University of Alabama Sorority Shoots Flirty Recruitment Video — and Draws Ire of Internet

A University of Alabama sorority has come under fire after releasing a recruitment video featuring sorority members. Critics say that the imagery is too focused on sorority sisters’ beauty and contains very little, if any, diversity.

The Alpha Phi sorority published the recruitment video on YouTube but took it down amid accusations of objectifying women.

The video is made up of dozens of the sorority sisters, who are almost entirely white and mostly blond. In it, they wear short skirts, daisy dukes, and bikinis all while dancing around and blowing glitter kisses before the camera.

Although the video was taken down by Alpha Phi — after garnering 500,000 views — it was uploaded by other YouTube users.

How did it get so much attention on the internet? writer A.L. Bailey referred to the video as “Stepford Wives: College Edition” and said that it could have easily been mistaken for a “Playboy Playmate or Girls Gone Wild video.”

Also calling the video “unempowering,” Bailey wrote, “Remember all those bikini-clad, sashaying, glitter-blowing, and spontaneous piggyback-riding days of college? Me either. But according to a new video, it’s a whirlwind of glitter and girl-on-girl piggyback rides at the University of Alabama’s Alpha Phi house.”

That unrealistic, image-obsessed view of women may be part of what leads so many to change their appearances. For instance, of the more than 11 million cosmetic procedures performed in 2013, women underwent about 90.6% of the total, or 10.3 million of them.

While Bailey’s article proved to be controversial, earning the writer hundreds of nasty comments online, the video also prompted criticism of the sorority and Greek life as a whole.

Meanwhile, officials from the University of Alabama condemned the video, releasing a statement saying, “This video is not reflective of UA’s expectations for student organizations to be responsible digital citizens.”

However, they also gave a general message to the student population. “It is important for student organizations to remember what is posted on social media makes a difference, today and tomorrow, on how they are viewed and perceived,” the statement read.

Not everyone thought the video was so bad, though. Griffin Meyer, the University of Alabama student who was commissioned to put the video together, said that the outrage is all over nothing.

“There is no drinking, no drugs, no nudity,” Meyer said in his defense of the video. “It’s kind of sad girls can’t play fake football or be in a bikini without the judgement of the entire Internet.”

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