Despite all sorority videos looking the same, the University of Alabama’s Alpha Phi recently got in trouble over theirs, because everyone looks the same. Almost all the women in the recruitment tool are thin, blonde, and super, super, SUPER white, or, in the words of AL.com writer A.L. Bailey, “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.”
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. (Via)
Bailey’s argument is that the women in Alpha Phi aren’t attempting to get pledges; they’re trying to go viral. In that sense, it worked. The video was viewed more than 500,000 times. Then it was deleted, as were Alpha Phi’s Tumblr and Twitter accounts (their Facebook and Instagram are private), because of the negative attention from Bailey’s op-ed. Alabama’s Associate Vice President for University of Relations Deborah Lane also released a statement this weekend:
This video is not reflective of UA’s expectations for student organizations to be responsible digital citizens. It is important for student organizations to remember what is posted on social media makes a difference, today and tomorrow, on how they are viewed and perceived. (Via)
I’m sure these wealthy, attractive women will have a hard time rebounding from this.