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Hey y’all,

This week we are jumping straight into things. Are you on Alabama sorority rush TikTok? While I do not know what happened on this week’s episode of the Bachelorette, I do know where every 18 year old in Tuscaloosa buys their rush outfits. The hold it has one me, while I know damn well the baggage Southern greek life carries with it. Did you rush? Do you have thoughts since graduating? I’d love to hear from you.

We’ll also talking about a win for transgender healthcare in the South and the Hot Girl Summer that wasn’t.

Keep in touch! Email meslide in my dmstweet me

Alabama Rush TikTok is a window into the promise, problems and pearls of Gen Z sorority life

A number of sorority rush videos have gone viral on TikTok, highlighting pristinely curated outfits touting fast fashion brands such as Shein and Zara mingling among small-town boutique finds and $800 pre-distressed sneakers. The videos’ audiences seem to straddle the algorithm’s line between aspirational teenage influencer and jaded millennials balking at the Southern hyper-feminine earnesty. Dorm tours from the same “potential new members” have also been making the rounds, with brightly colored, often bedazzled, decor that attempt to camouflage UA’s storied 53-year-old freshman women’s dorm, Tutwiler, which carries the same name as the state’s infamous (see: “barbaric”) women’s prison.

I have unironically enjoyed this peek into the lives of carefree teenagers as they navigate that first step into adulthood. It’s a nice break from near-constant pandemic anxiety. And despite being extremely critical of sororities at Southern universities as a whole, I feel very protective of these young women.

Click here to read the rest of my stroll down this TikTok trend.

The Junk Drawer

The Junk Drawer isn’t really junk, but a curated collection of things from around the internet that you didn’t really know you needed, akin to the paper clip, flashlight, hair tie and the $2 bill that hang around in that one kitchen drawer.

Gender-affirming health care coverage is expanding but limited in some Southern states, including a big win with BlueCross BlueShield in North Carolina (The Tennessean)

Texas and Florida lead the nation in COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths. Their governors are penalizing public schools putting mask mandates in place (The 19th)

Welcome to ‘Healing Girl Summer,’ Whether it’s hot, healing or healthy, some singles have been dating differently this summer (The New York Times)

ICYMI

Here’s more #RushTok to get your For You Page kickstarted. But if that isn’t enough to satiate your Southern culture internet appetite, I’ve also enjoyed watching Jason Isbell lead the way in celebrity advocacy, pushing for local and state mask mandates to accommodate his tour.

That’s all I’ve got for today.

Abbey