It's not a good week to be a sorority girl at the University of Alabama. Alpha Phi's Beta Mu chapter has come under fire after their recruitment video went viral and received a ton of negative attention. In the video, sorority members (primarily thin, white, and blond) can be seen giving each other piggy-back rides in the grass, dancing together lakeside in bikinis, and blowing kisses.
In an op-ed for AL.com, writer A.L. Bailey described the video as such: "It's a parade of white girls and blonde hair dye, coordinated clothing, bikinis and daisy dukes, glitter and kisses, bouncing bodies, euphoric hand-holding and hugging, gratuitous booty shots, and matching aviator sunglasses. 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."
Since the backlash started, the chapter has deleted its Facebook and Twitter pages and have made their Instagram account private. They've even deleted the video, and the university released a statement claiming that the video is "not reflective of UA's expectations."
So, what's the issue here? That the video objectifies women? That the women are exclusionary toward the the recruits they'll allow to prance and frolic alongside them? It's a complicated issue -- one that I don't think Beta Mu should be shouldering all the blame for, at least not without first directing a portion of that ire toward a culture that promotes and idealizes the "sorority girl" image. (Looking at you, all of North America since the 1980s!)
Watch the video below and decide for yourself!