During the past week, many people have been enthralled and interested in the newest trend on TikTok: #BamaRushTok. This trend is exactly what it sounds like: college-aged women competing to be invited into their desired sorority. Rush week is the designated week where these young adults will dress up to the according to theme and hope to make great impressions on the people who decide if they can join the sorority or not. This trend has interested many people, as there are many sororities across America in different universities. However, Alabama’s rush week seems to be particularly intense.
These TikTok videos range, from sorority leaders who are showing off their outfits, to PNM’s, standing for potential new members, showing what type of outfits they wear that they are hoping will allow them to join the sorority. These videos, and more specifically the growing popularity of these videos, open up the discussion of these southern sororities and the harm they might be causing, unknowingly or not.
Many of these videos show the type of girls that are “rushing”, which basically means applying to the sorority. They are often what is considered to be the mainstream, especially in the South, beauty standard. They are girls that are skinny, white, and usually come from well-off families. They represent the stereotype that sorority girls usually are portrayed. Sororities are clubs that are invitation-based, meaning that not every girl that is rushing is going to be selected for an invite. This opens up the discussion of who is being encouraged to rush and who is being selected?
One TikToker, @whatwouldjummybuffettdo, who’s name is Makayla, was a particular favorite. She is a biracial woman, one of the only featured in the popular #BamaRushTok hashtag, who was not selected to be in the sorority. People were shocked, as she garnered so many views with her outfit of the day updates. This opened up the discussion of who is being selected and why. Makayla notes that she was dropped because of a video of underage drinking, which she thought was an unfair judgement. Though there are strict rules for sororities, many were concerned that she was dropped due to racism and her not matching the image of the other girls participating in the sororities. Many commented that surely Makayla was not the only girl rushing who was underage drinking or had videos of them drinking underage, but Makayla was held to a higher standard than the rest of her peers is the main complaint or concern people had. Makayla remains humble and grateful, however, as this experience has gained her 100,000 followers on her social media. Though there are serious concerns behind what seems to be an innocent tag that is interesting to those that have never joined a sorority, most of the hashtag seems to highlight the fun and energetic events included in #BamaRushTok