#TBT: This is what Taylor Swift's squad looked like in 2006
Cast your mind back to the days before Instagram and a time before #SquadGoals was the hashtag du jour.
It was a simpler time and that was certainly the case for the seemingly ubiquitous Taylor Swift. Now she turns up to every event with a coven of impossibly beautiful actresses, singers and models, A.K.A. her ‘squad.’ But before the string of sickeningly-sweet romances, the endless humble brags or the Swiftian army, Taylor was just a regular gal who did regular things like you and me. Well, kinda…
In 2006 she performed at NASCAR racing events
That’s the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing, to you and me. Yes, back in ’06, Taylor was well on her way to becoming a household name, but her #squad was non-existent when she sang the American national anthem at the Checker Auto Parts 500 event in Arizona in November, 2006. Taylor was a sweet-as-pie songstress and sang the Star Spangled Banner on a tiny stage accompanied only by her guitar.
She arrived to red carpet events alone, wearing outfits like this
In recent years, Taylor has undergone somewhat of a style evolution with her newfound fashion doyenne status sealed by Anna Wintour herself when Swift appeared on the cover of American Vogue in February 2012 and most recently in May 2016. The star’s style has become increasingly more daring but at the 2006 American Country Music Awards, Taylor’s aesthetic was still very much girl-next-door as she donned this handkerchief dress and stuck to her country roots by bizarrely pairing it with a pair of cowboy boots.
This was also a time before Cara, Gigi and Karlie were attached to Taylor’s arms for dear life at every red carpet event!
In 2007 she released a Christmas album with American retail giant, Target
Thought Nadine Coyle was the only popstar to release their music through a retail store? It’s a little-known fact and undoubtedly one that Taylor would rather forget, but back in 2007, following the success of her eponymously-titled debut album, Taylor released a six-track Christmas album in collaboration with Target.
The album featured a complete melodic reworking of ‘Silent Night’, as well as a song that lamented a past love, called ‘Christmases When You Were Mine’. This lament would become peppered with scorn in years to come and go on to become Swift’s signature style of song.
The #GirlSquad was just a duo
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ll have noticed your timelines flooded with images of Taylor’s celeb-filled Fourth of July party where she and new flame Tom Hiddleston were joined by Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds, the Haim sisters and fully paid-up members of Swift’s clique, Cara Delevingne and Karlie Kloss. A notable absence was Taylor’s BFF Selena Gomez, but before the onslaught of Swiftian selfies - surrounded by a who’s-who of celebdom - back in ’07, Taylor and Swift were inseparable.
Apparently the pair met backstage at a Jonas Brothers’ concert and hit it off straight away. Although there was notable tension between the besties at the 2013 Billboard Music Awards when Taylor was pictured sticking her tongue out when Selena reunited with her ex, Justin Bieber and kissed him in front of the singer. Justin certainly generated some ‘bad blood’ between Taylor and Selena and despite Selena momentarily unfollowing Taylor on Instagram in 2014, the duo have since kissed and made up.
Back then, there were no Swiftian showmances
Forgive us if it seems cruel, but is anyone else just a little bit sick of Taylor’s incessant humble brags about her oh-so-fabulous-life and her picture-perfect boyfriends? Maybe we’re jealous, but we prefer Swift back in the mid-00s, when there wasn’t a constant need to generate publicity by recreating scenes from The Notebook at every available opportunity. Joe Jonas popped up in 2008 and so did the break-up song.
Jake Gyllenhaal, John Mayer, Taylor Lautner, Conor Kennedy, Harry Styles and Calvin Harris came and went, as did Swift’s often-venomous odes to their relationships. Few believe that Taylor’s current relationship with Tom Hiddleston is anything more than a publicity stunt as the pair lavishly showers each other with affection at the mere scent of a camera lens.
Yeah, we’re definitely just a tiny bit jealous…