Movies + TV

Females, Bonding

Lessons on strengthening your ties to your girl gang. They come from the movies, so you know they’re correct.

You and your girls are a tight-knit group. You finish one another’s sentences, share sodas without worrying about backwash or saliva-borne viruses, and always make sure that your friends’ bulky menstrual pads aren’t visible. But as close as you all are, you could probably be even closer. If you take a cue from romantic comedies, musicals, tear-jerkers, and teen movies—with their usually staggeringly accurate portrayals of female friendship—that bond you share with your gang will grow so strong that every Celine Dion song will feel like the perfect articulation of the love you share.

1. Get some traveling pants.

After graduating from high school, I didn’t really stay in close contact with my best friends. Why did this happen? We never invested in a pair of traveling pants—a pair of jeans that we’d share and that would unite us in a kind of sisterhood even as our paths diverged. If you’re anti-jeggings and unable to find a pair of jeans that magically fit all of your friends, consider buying one gigantic pair of pants that you can all wear at the exact same time—a few of you stand in the left leg, a few of you in the right. Wear these huge traveling pants every day and you’ll always be close. (If you’re from the UK, where “pants” are underwear, you’ll wind up being closer to your friends than you ever thought possible.)

2. Dance around in your panties.

Speaking of underwear, you might want to consider throwing a slumber party with a strict panties-as-pajama-bottoms dress code. If movies like the ’80s classic Valley Girl have taught us anything, it’s that boxer shorts, sweatpants, nightgowns, and flannel PJs are just obstacles on the road to true, long-lasting friendship. The only thing that can bring about more girl unity than walking around in your panties together is dancing around in your panties together. The harder you all break it down, the closer you’ll ultimately be. That’s just science. If you’re feeling saucy and have enough hairbrush microphones to go around, lip-syncing at your little panty party will definitely solidify your bond.

3. Act like a bunch of steel magnolias.

OK, I’ve never actually watched Steel Magnolias, but I have seen the movie poster. From what I’ve been able to glean from that image of Julia Roberts, Sally Field, and the rest of them, smiling and leaning on one another with their arms interlocked, these ladies are a bunch of ride-or-die homies. They stick by each other through thick and thin, through big hair and ankle-length ’80s schoolteacher dresses. So, how exactly would you and your girls go about acting like steel magnolias? Well, going by the poster, steel magnolias stand really close to one another. Like, super close. Like, if some impromptu game of Red Rover were to start up, you guys would totally win. In this way, your emotional bond will become tangible. You will be reminded of that bond constantly and be comforted by it physically. You will also become impervious to bullets. Maybe.

4. Wear matching satin jackets.

What’s better than matching jackets? That’s right, matching satin jackets! In this life, there are few things more beautiful than what a group of girls share while wearing satin together. With the Michelle Pfeiffer-led Pink Ladies from Grease 2 as your nonviolent girl-gang inspiration, you and your satin-clad buddies will be the envy of everyone you pass. “What a glorious group of friends,” people will proclaim as you all walk down the street.

5. Befriend a mermaid.

You know that movie Aquamarine where Emma Roberts and JoJo find a mermaid and have to help her fall in love? I’m pretty sure that it’s a true story because the sentiment is just too sincere not to be 100% based in reality. Let’s say that, like Emma’s and JoJo’s characters, you find yourself in a situation where the relationship you have with your best friends is threatened by distance—perhaps one of you is moving or about to switch schools or something. Simply find a mermaid, assist her in doing whatever it is she needs assistance with, and, according to mermaid law, she’ll have to grant you a wish. Initially, you’ll want to use this wish to prevent your friend from moving away, but after all the usual mermaid shenanigans, you’ll realize that the connection you have with your gang lies within each of you, that your friendship has been cemented in your hearts, and that you can use your wish to get some really cool sneakers or some chili-cheese fries. You’re reading this now and thinking, Wouldn’t it be easier to just skip the whole mermaid thing and go straight to that final realization? The mermaid is crucial, so stop questioning it. ♦


  • KellyLove November 9th, 2011 3:33 PM

    Amber! First let me say I love this piece and where you’re coming from. But (BUT!) I have to take exception with you including Steel Magnolias without watching the movie. I appreciate the stretch (movie poster, etc.), but if you haven’t actually viewed this masterpiece of cinema, how can you recommend behaving like a steel magnolia? I’m from the south, this movie is a touchstone for me, and even though it came out in 1989 it’s on cable practically every weekend, so no excuses. It’s a lot deeper than “standing close together”

    And bless your heart, I’d love to see what your opinion is after you see it! ;-)

  • mangachic November 9th, 2011 4:40 PM

    Utterly hilarious especially the last one

  • jambajuicekitten November 9th, 2011 4:46 PM

    i love rookie mag soooo much!

  • Sugar November 9th, 2011 4:50 PM


  • Marguerite November 9th, 2011 4:55 PM

    Never question the need of a mermaid… i will keep that advice with me at all times….

  • Petra November 9th, 2011 5:38 PM

    LOL i LOVE aqua marine!

  • Ruby B. November 9th, 2011 6:04 PM

    Lolololol. I love this. I need to find a mermaid now.

  • Alia November 9th, 2011 6:44 PM

    This is so great… I have a girl gang, but unfortunately we have neither matching jackets OR traveling pants. That’ll have to be changed….

  • Chandler November 9th, 2011 7:42 PM

    I love this sosooooo much!. I also want to be a mermaid, so this made me happy:) hahaha:)

  • darksideoftherainbow November 9th, 2011 7:59 PM

    “rie or die homies”…thank you!!! this killed me, which is something that rookie never fails to do. it totally reminded me of that ja rule/charlie baltimore song except with friends! when it comes to my best friend, i’m a down ass bitch hahaha

  • insteadofanelephant November 10th, 2011 1:12 AM

    i’m going to dance around in my underwear while singing celine dion. that was the first concert i went to, after all. gotta get me some XL pants…

    instead of an elephant

  • gogobionicgirl November 10th, 2011 3:41 AM

    Watch Lollipop Monster! best girl bonding movie ever

  • karysrhiann November 10th, 2011 5:09 AM

    I love the background photo today ;)

  • clarabella November 10th, 2011 12:08 PM

    I absolutely love Rookie mag! I’m no longer a teenager (very sadly) but i’m really interested in what magazines are actually out there for teenage girls, cos a few years ago I found there were none that didn’t include ‘how to please your man’ kinda things, and no actual relevant articles like the ones featured here.

    I would really appreciate anyone’s input in answering this quick survey for me, it’ll take literally two mins – pinky promise <3

  • cancercowboy November 11th, 2011 3:53 PM


  • bemboozled November 12th, 2011 4:53 PM

    This reminds me of the unfortunate tendency we have to create girl groups/cliques in high school and even college. I think the problem is that there is so much security in having the idea of a set group/unit, but I have a problem with the fact that it’s really constraining and it pretends that each person in the group’s relationship to eachother is on an equal level. And then it get’s really awkward when that is proven to not be the case. I feel I already went through my phase where I wanted my girlfriends and I to be a GROUP, somewhat buying into that manufactured SATC fantasy, but I think they ultimately fail or put a lot of stress on friendships because they are artificial constraints on relationships.