The Alabama Alpha Phi sorority out of the University of Alabama campus has torpedoed a dubious recruitment video after social media exploded over the chapter’s racially homogeneous film, which featured 72 ladies partying it up inside the sprawling sorority mansion. The video, viewed over half a million times on YouTube, has since been taken down.
Writes Today.com on Aug. 17: “A sorority chapter at the University of Alabama has taken down a popular video and deleted all of its social media pages in the wake of criticism over the recruitment video, which has been depicted as lacking diversity and objectifying women.”
The video, which lands somewhere between a promo for a Robin Leach-hosted folly of “champagne wishes and caviar dreams” and MTV’s Spring Break coverage of a 1992 Fort Lauderdale dance grind, opens with a bevy of beauties welcoming you through the front doors of the historical Alpha Phi building.
Shots of the opulent interior of the building are juxtaposed with a very Playboy-esque staging of smiling, skinny, skimpily dressed blondes – and the occasional brunette – laughing, hugging and skipping about. The entire video is heavy on the flesh, light on academics, and non-existent when it comes to minorities.
Alpha Phi is the fourth-oldest sorority in the country, boasting alumni members that include civic leaders, politicians, state legislators and the first female treasurer of the United States. Never mind all that – this is what hot girls look like eating popsicles.
Young girls in tiny summer dresses are shown engaging in activities that every college campus should offer – degree programs in blowing glitter, giving one another piggyback rides, blowing kisses and river swimming in inflatable white swans. About halfway through the video, we see our first and only African American – a University of Alabama football player throwing a pass to about a dozen girls. Of course, they fail to catch the ball and all tumble down on top of each other in a kinky snarl of conditioned hair and long legs.
The hullabaloo began after AL.com writer A. Bailey wrote a scathing opinion piece, dubbing the video “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,” adding that it’s “racially and aesthetically homogeneous and forced, so hyper-feminine, so reductive and objectifying, so Stepford Wives: College Edition.”
Bailey, referring to Donald Trump’s recent spats with Fox News host Megyn Kelly, said the professionally created video paints the sorority girls as “poster children for detrimental stereotypes and clichés.”
“These young women, with all their flouncing and hair-flipping, are making it so terribly difficult for anyone to take them seriously, now or in the future,” she wrote. “To the incoming PNMs (potential new members), this video has a clear sales pitch: beauty, sexuality, and a specific look above all. They’re selling themselves on looks alone, as a commodity. Sadly, commodities don’t tend to command much respect.”
Adds USA Today: “According to the reactions of viewers, the group apparently failed highlight anything other than their looks.” Commenters on the sorority’s stylish and slick video – which has since been yanked from the chapter’s Facebook, YouTube and other social media pages – have been quick to rip into the advert. A sampling of comments:
I thought it would not be that bad. I was wrong. If my daughter was in something like this she’d be in another school tomorrow. Who are they recruiting? Ex porn starlets?
Bad look for the University of Alabama in light of the issue of diversity of the Greek system. Not enough thought was put into production of this video. The sorority did not think that they are not only representing themselves, but the University as a whole!
I expected to see Hugh Hefner pop out among these ladies! This is more like a video for the Playboy Mansion than recruitment video for a college sorority! No big girls, no girls of color must be one of the requirements they hold strictly to.
Sound off below: What is your opinion of the Alpha Phi Alabama sorority video?