Daily Mail – A University of Alabama sorority has been slammed for their recruitment video which critics are saying is racially-homogeneous and lacks diversity.
Alpha Phi, who are based at the Tuscaloosa campus, uploaded the footage to YouTube and it has since been viewed 500,000 times.
But some have accused them of selling themselves on looks alone while one writer has said they are doing more damage to women than presidential candidate Donald Trump.
By A.L. Bailey, a writer, magazine copy editor, and online editor who lives in Hoover
Remember all those bikini-clad, sashaying, glitter-blowing, and spontaneous piggyback-riding days of college? Me either. But according to a new video, it’s a whirlwind of glitter and girl-on-girl piggyback rides at the University of Alabama’s Alpha Phi house.
No, it’s not a slick Playboy Playmate or Girls Gone Wild video. It’s a sorority recruiting tool gaining on 500,000 views in its first week on YouTube. It’s a parade of white girls and blonde hair dye, coordinated clothing, bikinis and daisy dukes, glitter and kisses, bouncing bodies, euphoric hand-holding and hugging, gratuitous booty shots, and matching aviator sunglasses. It’s all so racially and aesthetically homogeneous and forced, so hyper-feminine, so reductive and objectifying, so Stepford Wives: College Edition. It’s all so … unempowering.
Are they recruiting a diverse and talented group of young women embarking on a college education? Upon first or even fifth glance, probably not. Hormonal college-aged guys? Most assuredly yes. Older, male YouTube creepers? A resounding yes.
Like the many other videos of its ilk found online for sororities far and wide, it’s supposed to work as a sales tool to draw in potential new members (PNMs). But unlike many other videos, Alpha Phi’s video stands out in the “beauty and bounce” category and in its production value. Yes, sororities are known for being pretty and flirty; they aren’t bastions of feminist ideologies. But perhaps they shouldn’t completely sabotage them either.
Just last week during the GOP debate, Megyn Kelly of Fox News called out Donald Trump for dismissing women with misogynous insults. Mere hours later, he proved her point by taking to Twitter to call her a “bimbo.” He also proved the point that women, in 2015, must still work diligently to be taken seriously. The continued fight for equal pay, the prevalence of women not being in charge of their own healthcare issues, and the ever-increasing number of women who are still coming out against Bill Cosby after decades of fearful silence show that we are not yet taken seriously.
Meanwhile, these young women, with all their flouncing and hair-flipping, are making it so terribly difficult for anyone to take them seriously, now or in the future. The video lacks any mention of core ideals or service and philanthropy efforts. It lacks substance but boasts bodies. It’s the kind of thing that subconsciously educates young men on how to perceive, and subsequently treat, women in their lives. It’s the kind of thing I never want my young daughters to see or emulate.
To the incoming PNMs, this video has a clear sales pitch: beauty, sexuality, and a specific look above all. They’re selling themselves on looks alone, as a commodity. Sadly, commodities don’t tend to command much respect.
So who is buying what they’re selling?
Men, from Donald Trump on down to fraternity pledges, are buying it over and over again with devastating results.
The Alpha Phi house, grandiose and imposing, claims to sleep 72 young women. That’s 72 women who surely must be worth more than their appearances and who can ask themselves if the messages they’re sending are the best and most accurate depictions of who they are.
That’s 72 women who will potentially launch careers on the merit of their education and work among men who were once the frat brothers watching their video.
And that’s 72 women who will want to be taken seriously rather than be called bimbos by those male coworkers.
That’s 72 women who could be a united front for empowerment, not poster children for detrimental stereotypes and clichés.
During filming, did any of them stop to think about what they’d be selling? Did they think they were selling a respectable set of sorority chapter ideals? Did they think they were selling the kind of sisterhood that looks out for all women? Or were they focused on having the hottest video in the popularity contest that is sorority recruitment? Were they satisfied with being perceived as selling a gorgeous party-girl, cookie-cutter commodity? Were they satisfied with being the commodity?
Most importantly, did they realize they are a group of young women blessed with potential who are selling themselves, and each other, short?
Wayyyyy too early in the week for this type of stuff – it’s like 9 AM on a beautiful sunny Monday morning, should be starting off light getting ready to gear up for the week, instead we gotta deal with self-righteous writers attacking our sorority girls. Yup, I don’t care how much they make us feel miserable and depressed about our post-college lives, if you have your recruitment video post on this site you’re our sorority girls and fall under our protection. Can’t just have any old hack with a guest blogger spot run their mouth all over the internet besmirching your good name. We got you.
First of all, I can’t even find the chick that wrote this on the internet. Takes a lot of balls to write a scathing take down featuring stereotypes and generalizations of an entire group of girls that you’ve never met before when you have a digital footprint of literally 0. What are you doing to empower women by the way? Besides running a fashion blog?
Some have condemned Bailey, the writer of the op-ed, for being a hyopcrite as she runs a fashion and lifestyle blog.
Also kind of curious if this girl even knows anything about the internet? I mean there are literally 500+ videos just like this all over YouTube, for every sorority, from every school in the country. That wasn’t even the hottest video we posted THAT WEEK. Let alone on the whole web.
Acting like it’s a god damn Bang Bros shoot or something. It’s girls doing college girl stuff. Sorry they like to have fun and be pretty and wear bathing suits when they go to the beach? Get over yourself.
Plus it’s not like we’re talking about Chi O here.
PS – Are they recruiting a diverse and talented group of young women embarking on a college education? Upon first or even fifth glance, probably not. Older, male YouTube creepers? A resounding yes.
That’s us guys! Shout out.