A Proper Sorority Appearance Guideline

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Jezebel revealed a horrific e-mail from University of Southern California’s Alpha Chi Omega chapter requiring sisters to adhere to a sorority appearance guideline set by a “Personal Development” chair at the sorority. Oh my goodness, ladies! This is one of the saddest e-mails I’ve ever read, and it wasn’t even directed towards me. I thought I’d do everyone (sisters, potential new members/PNMs, students, and citizens of the world) a favor and re-write the e-mail that was clearly mistakenly sent out.

Adorable Alpha Chi Omega girls looking like non-conformists at UCLA. Source: Flickr

Adorable UCLA Alpha Chi Omega chapter girls looking like non-conformists. Source: Flickr

Hey everyone!

Recruitment week is coming up soon, and I thought I’d send you an e-mail about some ways to feel your best and most confident, because these are things I do to feel my best (I know it’s long, but please read the whole thing, because I’m vain):

  • Body shapers, any brand. If you are like me and went crazy on Grandma’s holiday cookies, your pants might button a little tighter. While I’ve been trying to hit the gym, my favorite jeans just aren’t comfortable yet, so I wear a body shaper underneath. It definitely helps when I’m feeling bloated, too, so I don’t quite feel like I’m struggling to fit. It’s a great way to also avoid panty-lines when I wear something clingy. Or don’t.
  • Hair touch up. My hair feels so much healthier after a nice trim, and I love how vivid fresh color is. If you’re like me and dye your hair, touch up your roots or color if you feel like it’s dull, or save your money if you like it the way it is. If you need some guidance, I can recommend my stylist. She’s great! Or don’t.
  • Eyebrow grooming. Whether you do or don’t have eyebrows, you can shape them with waxing or tweezing, or fill them in with make-up. Or don’t.
  • Health. If you are feeling ill, please don’t come out to recruitment week, because it’s better if you get some rest. Eat your fruits and veggies, and let me know if you need some vitamin C tablets. I’d be happy to give you some. Start exercising now. It will be a long day on your feet, and so practice your standing up on two legs. Or don’t.
  • Hair styling. If your hair is naturally curly or straight, feel free to leave it in it’s natural state. Honestly, it will give you more time to sleep in. If you like to have your hair styled, ask your sisters in advance if they can do it, because they will probably be just as busy as you during recruitment week. Maybe offer them an end-of-day massage, because they will surely be tired (see note above about standing). If you have bangs that fall in your face, I recommend pinning them up so that you don’t have to constantly worry about them and we can all see your beautiful face. Or don’t.
  • Make-up. Please wear whatever make-up you like. I have a Pinterest board with some ideas for how I like to wear my make-up. Or don’t.
  • Nails. If you’re getting a manicure, I suggest gel polish. It won’t chip through the whole week! If you get chips, it’s probably going to bug the crap out of you and make you curse the nail polish. It’s not it’s fault. It’s just polish. Or don’t.
  • Glasses/contacts. If you have poor vision, please wear corrective lenses so you can see. If you don’t normally wear contacts, this is probably a bad time to try them out. You don’t want to poke your eye and then spend all day outside with pollen and smog in the air to irritate your new contacts. Or don’t.
  • Don’t forget everything you need to have for your wardrobe: clothes. Or don’t, but the campus feels strongly about you having clothes on.
  • Social media. It’s awesome if you want to make your profile picture something recruitment related. Our chapter gets more exposure to PNMs through your Facebook. But also it’s your Facebook, and we have a Facebook page for the sorority that PNMs can probably find. So change your photo to a flyer for recruitment if you want. Or don’t.

I cannot express how important it is for you to feel comfortable and confident at recruitment. Some of this stuff may seem superficial, and that’s because it is. Except the part about your health and corrective lenses. Those are truly just looking out for your best interests, unlike my Pinterest board with make-up that I think looks good on me (unless you think it looks good on you, too!). How you feel about yourself will definitely attract PNMs, and since we are such a non-appearance focused sorority who focuses mostly on charity work, post-college networking, and sisterhood bonds, it is really important that you do whatever necessary to feel great. Take pride in our chapter, because we’re the most friendly and kind women on campus.


Your Personal Development Chair

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About Jayda
Jayda Knight is a twenty-something in Los Angeles. Her background in online journalism, coupon clipping, and addictive shopping inspired her to create a website for women to save money and have fun. She enjoys cooking (and grilling) whatever mix-matched items she can find in her fridge, and splurges on craft beers and Disneyland trips.


  1. Another home run, Jayda <3

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