Type the word “Wellesley” into Instagram, and you will be greeted with many college-affiliated accounts: @WellesleyCollege, of course; perhaps @WellesleyOrientation, WellesleyAlums or @WellesleyLGBTQ.
But intermingled with these and the accounts of Wellesley’s dorms, orgs and sports teams are a handful of accounts run by average, mostly anonymous, students. People who started these accounts for no other reason than to give the Wellesley community one particular thing to look at. These accounts focus on anything from photos of geese on campus to romantic and platonic crush confessions.
I just really like the concept that everyone in this community is sharing love in this really adorable way without any expectations or anything
Wellesley’s anonymous Instagrams are a relatively new phenomenon; though they have been around for a few years, they flourished after the college closed down in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“At the beginning of quarantine, there were a bunch of really horny Wellesley [Instagram] pages,” Emily Lu ’23 said. “There were, like, Wellesley Titties, Wellesley Ass, Wellesley Muscle, Wellesley Feet, Wellesley Calves. I think it was a fun way for people to blow off steam.”
Many of these accounts are no longer active. As some account owners put it, though the pages may look easy to maintain, they actually require a lot of work without much emotional reward after some time. @WellesleyCollegeGeese, for example, posted almost daily for its first few weeks of existence; nowadays, it averages a few posts per month.
“There definitely is that honeymoon period with an Instagram account where you’re really excited to post as much content as possible in the first few months, and then it kind of [dies] down,” one of the co-owners of @WellesleyCollegeGeese, who wished to be anonymous, said. “Obviously [for us], it was worth it continuing, but you can definitely see that the amount we’re posting has very much dwindled.”
Although @WellesleyCollegeGeese is still running to this day, with 1,035 followers as of Feb. 6, casualties of this burnout include an account that alerts students when Graham Central Station ice cream is available at the dining halls, several accounts for supporters of the 2020 Democratic primary candidates and at least four different anonymous “confessions” pages. To this day, one confession page remains: @Wellesley.Crushes.
The owner of @Wellesley.Crushes, who requested to remain anonymous, explained that they opened the account on May 1, 2020 in order to spread positivity in the Wellesley community. The previous Wellesley Confessions pages, they stated, tended to spread personal drama.
“The confessions page was fairly toxic, and I was like, ‘we need a wholesome page. We need to not be this toxic,’” they said.
The pages would often be used for people to share “hot takes” or vent about specific people. The @Wellesley.Crushes owner found this behavior to be harmful, so they started a new account.
Followers rolled in, and with them came submissions. So many submissions that eventually the account became so popular that the owner needed to temporarily close submissions — which are collected in an anonymous Google Form — in order to catch up on posts. As of late, however, submissions are back up and running, as is a new Google Form to match up students, romantically or platonically, for Valentine’s Day. As of Feb. 6, the account has 1,091 followers and 658 posts.
A few other accounts that gained popularity during lockdown also remain. @Wellesley4GothBitches, for example, is an account that originally parodied those that supported various 2020 presidential candidates. Additionally, one of the most well-known of Wellesley’s anonymous Instagrams is @Meals_of_Wellesley_College, the brainchild of two Wellesley students who began posting pictures of their worst dining hall meals after noticing each other’s odd tastes.
“I think the meal that inspired Meals of Wellesley College was two cookies, a piece of oatmeal raisin bread and pizza,” the @Meals_of_Wellesley_College account owner said. “I just gave up one day, and I was like, ‘I am going to eat whatever I want.’ And that was the meal that started it all.”
Since then, they have graduated from posting their own odd meal combinations to any photo of dining hall food submitted by students. While one of the original purveyors of @Meals_of_Wellesley_College is no longer a Wellesley student, the other still is. But this raises an interesting question: what happens when a Wellesley Instagram owner transfers or graduates? Most accounts die off, but the team behind @WellesleyCollegeGeese have been considering this question as of late, as both of them are juniors.
“We’ve entertained the idea of finding a successor for our account,” one of the two owners said, “because it would be a shame to let it go silent since geese are such an iconic part of our campus.”
They are also considering creating Wellesley Geese merch as a final send-off once they graduate.
We need a wholesome page. We need to not be this toxic.
There are plenty of other challenges to running such popular accounts, including sifting through submissions and checking follow requests. @Wellesley.Crushes, in particular, allows only Wellesley students and alumnae to follow the page, accepting followers after verifying that they go to Wellesley either by checking their Instagram bios or scrolling through their photos.
“I’d feel awkward DMing them going, ‘Hey, do you go to Wellesley,’ because they could obviously lie and say yes when it’s not true, so I have to be slightly creepy,” the account owner said.
“Sometimes, I wish there were other people helping me because it can be a lot of work,” the owner of @Meals_of_Wellesley_College said. “When I have, like, 10 message requests in my Instagram DMs, I’m just like, I cannot get back to all these people.”
Ultimately, these accounts are by-and-large a safe space for Wellesley students, a place to go for eccentric, funny or wholesome content.
“I just really like the concept that everyone in this community is sharing love in this really adorable way without any expectations or anything,” Lu said.