Somebody just leaked a sorority pledge week email to Jezebel, and it basically reinforces every stereotype about sororities out there. The email outlines “appearance guidelines” for the women of the Alpha Chi Omega chapter at University of Southern California during “polish week,” the week before they start meeting potential new members.
You can read the full email here, but we’ve picked out the most important pieces for you.
On the importance of Spanx, the sender had this to say:
"I cannot stress how important spanx are to make you look your best. Even if you are very thin, Spanx will give you a better "line" when you wear clothes (no awkward bumps!) Plus you don't have to worry about sucking in all the time or being bloated!"
And about makeup:
"You need to have foundation, concealer, something pinky/neutral for the lips (stain, gloss, etc), BLOT POWDER/OIL BLOTTERS, eyeliner (BLACK or BROWN only), mascara, neutral eyeshadows, bronzer, and (optional but recommended) blush. If you are not wearing the required makeup, I will stop you and apply it myself. I don't care if you're late for class. I don't care if you're a sophomore or a super senior. I will stop you. If you don't know how to apply all this makeup, check out my Pinterest board. I picked out all the videos and products with you guys in mind!"
And on the all-important issue of eyebrows:
"Eyebrows shape your face. Bad eyebrows will make you look less beautiful than you actually are! Your eyebrows need to look neat (as in not messy) for recruitment. I know "full" eyebrows are in style right now, but "full" does not mean "BUSHY" or "WILD."... Alternatively, if you have SPARSE eyebrows then you need to fill them in."
And on representing yourself properly on social media:
"Please make your profile pics, cover photos, etc. something cute and Alpha Chi. Don't use a picture where we're making ugly faces or are in a visibly not sober state!"
While the email is obviously, on the surface, a hilarious, entertaining read, the fact such ideologies exist reveals many sadder truths. For one, it shows the effect of popular culture on the minds of youth, who constantly try to emulate the things they see in TVs and movies despite the fact they are works of fiction. Sororities and fraternities are built on the principles of sharing friendship, knowledge, and experiences, and their purpose is supposed to be about learning, growing, and supporting each other. However, thanks to movies like 21 & Over, Van Wilder, Neighbors, and of course, Legally Blonde—which we are willing to bet whoever penned this email has seen more than a few times—the majority of people think that Greek life is all about parties, drinking, drama, and appearance.
And lastly, this email also speaks to the fact that while college is supposed to be a time to grow, learn, and find yourself, for some it can seriously dampen their freedom of thought and self-expression. It seems that some individuals within AXO value conformity over uniqueness, and that’s a damn shame.
It’s worth noting that while the email is from 2013, and the sender has since graduated, whoever leaked the email confirmed to Jezebel that "They're definitely still doing it."