Pity the Alpha Phi sorority chapter at the University of Alabama: Too many blondes, too much femininity, and too much fun.

The 72 sisters on Alpha Phi at Alabama's Tuscaloosa campus made the mistake of posting a recruitment video on YouTube last week in anticipation of Bid Day on Aug. 15, when "PNM"s (potential new members) make their final decisions and are welcomed into the Greek houses they have chosen to pledge. The glossy video showed off the Alpha Phi chapter house to its best advantage and also the girls of Alpha Phi to their best advantage. Sporting professional-quality makeup and blowouts, as well as (in varying scenes), sundresses, cocktail dresses, bikinis, and cutoffs, the mostly blonde Alabama sorority ladies looked about as attractive as 20-year-olds (or thereabouts) can be, which is pretty darned attractive. As they swam in a lake and cavorted on their chapter-house lawn and at the Crimson Tide stadium with some of the players, they also looked like parents' dreams of wholesomeness: no tats, no piercings, no side-shaves, no ironic nail polish or eyeglasses. Not surprisingly, perhaps, the video drew half a million views, most of them undoubtedly from enchanted males.

Now, I myself, a bumbling nerd-beatnik during my college years (and long afterwards), couldn't have gotten into Alpha Phi, home of the superlatively photogenic, if my father had offered to have the sorority banner  embroidered with diamonds. But when I saw that video, I  loved the girls' high spirits, their unabashed enjoyment of their own silliness, and above all, that pristine and pretty chapter house on Sorority Row. What an improvement over grungy college dorms and noisy food-court dining halls.

But of course we can't have beauty and enjoying being a girl these days. Writer A.L. Bailey wrote this opinon piece for AL.com:

Remember all those bikini-clad, sashaying, glitter-blowing, and spontaneous piggyback-riding days of college? Me either. But according to a new video, it's a whirlwind of glitter and girl-on-girl piggyback rides at the University of Alabama's Alpha Phi house. 

No, it's not a slick Playboy Playmate or Girls Gone Wild video. It's a sorority recruiting tool gaining on 500,000 views in its first week on YouTube. It's a parade of white girls and blonde hair dye, coordinated clothing, bikinis and daisy dukes, glitter and kisses, bouncing bodies, euphoric hand-holding and hugging, gratuitous booty shots, and matching aviator sunglasses. It's all so racially and aesthetically homogeneous and forced, so hyper-feminine, so reductive and objectifying, so Stepford Wives: College Edition. It's all so … unempowering.

Yikes! Coordinated clothing!

The headline on Bailey's piece read: "'Bama Sorority Video Worse for Women Than Donald Trump."

And as the U.K. Daily Mail reported, the comments on Bailey's piece were along the same lines:

Shell Seeker 7 said: 'Just watched the video, as a Mother with three grandaughter's in college trying to get through college on their own, no sorority, this Alabama video is pathetic, and shameful , college is about education, not football and parties.

'I'm sure the kid's returning to class feel just a little bit lower having watched this ridiculous, sexual , ad for college, have a day picnic if you want fun for everyone and include all the students. …pathetic.

Another said: 'I thought it would not be that bad. I was wrong. If my daughter was in something like this she'd be in another school tomorrow. Who are they recruiting? Ex porn starlets?

The University of Alabama, which has been criticized for a lack of racial diversity among its sorority houses (a problem that generally plagues Greek life, which used to be strictly segregated racially), condemned the video: "“This video is not reflective of UA’s expectations for student organizations to be responsible digital citizens." A few days later, Alpha Phi pulled it from the Internet.
But I'll bet that nonetheless, Alpha Phi was pretty successful in attracting those PNMs. Being "hyper-feminine" may be out of fashion in the angry sisterhood of the media–but it still sells for the sisterhoods on campuses. Both sorority and fraternity membership have been steadily climbing in recent years.