What are the UF Gimmick Accounts?
We’ve all heard of @joan.of.arca, @weirdassprettythey, and many other popular Instagram meme pages that frequent our friend’s stories— not to mention our own. Today, we dive into the flourishing community, right here at UF. From UF Girlboss to UF Milfs, here’s your guide to the UF gimmick accounts.
Most gimmicks are anonymous accounts that post content on their stories and pages— whether it be infographics or just memes. According to @ufgirlboss, it all started with @ufvirginityclub which inspired her to make her own account. There had been other “virginity club” Instagram accounts, like at BYU, and it all started from there. This has created popular accounts like @the.gators.republic.of.florida, @uf.irony, and @ufdormbrewers with many accounts being based on characters from anime, video games, musicians, and more. Not only is their content entertaining, but sometimes it can be informative.
In an interview with UFGirlboss, she says that she never had an idea of how much her content would impact people. She started doing it to create content “people can share and laugh with.” To Girlboss, the content she posts is important “because things like sex and feminism need to be talked about in a space where it doesn’t have to take itself too seriously.”
“Tired of it being taboo,” her content spreads from “how to be a girlboss” to “how to peg your boyfriend.” Definitely a big jump, but Girlboss claims, “I wanted it to be hyperbolized. I wanted it to be informative but with an edge of ambiguity where you can't always tell I'm joking, but the beauty is the interpretation. A lot of the jokes I make are rooted in truth and a lot are just raunchy for the sake of being raunchy.”
Upon being asked about the “gimmick” community, she said, “I don't really know that much about the gimmick community if I'm honest but I know there has been a lot of drama and I can't really keep track of it. There's a lot more accounts being created than I can keep track of too… I just got overwhelmed keeping up sometimes.”
What she says is true. There are currently over 200 gimmick accounts at UF, both active and inactive; not to mention, there are also gimmick accounts from FSU, UCF, and USF. Some of them like @fsu.froggy and @fsugay have been accepted into the UF gimmick community, among many others.
Amidst the flourishing gimmick community, some gimmicks have now rebranded to meme accounts, renouncing their connections with UF. Some UF accounts like @420mitskihead (who once was @ufmitskihead) and @flcyberslut (@ufcyberslut) have disassociated from UF to expand their audiences. In an interview with @420mitskihead, she says that she left the gimmick community after finding the environment toxic. She wanted to remind everyone that gimmick account owners are only human. “I felt as if I was no longer treated as human but more as a celebrity or deity because I was expected to be a hundred percent perfect. I couldn't mess up anything… I'm running this account with my phone; not a team, not a crew— I don't have an assistant, so it's really just a 21-year-old girl on Instagram.”
During an incident where she was “canceled” for not including a trigger warning on an admittedly triggering Instagram story post venting about her struggles with Arfid, she felt as if people had lost their empathy. “It's [sic] something I typically do, it's [sic] something I have and always will do, is put a trigger warning. I think it helps people to avoid situations that they could be placed in; either by the content or by their own thoughts afterwards. When I made that mistake, I felt as if all of a sudden the entire community that had supported me previously, shunned me. I lost all that support in the span of maybe… two minutes. I was getting un-collaborated with, people were deleting my content from their pages, people were unfollowing me, people were making posts about how I was glorifying something that has ravaged my life and body— and while my fan base accepted my mistake and apology as the post in question was almost a cry for help, I felt as if that had been ignored and my perceived responsibility granted unto me by my ‘celebrity status’ had taken over. I just feel like a lot of people… when they look at gimmick account owners, because they don't know who we are, they don't give us humanity.”
Given what @420mitskihead said, we can see how anonymity can be a tool against people, but what happens when your anonymity is taken from you unwillingly? Recently, The Alligator was under fire for exposing the creator of @uf.kaworu. On its Instagram, it reported that the account creator was under investigation by the UF Police Department (UFPD) for posting a meme of the account’s anime avatar holding a gun to TikToker Josh Richards’s head with bullet wounds on his head as well. The post was created because of student backlash toward the UF Student Government and its ACCENT Speakers Bureau’s choice to host Josh Richards for the Great Gator Welcome event. Many people complained and posted about it on their gimmick accounts, complaining about the poor decision—which could be the reason as to why the show was postponed.
The Alligator had been the one to reach out to @ufkaworu (who will not be named to preserve their anonymity) and inform them that the UFPD was investigating them. According to the Alligator on Instagram, “Police viewed it as a threat to kill.”
Many people viewed it as an invasion of privacy, because they exposed the account owner's name and age. It was also seen as a ridiculous article, not to mention an embarrassing representation of journalism, due to the fact that the post was made over a meme. Meanwhile, The Alligator fails to document other articles of significance on its Instagram, such as the many assault cases in Gainesville.
All of this leads to reminding readers that gimmick accounts at UF are for fun—and sometimes, for information. They are not to be taken seriously. As someone close to the community, seeing the growth and fall of some gimmicks can be endearing and disheartening. There are real people behind these accounts creating content for local audiences to enjoy, not to hate on.
So, keep that in mind the next time you follow a gimmick page.
Gabriella Garcia-Urbay is an online writer for Rowdy Magazine who spends her time reading, writing poetry and playing the guitar when she’s not listening to her hundreds of playlists.