Full disclosure: I am new to Bama Rush Tok.
New as in, I’ve only been scrolling the now-infamous sorority soap opera for the last 24 hours.
I kept avoiding #Bamarushtok, which is the semi-voyeuristic behind-the-scenes rabbit hole of the sorority recruitment process at the University of Alabama, which boasts one of the most robustly popular Panhellenic systems in the nation. It’s a scene so well known it spawned its own HBO documentary, as well as a slew of TikTok Greek system influencers and hashtags I admittedly had to Google to translate their acronyms.
#OOTD anyone? But more on that in a sec.
Do I have anything against sororities? Absolutely not. Heck, it was several of my own sorority sisters (shout out to Delta Zeta Pledge Class 1991 at FSU!) who had been texting me daily, urging me to please get TikTok and follow along on this insane rush ride with them. I caved, downloaded it on my phone, and got down to the business of watching 18-22-year-old girls sweatily dancing (possibly twerking?) across spacious front lawns in front of colossal, deep south style mansions. OOOOF. So. Much. Lululemon. And hair extensions.
The first few videos I watched featured drop-dead gorgeous girls detailing from head to toe what they were wearing for the day. These are #OOTDs, or “Outfit of the Day” snippets, and honestly, I had a visceral reaction to college girls dripping in couture fashion, often to the tune of $5K-$10K per outfit. I kept scrolling and eye-rolling, and then researching what the heck “Golden Goose” shoes and “enewton” bracelets were (and worrying about the future of this country), ultimately mumbling to myself WHAT AM I EVEN DOING WITH MY LIFE RIGHT NOW? Also, can I get a “Pants Store” near me?
And then it happened . . .
I discovered Bama Morgan and Bella Grace, two PNMs (potential new members, better known as freshmen going through the recruitment process) and I instantly had hope in humanity again.
And it turns out I’m not alone in 100 percent fangirling these two unassuming young women and joining the millions of other mothers who have deemed themselves Morgan and Bella Grace’s #bamarushtok guardian angels and #aunties. Like them, I’m ready to #rideatdawn to ensure these girls find their new sorority home, and their daily updates have become must-watch #FYP for me.
So what exactly has made Bama Morgan (@on_thedaily_with_morgan) and Bella Grace (@bellagracegaates) stand heads above the rest this year, even grabbing the attention of national media outlets and companies like Teleties and Simply Orange, which have since featured and supported these girls on their corporate social media channels?
One word: relatability.
At a time when Instagram excellence continues to wreak emotional havoc on young women, feeding them perpetual perfection from their peer group and thrusting many into a constant state of anxiety and spiraling self-doubt, here comes Morgan Cadenhead, who possesses a level of self-confidence and genuineness this middle-age mom only wishes she had some days. Yawning in front of the camera, clad in a basic t-shirt and shorts and joking about her un-styled “ugly” dorm, she is singlehandedly breaking (more like crashing down) that fake, polished facade her peers have displayed as the only way to appear online. You cannot help but cheer for this kind of mature authenticity being modeled so brilliantly by someone of such a vulnerable age. Morgan is the sister every sisterhood desperately needs—you know, the tell-it-like-it-is girl whose humility is contagious.
Then there is Bella Grace.
Listen, if you don’t watch her infectious “Good Morning” greeting every day and just giggle with delight, then pray this sweet, precious soul finds her sorority home, I don’t know if you have a heart. Bella is the girl next door wrapped in a bouquet of tenderness, then tied with a bow of grace, faith, and poise. She has talked openly of her faith, desiring to find a sorority home with “sisters who will help her grow with God,” and admits to having plenty of anxiety over the whole process. I can’t help but think whatever sorority chooses this young lady will have chosen a sister of intense loyalty and kindness.
God-willing (and seriously, God-willing because if either of these girls doesn’t end up with a home, I fear thousands of mamas are going to make a revenge pilgrimage to Tuscaloosa and demand some answers), I pray these two young ladies—who have recently met in person, by the way, and it was just as amazing as you thought it would be—find their forever home this weekend. And by forever home, I mean I’m gonna need to see them spend the next four years together making TikToks, becoming best friends, being in each other’s weddings, then living as next-door neighbors and running carpool together. But even if they end up in different sororities, I hope they find the same kind of lifelong friendships that 30 years ago, the girls at Delta Zeta brought to me.
Thank you, Bama Morgan and Bella Grace, for sharing such wonderfully honest and genuine perspectives during such an intense time, and for reminding me that our future is truly bright when there are fearless, REAL, faithful, and smart young women like you leading it.