“Most people would assume that shallow mean girl snobbery immediately begins to fade after high school, but, judging from a style and beauty guide that was recently leaked from Cornell University’s Phi Beta Phi sorority, apparently not. The extremely pretentious and highly ridiculous manifesto, which is meant to be followed by all of the sorority’s pledges during rush week, is composed of guidelines about labels, jewelry, makeup, and even weight limitations.””
Most people would assume that shallow mean girl snobbery immediately begins to fade after high school, but, judging from a style and beauty guide that was recently leaked from Cornell University’s Phi Beta Phi sorority, apparently not.
The extremely pretentious and highly ridiculous manifesto, which is meant to be followed by all of the sorority’s pledges during rush week, is composed of guidelines about labels, jewelry, makeup, and even weight limitations.
Here are some of the highlights:
?Phi Phi members should not wear satin unless they are under 130 pounds or the piece is from Dolce & Gabbana or Betsey Johnson.?No gross plastic jewelry. I love things on wrists and I demand earrings if your ears are pierced.?No American Apparel leggings.?Blush is not optional?No cropped pants. Ugh. ?Booties are okay if you can pull them off, a.k.a. probably not?You best have a mani/pedi when you get to Ithaca.
When asked about the Cornell style guide, University of Akron sorority members, almost all of whom requested that their names not be published, gave mixed responses. Some acknowledged that they have encountered very strict regulations as well as superficial behavior, while others said that their sororities are very lenient when it comes to style and pledges only have to follow normal standards.
One ex-sorority girl professed that, though her sorority was nowhere near as severe as the Phi Beta Phis at Cornell, there was a no sneaker policy and an alumni once told an ugly girl to ‘at least put on some lip gloss.’
She also mentioned that many of the young women at her sorority had weight issues-there were lots of bulimics-and that fat girls were outraged when they only offered baby-sized tees for formal tops.
Another student, who used to attend Howard University, recounted her negative experiences with one of the sororities on campus.
She said that the sorority was very strict about what students who were not members of the sorority wore. For example, only girls that were in the sorority could wear pearls and the organization’s colors and if someone who wasn’t part of the sorority was seen on campus wearing either, she would be confronted.
Other students, who are currently members of sororities, painted a different picture of Greek life. An anonymous sorority girl mentioned that there are only very lenient dictations on dress during pledge week and other recruiting events, citing that members have to wear a certain outfit consisting of skinny jeans, patent leather pumps, and a tight t-shirt with the sorority’s letters embroidered on it. Also, she said that girls must wear their hair half-up and half-down, not fully up or fully down.
She iterated that everyone has to look the same for recruiting so the organization projects a professional, uniform image.
A second University of Akron sorority member voiced a similar reaction, admitting that her sorority does have regulations, but only for recruiting and certain occasions where everyone must wear a black dress. She did say that their outfits are sometimes inspected to make sure that everyone looks tasteful and appropriate; no one’s boobs can be hanging out. Still, she stressed that the sororities at the University of Akron are more about fun than being petty mean girls. Also, in response to Cornell’s satin dress policy, she said, We have girls of all shapes and sizes.
Jaclyn McGuire, a junior English major and a member of the Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority, also shed light on the positive side of sorority life, emphasizing that her sorority is less obsessed with vapid style rules and more concerned with philanthropy and helping the community.
In the end, organizations like the one at Cornell are giving the young women who are trying to escape the stereotypes associated with sororities a bad name. A sorority shouldn’t be about whether it’s members look good in satin and have perfectly groomed toes, but rather about promoting healthy social environments for young women and also assisting with projects around campus and the community.