Sorority Girls Highlight the Conformist in All of Us

    Tuesday was sorority bid day, which means all UCSD’s wannabe
    celebutantes are out in full force — along with every styled lock freshly
    highlighted and each tiny, manicured digit a perfect glittering pink — sporting
    their brand-new gold-and-magenta printed tanks.

    And I’ll just come out and say it: I’m judging you sorority
    lemmings. With your unnaturally dazzling smiles and your shoe-matches-barrette
    coordination, you’re so uniform it makes me want to scream. This is why when my
    little brother, a freshman at Cal State Northridge, called me a few days ago to
    say he just rushed a frat, I was stunned. My perpetually-proud elder-sister
    heart sank.

    “Don’t worry,” he assured me. “This is like, a cool frat.”

    A cool frat? What the fuck? Isn’t that like, a fun root
    canal?

    I wasn’t convinced. However, not wanting to crush his
    wide-eyed first-month-of-college spirit, I gently asked what he meant. He
    explained that the other guys seemed nice, and that he wanted to get involved
    in something the way he’d joined marching band in high school. Then, just as I
    was about to say something snarky regarding the difference between synchronized
    marching and binge drinking, he added something that stopped me in my tracks.

    “You know, like the way you’re all into the newspaper,” he
    said.

    Hmm, touché.

    I guess when you put it that way, it really isn’t fair at
    all for me to judge the hot-girl brigades. These fashion-centric crowds, though
    shallow and highly decorated, are similar to any other group of friends.

    And maybe I’m just taking out my nonconformist aggression on
    an easy target.

    While these type-A sorority and fraternity people express
    themselves by being matchy-matchy with their 40 best friends, I prefer
    something different. I rock the too-big-band-sweatshirt-and-dirty-Chuck-Taylors
    look because, you know, I’m so original and anti-mainstream.

    I read nonfiction books and newspapers, not gossip
    magazines. I work two jobs and never go to the gym. If I could have chosen
    anywhere for vacation last summer it would have been Winslow, Arz., not Cancun.
    I think my dysfunctional family has given me depth and a good sense of humor,
    which I use to scoff at girls who dream of a white picket fence and oven-baked
    cookies. And I wouldn’t be caught dead listening to whiney-boys Good Charlotte
    or James Blunt — it’s only Cheap Trick and Bob Dylan for me.

    But that’s just a different kind of uniform.

    My whole fight-the-man think-for-yourself approach — though
    sincere — is really just another standardized way of flaunting my values. Just
    like the way emo-indie types have their shaggy bangs, tight black jeans and
    Panic! at the Disco. Or the way artsy types have their thrift-store cardigans,
    Moleskine notebooks and foreign cigarettes.

    In a way, these uber-trendy sorority people aren’t being
    fake; they’re actually more honest. They’ve got spirit (yes they do!) and they
    aren’t afraid to come out and say it, even if by doing so, they become an easy
    target for assholes like me.

    I’ve surrounded myself by people with the same beliefs and
    interests as me, and in doing so I’ve convinced myself that we’re different —
    and in some way better — than them.

    But though the crowd I roll with may be quirkier and more
    left-of-center, we’re still just as concerned with what’s happening on MTV,
    even if it’s to fuel our mockery of conventional America. And what makes that
    any better than those who embrace their consumerist nature, parading around in
    Juicy Couture and Greek letters?

    Maybe we indie/artsy/original types are more bogus than we’d
    like to let on — after all, by deliberately setting our styles against the
    pop-culture grain in an attempt to be avant-garde we’re really just giving
    credit to the very thing we’re trying to subvert.

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