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An Important Look At Gal Pals Throughout History

Thou art my gal, pal.

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An important look back at the storied history of gals simply being pals. If tabloids existed back in the day, would things be any different?

1. The Kiss Of Friendship, 1780:

Photo by Fototeca Gilardi / Getty Images

As the title hints, this piece of art depicts two friends sharing a delicate kiss of friendship. "I love you so much," one whispers to the other. "You know, like a friend."

2. Portrait Of Two Women, 1830s:

Two live-in bosom buds spend an evening together reading closely from the same book, highlighting any slightly sapphic passages for safekeeping.

3. The Thorn, 1850:

Photo by Fototeca Gilardi / Getty Images / Via Lithograph by Anonymous, Germany approx. 1850.

Two friends frolic in the nude by a stream, swapping stories of bad first dates and fuckboys of past.

Actual caption as it appears with the image: "Two friends take a bath naked on the shores of a lake; one of them has the foot wounded by a thorn and the other helps her. The thorn it could mean a psychological/sexual problem, very difficult to solve, without the help of a friend."


4. Le Sommeil (The Sleepers), 1866: / Via Gustave Courbet

"I hope we stay friends forever," whispers one naked sleeper to the other as they drift off for a restful nap, dreaming of a land far beyond friendship.

5. Year unknown, oil on canvas:

A platonic moment of french-kissing, but only because Psalm 85 says something like, "Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other," blah blah. As good friends do, tbh.

Homegirl over there on the right clearly sees through all of this.

6. Untitled, 1896:

Photo by Fototeca Gilardi / Getty Images / Via Chromolithography; Italy, Turin 1896.

Two confidants stop to rest on a stone wall, one of them quite weary from the weight of rumors that have been flying about her tiny top hat and "masculine" riding crop.

7. Girls On The Beach, 1910:

Photo by SSPL / Getty Images / Via Carbon print by William J Day

Two close companions enjoy a relaxing day at the beach. "I think your mother suspects we aren't just roommates," muses one to the other.

8. Love-à-la-mode or Two dear friends, Early 19th Century:

Two BFFs sitting closely on a bench only to be gawked at by some men hiding close by. "Are they still there?" asks one pal. "Sadly," answers her gal.

9. Symbolic Dance, Late 19th Century:

This dance of lady friends is symbolic, but what it symbolizes is simply impossible to say.

(It's symbolic for gettin' it on.)

10. Photograph, 1890s:

PYMCA/UIG via Getty Images

Two friends — who probably also share a home, a bed, and several small dogs — holding hands. Nothing more to it, really. Ignore the look of "oh shit, we are so busted" terror on the right.

11. Photograph, 1920s:

PYMCA/UIG via Getty Images)

Portrait of two women in Navy uniforms, indicating they clearly have boyfriends from whom they borrowed said uniforms. "Your place or mine?" one jokes to her fellow sailor. "Just kidding, we live together!"

12. And let us not forget the gal pal who started it all, OG lady pal Sappho:

Sappho and Erinna in a Garden at Mytilene, 1864: Sappho and her close friend Erinna would be all your relationship goals — if they were in a relationship, that is.

13. This illustration by Édouard-Henri Avril depicts the poet and her BFF4Lyfe just enjoying each other's company.

Note the BFF Mermaids also JBGP (Just Being Gal Pals.)