Is This Sorority Recruitment Video Too White, Skinny and Pretty?
Get accepted to the prestigious Alpha Phi sorority at the University of Alabama, and you’ll spend your days dancing in bikinis, blowing kisses and giving spontaneous piggyback rides! But probably only if you’re blonde. Like, very very blonde.
This video promoting the University of Alabama’s chapter of the Alpha Phi sorority was pulled down (but is still available all over YouTube) after it received a bunch of criticism for objectifying women and for its lack of diversity.
An article for Al.com said the video is worse for women than Donald Trump, because the girls are “all so racially and aesthetically homogeneous and forced, so hyper-feminine, so reductive and objectifying, so Stepford Wives: College Edition.”
The university quickly distanced itself from the video, saying it “is not reflective of UA’s expectations for student organizations to be responsible digital citizens.”
I’m having trouble mustering up my feminist rage here – probably because I don’t want us to stray into “haha look at these dumb bitches” territory – but you have to admit that is a startling amount of skinny blonde girls. Sometimes you see a flash of dark hair and it’s like “Ooh, maybe she’s Asian or Latina!” but on closer inspection it’s probably just a white brunette. It doesn’t exactly encourage women of color to consider applying to this sorority.
And there might be something to the argument that this reinforces stereotypes about sorority life. Alpha Phi’s official website states that the organization is committed to excellence, scholarship and community service.
“Alpha Phi assists college women in making informed choices to reach their highest potential. Alpha Phi enhances and promotes each member’s development and learning by focusing on sisterhood, service, scholarship, leadership, loyalty and character development.”
I’m not saying that character development can’t happen WHILE you’re prancing in a swimsuit, but it doesn’t seem to be a priority in this video. Also, blowing glitter is just a bad idea. You’ll be finding it in your clothes for months.
The internet isn’t being shy about responding to the controversy – and a lot of people don’t see it as a big deal at all. Political correctness gone wild!
(Way ahead of you!)
Yeah, there’s the “you’re just jealous” argument. Defending sorority girls is difficult for me sometimes.