Chemmie Squier | Acting Fashion & Beauty Editor | Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Alabama Uni\'s Sorority Alpha Phi Are Getting A Lot Of Shit For This \'Recruitment\' Video

Alabama Uni's Sorority Alpha Phi Are Getting A Lot Of Shit For This 'Recruitment' Video

The Debrief: Is the backlash deserved?

To me, there is nothing more American than a university sorority house. There's something of an enigma to me, mainly because I'm still not entirely sure what they are and what they involve and how they work. Like, do they all live in that house? Do you pay? Who cleans the house? It's all a bit puzzling.

Alpha Phi, a sorority house at the University of Alabama, released a recruitment video for the start of the fall term, and people are not very happy about it. The five-ish minute long video features a lot of white, very tanned, and often, very blonde girls gallavanting around in bikinis/sportswear doing piggybacks, dancing and blowing glitter (obviously). In other words, it typifies what I'd think of if you asked me to imagine a sorority house.

There seems to be two versions of it doing the rounds. One with the girls galavanting around to an elevator-style theme tune (awful, just awful):

Whilst the other has a dance music sound track (slightly better on the ears).

One writer, A. L. Bailey, went in hard on the video, describing it as 'worse for women than Donald Trump', saying that that the young women in the video with their 'flouncing and hair-flipping, are making it so terribly difficult for anyone to take them seriously, now or in the future.' This is bold and I think, pretty unfair. Should these girls be defined by their involvement in sorority house? What is problematic, as Bailey describes, is how the video is 'racially and aesthetically homogeneous and forced, so hyper-feminine, so reductive and objectifying, so Stepford Wives: College Edition.' The underlying message of the video, therefore, seems to be one of, 'Hey girls, all you need to do to have this much fun is be blonde, tanned and skinny!' A ridiculously antiquated view which is totally at odds with the progression in feminism and diversity which we're seeing in society today.

A spokesperson for the University told Buzzfeed News: 'This video is not reflective of UA’s expectations for student organisations to be responsible digital citizens,' said Deborah Lane, the school’s associate vice president for university relations. 'It is important for student organisations to remember what is posted on social media makes a difference, today and tomorrow, on how they are viewed and perceived.' The sorority have since taken down and deleted their Facebook and Twitter pages. 

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