A promotional video for the Alpha Phi sorority at the University of Alabama was removed from all social media platforms after it met with a wave of criticism for showing women “selling themselves on looks alone, as a commodity.”
Video is ‘worse for women than Donald Trump’
According to Mashable, the six-minute video was shot and shared on social media ahead of the annual sorority rush recruitment event at the university. The video – which has been regarded as “worse for women than Donald Trump” – shows women running around the campus in bikinis and football jerseys and applying makeup.
Although the video was taken down from YouTube by Alpha Phi after it was viewed 500,000 times, it has been uploaded by other YouTube users, as reported by USA Today.
The creative mind behind the video is student filmmaker and University of Alabama junior Griffin Meyer.
“The Arizona Theta video was a huge inspiration to me in terms of what I wanted the final product to look like,” Meyer says.
“That video is awesome. The girls didn’t present themselves in a negative way in either video, so I really don’t know why mine got so much more attention. I didn’t consciously make any choices during filming with the specific intention of making it go viral, I was actually pretty nervous people weren’t going to like it as much as the other recruitment videos. I still don’t really know if it was liked or hated.”
He further said, “A lot of sororities have been using that [Theta video] for inspiration because it looked so good and was so successful.”
University of Alabama sorority video: ‘The video is not reflective of UA’s expectations’
In a statement, the University of Alabama expressed their condemnation for the video, saying it “is not reflective of UA’s expectations for student organizations to be responsible digital citizens.”
“It is important for student organizations to remember what is posted on social media makes a difference, today and tomorrow, on how they are viewed and perceived,” Deborah Lane, associate vice president for university relations, said.
A.L. Bailey, writing for AL.com, said the video echoed the statements made by Trump during his August 6 Republican debate.
“This video has a clear sales pitch: beauty, sexuality, and a specific look above all,” Bailey writes. “They’re selling themselves on looks alone, as a commodity. Sadly, commodities don’t tend to command much respect. So who is buying what they’re selling?
“Men, from Donald Trump on down to fraternity pledges, are buying it over and over again with devastating results.”
‘I think the more people talk about sexism the more real it becomes’
Meyers, however, spoke against Bailey in light of Bailey’s criticism of the video.
“If this were a video of guys doing the same thing (or much worse) it would receive absolutely no attention,” Meyers said. “I think the more people talk about sexism the more real it becomes.”
“My goal was never to show the accomplishments of the sorority — if it was, this video would be a failure. This video is not for politically sensitive adults who immediately associate eating a popsicle with sex. It’s a hyper-realistic video that’s supposed to evoke an emotion in the mind of an incoming freshman girl, so I don’t really care what adults think.”
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