EDIT DESK: Absolutely a Sorority Girl

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I am absolutely a sorority girl.

I’ve yet to go a day this semester without arriving to class adorned in a Lilly Pulitzer something and the perfect pair of Jack Rogers to match. I will put my monogram on anything and take every opportunity to “throw what I know” just about anywhere. I love to get dressed up and go out with my sisters and I will never (actually never) get sick of dancing to “Timber.” I firmly believe that Taylor Swift knows just about every thought I’ve ever had, and I actually worship Beyoncé *bows head in reverence to the queen.* I can’t deny that I’d rather read the latest issue of Vogue than the most recent edition of The New York Times, and I’d rather use my Twitter to retweet pictures of puppies than pertinent news stories.

I am absolutely a sorority girl.

But my sorority is not responsible for the attributes above, which are just a few of the things that reflect my character. In addition to those things, I boast a 3.8 GPA; I’m a campus tour guide and a TRAC Fellow; I am a cheerleader; I hold an editorial position on the school newspaper, as well as a membership in not one, but two, academic honor societies. I value my academics, family and friends above any and everything else. I am not a “slut”; in fact, I’ve been with the same boy for over two years, and I couldn’t possibly care less about capturing the attention of boys in the “top-tier frats” on campus. My sisters are student-athletes; Eco Reps; yoga instructors; actresses in the school play; peer health advisors; club lax players; tutors; Break The Silence advocates; dancers; future engineers, CEOs and doctors, as well as a plethora of other amazing things. But you would never attribute those things to our sorority affiliations, would you?

As “sorority girls,” we are expected to possess the qualities I initially referenced, while the wonderful things we, as individuals, and as chapters, do on campus, in our communities and even worldwide as we study and intern abroad go unnoticed. Hollywood has glamorized the concept of the dumb sorority girl, creating a stereotype that plagues Greek organizations nationwide. I would be wrong to say that there are not women in sororities who possess many of the stereotypical “sorority girl” qualities, but I wouldn’t be wrong to say that there is no such thing as a cookie-cutter sorority or sorority girl.

The beauty of my sorority is that not a single one of my sisters is exactly like me, and we all bring something unique to the table. For example, if you opened my closet, you’d find an excessive amount of bright Lilly dresses and rompers. On the other hand, you’d have to drag all three of my sorority roommates KICKING and SCREAMING into a Lilly Pulitzer store − it’s seriously unfortunate when I need a shopping buddy − but I love them anyway. I love them not because they are exactly like me, but because we all have completely different interests. They challenge me, they introduce me to new experiences, and they are some of the most reliable people I have ever had the pleasure of knowing.

It is because of this that I am so sick of hearing sorority women proclaim, “I am not a sorority girl.” Yes, you are, and you should be proud to say so. I would never in a million years deny my sisters or my letters because some jerk is too ignorant to get his head out of his you-know-what and get to know me beyond the preconceived notions attached to the letters I so proudly sport on a regular basis. I cannot continue to sit around and watch women who should be proud to represent their organizations deny them simply because society is too hung up on what they learned from “Legally Blonde.”

I literally cannot.

People assume we are all dumb, slutty rich girls with perfect hair who never wear sweatpants or eat pizza, and while this may be true for some, it will never be true for all. All too often sorority women fear the stereotype, and as a result of that fear, we are hearing the phrase “I am not a sorority girl” more and more. But honestly, if that is how we choose to react, we are only perpetuating the problem. It’s about time we all stand up and say, “I am absolutely a sorority girl,” because it’s true. We are strong, intelligent, successful, beautiful sorority girls.

Ultimately, neither society nor our letters can define us as individuals. Only we can.

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