Texas A&M Barbz

“From the outside looking in, you can’t understand it. And from the inside looking out, you can’t explain it.” 

Once in a while, life introduces an event or a person that changes the entire course of history in ways one cannot begin to imagine. At times, this event may be terrible and negatively impact our lives, for example, Antonio's Pizza closing. Or our starting quarterback Haynes King getting injured during a football game. Nevertheless, we persist because we choose to be optimistic and believe that things will get better. It may be hard to look for hope in times of chaos like these — and I don't know what you might be going through specifically — but what I can offer is something that has brought me enormous joy this semester and has given me a reason to wake up every morning. I am, of course, referring to the Instagram account known as Texas A&M Barbz.

A&M Barbz is the self-proclaimed "one and only fan account for our queen Nicki." The page contains several references to Nicki Minaj's lyrics, while also incorporating a lot of current events happening at our university. Where else can you find an account that features hilarious news about the history of A&M, motivational quotes and football updates all in one place? This high-wire act may be difficult for some, but not for A&M Barbz. Every post is the equivalent of a heat check in basketball, in the sense that it manages to outperform its previous attempts with each new post. Just when you think you have A&M Barbz figured out, the account surprises you with content that is sure to make your day a happier one. 

A fascinating aspect of A&M Barbz is how, on the surface, it looks relatively simple, like someone was bored and decided to practice their photoshop skills on Snapchat. However, each post shows that there is much thought and care behind it. My favorite is when A&M Barbz took an old interview of Minaj — when she said, "It's very important to have some sort of higher education. That's how you step your cookies up”  — and changed the context to her inspiring young World War II veterans. Although we know Minaj wasn't alive during the second World War, the message to stay optimistic and push forward within our education is something that many of us needed to hear in what has felt like an extremely long semester. It shows this account is in touch with the campus community and offers much needed laughter rather than dismay for all Aggies regardless of background.

It’s been said that correlation doesn't equal causation, but then how do you explain A&M Barbz's post right before the Alabama game and our subsequent victory. It was a great win for our university and especially for our backup quarterback Zach Calzada. Calzada was fresh off two straight losses, and I will admit that I thought Alabama would make a bigger embarrassment of him. It's why I gave my sports pass away, stayed home and missed what looked like the most incredible game played at Kyle Field since the 74-72 victory over LSU in 2018. Since then, our football team has gone undefeated, and Calzada's confidence has been through the roof since defeating the behemoth that is Alabama. However, I believe we shouldn't forget that we also haven't lost a game since Calzada was named "Barb #1" by A&M Barbz. Maybe it's the support of the team rallying behind him that explains why he's playing so well, or perhaps it could be that he doesn't want to lose his title as Barb #1. 

Former Heavyweight Champion Joe Louis once said, "We're going to do our part … and we'll win because we're on God's side." I believe the same can be said now that we have the greatness that is A&M Barbz. I am excited to see where this account goes, and I genuinely believe that we will win because A&M Barbz is on our side.

Ozioma Mgbahurike is an electrical engineering junior and opinion writer for The Battalion.

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