If you haven’t seen it yet, here is heavily criticized recruitment video for the University of Alabama’s Alpha Phi house.
In an opinion piece for AL.com A.L. Bailey lambasted the sorority for the content of the video:
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.
Bailey then went on to point out that the video neglected some key parts of sorority life:
The video lacks any mention of core ideals or service and philanthropy efforts. It lacks substance but boasts bodies. It’s the kind of thing that subconsciously educates young men on how to perceive, and subsequently treat, women in their lives.
The media have since picked up the story with many people poking fun at the video or heavily defending it.
And now some thought throw-up…
When my husband showed me the video tonight, without giving me any background context on the subject of what I was witnessing, I thought for sure it was well done satire. But according to my husband and the rest of the internet, this video was apparently created as a serious piece of propaganda to promote Alpha Phi.
Is it wrong that I still kind of love it?
I should probably add a big disclaimer at this point and say, yes I have relatively normal vision and I can grasp this ridiculousness of this video, but I still have a hard time believing that these women were ignorant to its silliness. Plus, all the attention that this video has received helped highlight the racial disparities not only in the Greek system, but the entire University.
With only 17% of the University’ s students identifying as non-white, it is really no wonder that the video is full of #blessed white girls who do a mean duck face.
Do I really think they meant to do this? Well, I am still unsure if the stereotypical “white girl” additions were intentionally self-aware or just a delightful coincidence, but I know for a fact that would not be looking up reviews of the University and its diversity if it were not for this video going viral.
Frankly, I am having a hard time tearing apart a group of 72 girls in their late teens and early 20s who may have completely overlooked some serious issues in the video due to their age and privilege (which they probably are unaware even exists).
And as far as mistakes, I don’t mean the playful sexuality in the video. If I were to critique this based on personal preference, then yeah, in order to impress me with a recruiting video they would need to add a lot more substance. However,embracing their sexuality at this age is certainly not wrong.
So get your laugh, cringe, or whatever from the video, but also cross your fingers and hope that this story will transition from one bad sorority video to a conversation on the University of Alabama’s lack of diversity…. which is what we all should really be discussing.