Twenty-five thousand users follow the viral Instagram account Ole Miss Chicks (@olemisschicks). The page is owned by sports media heavyweight Barstool Sports, which has extended its reach through smaller, college campus-specific accounts like Ole Miss Chicks. The managers of that particular account have always remained anonymous — until now.
Few know that Madison Roeske, a junior hospitality management major from The Woodlands, Texas, has been moonlighting as the account manager of Ole Miss Chicks for over a year now. The account’s other manager has chosen to remain anonymous.
As a fan of the account, Roeske decided to apply to manage it when the position was vacated.
“I was a huge fan of the account, and so I was so shocked when the torch was passed to me,” Roeske said.
The original Barstool Sports accounts, such as @barstoololemiss, are typically geared toward a male audience. Barstool Sports posts general sports updates, chaotic student memes and Ole Miss sports morale boosters. Chicks accounts, simply put, are for the girls.
The Ole Miss Chicks page showcases campus shenanigans and hosts returning gags like Tinder Tuesday, a series where fans can submit their most wild online dating conversations for public exposure. The account encourages fan participation via submitting memes.
“Our account started in April of 2020. When you think of Barstool Sports, it’s more of a male following and fanbase. So, the Chicks accounts were started, and it was just something kind of more for the women to enjoy,” Roeske said.
The account has skyrocketed in popularity since Roeske took the wheel, growing from 5,000 followers to 25,000. Roeske discussed account’s success, crediting the student body of Ole Miss.
“Really, it’s the students and their content that allowed our account to grow so quickly. You know, Ole Miss, it’s kind of a crazy college. A lot of people do some pretty funny things,” Roeske said, laughing. “We wouldn’t have Ole Miss Chicks if it weren’t for the students.”
The account’s inclusion of any student’s content submissions has helped it to become Ole Miss’ own Gossip Girl equivalent with a positive, yet often brutally honest, twist. Some have speculated about who is behind the amusing account.
“I have sometimes wondered who runs the account, especially because sometimes I’ll respond to a story post and the admin will respond to me. The admin always responds like a friend would, so it does make me wonder who it is,” Sam Hendrix, junior integrated marketing communications major and follower of Ole Miss Chicks, said.
As the account continues to grow, it has become a staple in the Oxford social media scene.
“I know a lot of people absolutely love seeing their friends on the account. Even before I started running the account, my friends would be on it and we’d all be tagging each other like, ‘Oh my gosh, she’s on it.’ And you know, we go to school with all these people. So it’s cool to see what they’re up to,” Roeske said.
As simple as Roeske’s memeing methods are, they are exactly what has attracted her large following.
“I followed the account during my freshman year at Ole Miss because I thought it was a funny account that showed all of the shenanigans that go on on our campus,” Hendrix said.
Roeske credits many ideas that have had huge successes on the account to the female community she has found.
“One of the great things about running the Chicks account is that there are a lot of other Chicks accounts for a bunch of different colleges across the United States,” Roeske said. “We all come up with ideas together. It’s almost like being in a sorority. We’re all like sisters. We really all share ideas with each other like Tinder Tuesdays, which is really awesome.”
When looking to the future, Madison and her anonymous partner have high hopes.
“As far as content goes for the future, we have a lot in store,” Roeske said.
Plans include a Valentine’s Day lovers night party at Round Table and an interview-based video series, which involve letting go of her anonymity.
“You know, the internet can be kind of a harsh place. I was just a little worried. But now I’m like, okay, we run an awesome account, and I want people to know. So that’s one of the reasons I’m most excited about throwing the party at Round Table,” Roeske said.
Roeske anticipates that diving headfirst into the spotlight will start a new era for the account. She only hopes that her followers accept her in the way she has accepted them and devoted hard work to their happiness.
“Once I feel more comfortable, we’re gonna start doing a lot of videos and being a lot more interactive with the students,” Roeske said. “It makes me really happy to see everybody just having a good time and having a great college experience.”
Roeske’s still-anonymous partner echoed all of what she said and offered her own appreciation for the account they have built.
“Honestly, we love them and support them. Sometimes people will DM our account just asking for advice. We kind of feel like a big sister to the people at Ole Miss so really, we just love them all,” the anonymous manager said.