Enter ‘Yas’ to confirm: @ rutgersaffirmations administrator Mary Gillespie talks about forces of manifestation and media marketing
The short, choppy sentences. The Obvious Rutgers Stock Images. The white block letters with a light color that shadows the assignable text. If you’re a Rutgers student on Instagram, you’ve likely seen the @rutgersaffirmations account in your friend’s history, if you’re not already one of the account’s nearly 4,000 followers.
@Rutgersaffirmations ‘posts mix meme humor with good ol’ Rutgers attribution. The most popular post is one from Raritan labeled “I LOVE THE NEW SWIMMING POOLS ON CAMPUS”, which was published right after the floods at the beginning of the semester. This is just one of the many posts that mark the account as hilariously relevant.
The mysterious marketing mastermind behind the Instagram account is, panting, Mary Gillespie, a sophomore studying marketing at Rutgers Business School. Gillespie sat down with Inside Beat to discuss how @rutgersaffirmations came about.
Gillespie wears short pink hair inspired by the title character from Greta Gerwig’s 2017 film Lady Bird, and she has that “je ne sais quoi” element of her style that indistinguishably characterizes her as Generation Z. And for all astrology lovers who may ask yourself, she is an Aries sun, a Sagittarius moon and a rising Taurus,
The account started after Gillespie noticed that some colleges had created pages similar to the viral @affirmations page on Instagram and decided that Rutgers definitely needed one.
“I love that the (affirmation) account owner is really serious, but I don’t mind people thinking of it as memes,” she said.
Gillespie is the sole owner of the account and she creates content either herself, from friends or through pitches in the account’s DMs. She loves to come up with ideas that most Rutgers students would relate to.
The big question that preoccupies all viewers is whether Gillespie actually believes in manifestations and the power of affirmations.
“I really do,” said Gillespie. “I actually tried to manifest what I like to do is journal. I forgot where I read this, but your diary as if it already happened to you and I love doing that. Positive thinking really helps you. It’s not just happening to you. If you have it in your head and consciously start taking action, I think it will work. “
She talked about how whenever she is with her roommate they can find a parking space on Cook campus and that they always find one when they are launched. If you’ve ever had to park in Lot 99 on the Cook campus, you know it’s not an easy task.
@rutgersaffirmations is just one of the many ways Gillespie is ruling social media. She’s basically a Rutgers micro-celebrity who has more followers on her personal Instagram account than the @ rutgersafirmations account. And as if she couldn’t get even cooler, one of her last posts featured Gillespie with Paris Hilton at the MTV Video Music Awards after winning free tickets to the red carpet event.
Her Instagram star came from her TikTok success. Gillespie began her rise to TikTok star when she opened her account maryyisabel due to boredom at the start of the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) lockdown.
“I was scrolling through TikTok (just) endlessly, thinking you know what, I should just start posting in earnest and see if I get any actual views,” she said. Gillespie now has almost 300,000 followers and the number is growing.
She laughed at her social media skills and thought that she was good at social media and could imagine pursuing a career in the field. “TikTok is why I chose marketing, which is crazy,” she said.
But Gillespie is not only an all-round internet sensation, it’s also a Swiftie. Not just someone who listens to Taylor Swift from time to time and supports Swift’s endeavors: According to the social media icon, being Swiftie has been a staple of her personality since she was “literally 9 years old.”
For those who aren’t Swifties (you’re missing out), Gillespie explained what she meant by “spreading the Swiftie agenda” on campus.
“The Swiftie agenda only spreads the power of Swiftie ism. I don’t even know how to phrase it. Just spread (Swifts) music and get other people to listen, get those streams, ”she laughed. “I’m like a walking Taylor Swift ad.”
She describes herself as a “professional Swiftie” and frankly if anyone is, it’s Gillespie. After amassing a huge Tumblr follower when the social media platform was popular, Swift became a Gillespie follower herself.
Not long after, in a dream come true, Gillespie was invited to meet Swift at a secret meeting at Swift’s Rhode Island residence.
Gillespie is far from finished with girl bossing on the Internet. Since our interview, she’s been giving @ rutgersaffirmations merch, including stickers, t-shirts and, of course, tote bags. Fans of the account can even expect posters of the account on campus, but Gillespie needs to figure out how on-campus printing works first.
Gillespie shared a message to her followers between the laughs: “Thank you for following me and thanks for the funny comments … keep sending funny submissions.”