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  #16  
Old 01-28-2015, 05:06 PM
LAblondeGPhi's Avatar
LAblondeGPhi LAblondeGPhi is offline
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In my first couple of weeks at business school, we had an alumna come speak to us about working at a prestigious consulting firm. During her talk, she made a comment about how being attractive and taller than average were factors in your ability to get hired and succeed in business. Obviously not the only factors, but that they were somewhere on the list of subconscious considerations that go into how people judge you.

While I agree that these factors (prejudices, whatever) exist across life, I bristle at the notion of calling them out without providing greater context to ALL the considerations that go into success in recruitment, business, life, etc. Otherwise, we run the risk of perpetuating shallow behavior both within our organizations and throughout the community that interacts with Greek organizations.

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Originally Posted by 28StGreek View Post

Then when the alleged leaked USC sorority email was recently doing the rounds on social media, regardless of its accuracy, I felt it reinforced a certain reality endemic at some campuses. It is a reality that some on this would board either ignore, pretend not to exist, or are just oblivious to. There are some who would give out advice that seeks to quash its existence and in doing so I feel would be detrimental for a PNM's expectations.

How a PNM physically looks, and her size, is a real factor in a PNM's chances during rush; at some schools definitely, and perhaps at most schools. And yes, I use rush on purpose because formal recruitment is just another example of the euphemistic culture in some people's approach to giving advice to PNMs.
My general thoughts:
1) I have seen PLENTY of advice on GreekChat related to maximizing a PNM's appearance before recruitment: pick cute outfits, get your hair and nails done, do your makeup appropriately, etc. This is helpful, constructive advice that a PNM can take action on.

2) I'm shocked that most PNMs (observant ones, at least), wouldn't know that appearance plays a role in recruitment. Is it just a coincidence that the "top tier" chapters tend to have more attractive women than "bottom tier" ones? As you said, PNMs tend to also use appearance as a criteria themselves, although ease of conversation and comfort at the chapter tend to play a more important role. Any PNM who has heard about the tiers at their school will likely have heard them described in a context that heavily emphasizes appearance, particularly from male students.



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Originally Posted by 28StGreek View Post

What is important is that the telling to PNMs at certain schools that they should "keep an open mind", "do not listen to the tent talk", "try to look past the reputation", etc, is disingenuous, even harmful. That kind of advice can breed false hope or unrealistic expectations.
I'm so confused by this. Telling PNMs to keep an open mind IS TELLING THEM TO CONSIDER EVEN THE CHAPTERS THEY DON'T PARTICULARLY LIKE. It emphasizes that you may not get your favorite chapters, and you need to give even your least favorite ones a chance, and a real chance, at that. It would be far more detrimental to say something like "go with your gut - you'll know where you belong".

Don't get me wrong - I think there's room for improving the way we describe the mutual selection process, but you can't rule out the incredible ability of people to hear what they want to hear.

Remember that by the nature of RFM and the current system of recruitment at most schools (Indiana excepted, of course), the vaaaast majority of PNMs will get placed in a chapter, if they truly stick with the process. Very few women are truly released from all chapters.

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Originally Posted by 28StGreek View Post

At USC, a freshman PNM is probably not a red flag for a grade risk, on the very virtue of being admitted to SC in the first place. What is going to really affect her rush is: who she is, who she knows, and especially how she looks. And if she does not have any recs, but looks like a Victoria's Secret Angel, then she is probably going to get a full list of invites each round.
Like your experience at USC, I agree that at UCLA, I don't recall a single time I looked at GPA for freshman coming through recruitment - there just weren't any grade risks there that you could tell from HS GPA, and looking for differentiation among a group like that would be useless. Same thing for extra curricular activities.

So, this is the key point that I *think* you're trying to make: different schools have different "characteristics of differentiation". Some schools will use resume and GPA more heavily than others, because there is significant variance there. Some schools rely heavily on who you know and where you're from. Some schools rely more heavily on appearance and personality. They're all factors in the process, but depending on how the university has pre-screened the student population, and the social emphasis from the school, the major distinguishing characteristics for each PNM might be different.

Take UCLA for example:

GPA: Not a significant source of differentiation
Extra Curricular Activities: Not a significant source of differentiation
Letters of Recommendation: Not a significant source of differentiation (too few received, and regarded as a Southern thing rather than a hallmark of PNM excellence)
Who you Know in the Chapter: A potential source of differentiation, but not many PNMs had close relationships with anyone in the chapters
Legacy Status: A pretty good source of differentiation
Personality and Sociability: In my opinion, the most significant source of differentiation (many a "socially unrefined" PNM at UCLA)
Physical Appearance (including style and grooming): A pretty good source of differentiation
Significant source of Prestige (Campus athlete, Rose Queen, etc.): If you have it, a pretty good source of differentiation

So if you look at this list, you might conclude that UCLA recruitment is really superficial. Or you might conclude that all of the PNMs are exceptionally smart and accomplished women, and understand why personality, sociability and appearance become the distinguishing factors in recruitment success.

I think we've said many of the same things here, but the difference is that I tried to give a complete context and background to the entire process, rather than painting our organizations in such a shallow, detrimental light.
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  #17  
Old 01-31-2015, 10:40 PM
28StGreek 28StGreek is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LAblondeGPhi View Post
So, this is the key point that I *think* you're trying to make: different schools have different "characteristics of differentiation".
YES! Well this probably better articulated what was partly in my head when I started this thread
Quote:
I think we've said many of the same things here, but the difference is that I tried to give a complete context and background to the entire process, rather than painting our organizations in such a shallow, detrimental light

Yes, you do add context to the 'superficial differentiations', and forgetting to add context is something I frequently do. But I really do feel that for some schools we have to be very blunt about the attitude, or even importance, of 'superficial differentiations'
Quote:
you might conclude that UCLA recruitment is really superficial. Or you might conclude that all of the PNMs are exceptionally smart and accomplished women, and understand why personality, sociability and appearance become the distinguishing factors in recruitment success.

This I think sometimes results in PNMs locking onto the "well I'm an exceptionally smart and accomplished woman", but then forgetting the next half of the sentence.
Quote:
I bristle at the notion of calling them out without providing greater context to ALL the considerations that go into success in recruitment, business, life, etc.
I was giving the reader the benefit of doubt that they were aware of the 'acceptable' considerations that go into success and that they just needed to add particular and additional attention to the aforementioned 'superficial differentiations'.
Quote:
I have seen PLENTY of advice on GreekChat related to maximizing a PNM's appearance before recruitment
This is true but in my opinion that kind of advice on Greek Chat has a tone of this is additional preparation that may be helpful rather than, maximising your appearance is as mandatory as are recs.
Quote:
I'm shocked that most PNMs (observant ones, at least), wouldn't know that appearance plays a role in recruitment.

People on this board criticise the attitudes of PNMs (and their mothers) that they're somehow a special snowflake; PNMs should be aware that at some schools they are not unique in all the objective differentiations (like GPA, etc.); but the disappointed PNMs that post on this board don't seem to be aware of that.
I think even if there is a feeling on these boards of appearance being a factor, GCers often take a tacit approach to that advice. I do realise that negative body image is a serious concern within this demographic. So commenting on how a PNM "should" or "need" to look is controversial, unhealthy, and so avoided.
But I think for rush at some schools PNMs really need to be aware of how critical their appearance is, for better or worse. And advice on this should be clear rather than circumspect and alluded to.
Quote:
I'm so confused by this. Telling PNMs to keep an open mind IS TELLING THEM TO CONSIDER EVEN THE CHAPTERS THEY DON'T PARTICULARLY LIKE...

Perhaps I should correct my original paragraph to say:
"What is important is that the telling to PNMs at certain schools that they should "keep an open mind", "do not listen to the tent talk", "try to look past the reputation", etc, as the only kind of advice offered (without accepting the existence of 'superficial differentiations') would be disingenuous, even harmful. Only giving the kind of advice that sticks to the 'objective differentiations' can breed false hope or unrealistic expectations."
Thank you LAblondeGPhi, I have really appreciated your contributions to this conversation.
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  #18  
Old 01-31-2015, 11:32 PM
33girl 33girl is offline
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But the thing is, even in this day and age, "pretty" isn't a universal concept. Mizzou's dime piece is FSU's butterface. (And vice versa) Probably the best thing women can do appearance wise is to make sure they're dressed in the style that's popular on that campus, only to the point where they feel comfortable and the style is flattering. (If you have ugly feet don't wear strappy sandals even if everyone else does.)

It's hard to do this sometimes if you're coming straight from high school especially with uniforms becoming more prevalent.

As far as makeup, there are ookabillion tutorials on youtube. Which is great because these girls have the stones to go barefaced and prove anyone can do it. You don't have to be a model to start.

And I have news for you, we're not just telling pnms to keep an open mind for their own benefit. It's because we want our sisters on those campi to succeed as well. The thing is, anyone can get hung up on ANY sorority, not just a top tier one. It's stupid to do that.
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  #19  
Old 02-07-2015, 07:40 AM
AXiD SmileyFace AXiD SmileyFace is offline
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I was doing the rounds surfing the Yahoo news feed and came across this article that y'all might find interesting. Imagine my surprise that Greek Chat and the OP are being quoted in this national article.

https://www.yahoo.com/beauty/welcome...188074988.html
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  #20  
Old 02-07-2015, 07:45 AM
AXiD SmileyFace AXiD SmileyFace is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AXiD SmileyFace View Post
I was doing the rounds surfing the Yahoo news feed and came across this article that y'all might find interesting. Imagine my surprise that Greek Chat and the OP are being quoted in this national article.

https://www.yahoo.com/beauty/welcome...188074988.html
"On the Greek Chat forum in a recent thread called “Am I pretty enough for rush?” someone under the name 28StGreek wrote, “At USC, a freshman PMN (potential new member)—what is going to really affect her rush is: who she is, who she knows, and especially how she looks. And if she does not have any recs, but looks like a Victoria’s Secret Angel, then she is probably going to get a full list of invites each round.” 28StGreek wrote that telling girls to keep an open mind is dangerous advice, and that it would be better to just admit the truth: “How a PNM physically looks, and her size, is a real factor in a PNM’s chances during rush; at some schools definitely, and perhaps at most schools.”"

Last edited by AXiD SmileyFace; 02-07-2015 at 07:46 AM. Reason: I forgot the quotation marks.
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  #21  
Old 02-07-2015, 09:34 AM
28StGreek 28StGreek is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AXiD SmileyFace View Post
I was doing the rounds surfing the Yahoo news feed and came across this article that y'all might find interesting. Imagine my surprise that Greek Chat and the OP are being quoted in this national article.

https://www.yahoo.com/beauty/welcome...188074988.html
Well bless my heart, I certainly made myself look ignorant and foolish. And I ended up doing exactly what LABlondeGPhi warned against.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LAblondeGPhi View Post
Otherwise, we run the risk of perpetuating shallow behavior both within our organizations and throughout the community that interacts with Greek organizations.
I do stand by my meaning in what I was trying to write; but I definitely admit and accept that I should have articulated it much better, and I should have put my ideas in the proper context.
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  #22  
Old 02-07-2015, 11:23 AM
33girl 33girl is offline
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