Friday, August 21, 2015

Alabama Alpha Phi Sorority Video Backlash




I saw something this week that bothered me- the Alabama Alpha Phi Sorority recruitment video. This video has been all over the news this week after an article was written calling the recruitment video "worse for women than Donald Trump".

First of all, it isn't fair to this sorority to be a target for this criticism because there are recruitment videos just like this at other colleges all over the country. These sorority recruitment videos on YouTube are actually music videos that seem to be a contest of who can have the fanciest videos with the prettiest girls. 

Thank god YouTube didn't exist when I went through rush- I would feel so awkward having to be a part of this stuff! I watched this recruitment video for a sorority in Miami yesterday that resembled a rave with a bunch of sorority girls in bikinis. Nationals should do something and ban these tacky superficial videos- but that's a topic for another day. 

Anyways, here is the Alpha Phi Sorority Recruitment video:




Honestly, after watching the video I was nauseous for awhile afterwards for many reasons. One reason was I feel this video was made in such poor taste due to the fault of the director. This clearly was not made for an audience of potential new sorority members (PNMs) - it seems to be targeting a male audience and YouTube creepers. 

The sorority probably paid this director a lot of money for a great rush video, and he/she produced the exact opposite. However, the sorority is responsible for the ladies' wardrobe choices (daisy dukes, crop tops and short shorts), singling out ladies with a specific look (size 0 or 2, bleach blonde), and instructing the girls on their actions (flirting and dancing around football players, blowing kisses in bikinis, etc). 

This video is sending the WRONG message not just to women going through rush at Alabama, but to the entire audience of YouTube. This video focuses only on the girls' bodies, glamour and beauty, not their brains or their hearts, and doesn't show anything about their philanthropy or hard work.

The video portrays the girls as Stepford wife objects and gives the wrong message about what goes on in a sorority. It shows the girls holding hands,  blowing kisses, giving piggy back rides, flirting, blowing bubbles and glitter, holding puppies and twirling in a field. 

And really, even the swimsuit scenes wouldn't bother me much if they showed just a few scenes of them in class, studying, working with their philanthropy or, since they all are in such great shape.... exercising?

I also think about the sorority's strategy of choosing WHO to be in the video. They seem to have very high standards for their members' looks.. according to the video. Yes there were brunettes in the video, but they probably only showed one for every 100 bleach blondes. The rush process is brutal enough, I'm sure it hurt a lot of feelings when girls were told who wouldn't be in the video (which many had to have been.. there's no way the entire sorority looks exactly the same)!

This video highlights what so many women are insecure about- looks, clothes, weight, attention from men, etc. It focuses on what so many women think is expected of them in society- and it makes me sick! I'm sure each of those girls have so much more to offer than looks alone!!!

If I had been going through rush and was shown this rush video I would have been like, wow. This sorority really expects a lot out of me. I don't want this! I mean.. pressure to succeed in the academics in school is enough! And who wants an army of 500 friends who all look exactly the same anyways? 

What are your thoughts on the video? Did this video bother you as much as me?


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