and open with, the way I am with only one or two girls whom I have known since childhood. We have also ended up accompanying each other to different events(buddy system feelings because I am indeed, five years old). Xenub is one of those people that I made a very interesting, sort of spiritual connection with. We seem like we have a lot of inside jokes, when the truth is that we just actually look at each other and laugh out loud and say 'Yeah, I know you know what I am thinking about!' when we actually don't, we just wanna seem cool. No, I'm just messing around, we have tons of inside jokes. I promise guys..I'm not crying wolf. 

There are a lot of girls missing from our group as well, in these pictures. There is Zoha, who knows how much I LOVED her when I first met her, but actually ended up being a very nice, genuine person, and i find it endearing. There is Kainaat, whose name means 'universe' in Urdu, and i think it suits her a lot because to me she is like an pool of vast resources and knowledge in a way, because of the way she speaks and thinks out aloud, gathering so many experiences and reflecting upon them. We had a pretty incredible talk all alone in Lahore, sitting on a curb, star watching and gazing at cute couples at the football field(sad, creepy life). There's also Fatima, who happens to be our senior and sadly won't be with us next year. She is the cutest, chirpiest senior who really made us feel like we were important and took great initiative in participating in our kitchen floor deep talks and kitchen dances. She also really loves sneak outs and has a 'sneak out outfit', only the sneak out failed miserably.  

I would like to end on the note that I did not mention how gorgeous or beautiful any of my friends are. Firstly, you can see it for yourself. You have Shanzeh's tousled locks and flirty smile, you have Xenubs great lips and long eyelashes, Simran's big brown eyes and killer grin and Irha's sharp defined cheekbones and long hair. Secondly, I didn't want to define my girl group by physical appearances. I don't want the definition or the visuals of a girl group have to only do with how we look, because there is so much more to girls than that. Why are we mentioned as pretty or beautiful before smart or tough or fierce? Why do we think of how girls dress before their different hobbies and passions and talents, like public speaking and fashion designing and dancing and reading and maths? I wanted to and chose to focus on the sentimental aspect of my little community. I chose to reflect upon different incidents and smile at strange, funny, magical memories that I can visualize in my head so clearly. I wanted to share with you a piece of the beautiful souls my friends are, and I wanted THAT to be the link one makes when they think of us. A girl group is more than just a cluster of friends who get dressed together, carpool everywhere and walk in a certain formation. A girl group is a tribe of warriors who you face reality with, who you strengthen your relationships with and who lift you higher and higher, support your wants and wishes, your goals and dreams. A girl group is a haven, away from the boys who break our hearts and the university applications that make us cry. A girl group is a unique support system that can not be achieved through other means. And I swear, I am blessed with a really great group and I am grateful.