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Monday, Dec. 11
The Indiana Daily Student

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COLUMN: Behind the pink print: Nothing is funnier than @iubarbz


I get wildly excited every time I see a photoshopped image of Nicki Minaj around IU. Captioned with sly remarks about issues on campus, IUBarbz provides a lighthearted escape from an otherwise mundane school day. Instagram would not be the same without the cheeky humor of IUBarbz.  

“It’s as if there is this alternate universe where Nicki Minaj attends Indiana University and is just an everyday student like us,” IUBarbz said. “Someone who studies for big exams, hangs out with friends and complains about things she doesn’t like about this severely overpriced institution.”  

The account is run by a single IU student who “knew it was (their) purpose to serve Queen Nicki Minaj.” If you scroll through their account, their early posts seem to follow Minaj around campus like paparazzi, finding her at recognizable locations since August 2021. Over the past year, the account has gained over a thousand loyal followers. Their posts are usually not meant to be taken seriously, though.  

“Many of my posts are part of an alternate universe I created, with things like Nicki’s lesbian lover being Pamela Whitten, or Nicki being a serial arsonist who burns down mansions associated with greek Life,” the Nicki stan said. “Those things can have meanings, or they cannot — it depends on how the reader feels.” 

Don’t worry about the account being run unfaithfully — the owner of the account is truly a Nicki Minaj stan. They, like most Generation Z kids, have been a fan since 2012 but transferred into a true stan in 2017.  

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Their top songs are truly deep cuts, with “I Lied,” “Hard White” and “Changed It” being some of their favorites. They do hope that those who casually peruse their account are at least slightly inspired to check out Minaj’s extensive discography. 

Although IUBarbz does love Minaj, they do not stand by everything she has said or done.  

“I don’t always agree with her, but I think she is often misunderstood whenever she voices her thoughts as a public figure,” IUBarbz said. “She is a confident, strong and outspoken Black woman in the music industry, and I think that is a turn off for a lot of people.” 

If you are unaware of their account, check out their post calling out greek life, as it is one of the owner’s favorite posts. They do not have any least favorites, remarking that they truly enjoy making all their posts.  

“I liked the idea of starting a conversation,” they said. “Particularly one many students had not ever wandered into before.”  

Thankfully, there is no real beef between the IU meme accounts. IUBarbz recommends @iumilklovers in particular, even though IUBarbz is lactose intolerant. They also love @iutwihards, a similar account that is focused on different “Twilight” characters visiting campus.  

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 The idea of campus meme accounts isn’t very new, and they acknowledge this: 

 “I am excited to see these new IU accounts flourish and do their own thing.” 

While the true identity behind IUBarbz is unknown, the fact remains that they are one of the funniest meme accounts focused on IU. I will be listening to solely Nicki Minaj for the rest of the day, putting myself in the IUBarbz mindset.  

As Minaj once said, “I don’t even know why you girls bother at this point, like... I win, you lose!” 

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