Addressing the Sorority Girl Stereotype

To the people who think all sorority girls are blonde and skinny:

First, I would like to point out that I made it into a sorority and I am not blonde.  In addition, I haven’t been to the gym in over a year and although I am comfortable in my body I do not feel it is the body people picture a typical sorority girl having.  It is also not my goal to become a Barbie doll: not only because I would look ridiculous as a blonde but because I love my brunette hair, having curves, and eating as much pizza as I want.  And to be honest, a lot of girls in my sorority and other sororities on my campus are all unique...so where did this stereotype start?

Well, I do not think that Legally Blonde did much for improving the image of the sorority girl. Even though Elle Woods became a successful lawyer, this does not seem to be the aspect on which most people focus.  In addition, you hear rumors about how sororities make you sit on a laundry machine and make you watch your fat jiggle or have you put on a white t-shirt, turn on black lights, and let fraternity boys come in and circle the areas you need to improve on in highlighter. None of these stories are anything close to the experience I went through.

My first year at college was hard and I immediately wanted to transfer.  I had one close friend while I watched girls roam around campus with their squad. I did not have this. I kept questioning myself and considered the fact that maybe there was something wrong with me and my personality. This was not how I pictured college going. Before you go off to college you hear cheesy sayings like “college is where you find your true friends,” and “in college, you will find people who accept you for who you truly are.” But this did not happen for me, at least not immediately.

Here at Gettysburg, you do not rush until your sophomore year. I decided not to transfer and try going through recruitment. Growing up I never thought I would be in a sorority and, to be honest, I looked at sorority girls in a stereotypical light.  However, when I was going through recruitment I knew that I had made the right decision. I walked into the Delta Gamma room, my soon to be home, and felt like I walked into a room of girls that finally understood me.  They were all down to earth, had the same sense of humor, and had a love for life, not caring what other people thought of them.  Looking around the room, not one person was alike.  The room was filled with athletes, women of different majors and minors, and many different styles of clothing.  There are some extremely preppy girls, girls who dress with a little California swag, and some girls that prefer wearing sweats to class.  The beauty of all of it: no matter how you dress, what your major is, what clubs you join, or who you are friends with outside of the sorority, everyone views you for you and are always there supporting you every step of the way.

So to ME, being in a sorority means finding your closest friends (your squad) and finding a support system.  But never has it ever been about looks, popularity, or status on campus. To the people that think sororities are only blonde, skinny, Legally Blonde-esque girls: you’re wrong.  It is time to open up your eyes and realize that this is a stereotype and a stereotype that desperately needs to be broken.

Sincerely,

The brunette English major with a Writing Concentration and a Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies minor; a lover of food; and a hater of running . . . who's also in a sorority.