5 Times Hollywood Got it Wrong When Portraying Greek Life

Written with love by Alina O'Donnell 

Before I came to college, I thought I had Greek life all figured out. There was just no way that Reese Witherspoon and Amanda Bynes would lie to me in the movies! Some of the things that many Hollywood films taught me about being in a sorority were inexplicably terrifying. In the back of my mind I was scared that Greek life was all about mean girls, being forced to do embarrassing things, and partying all the time in order to fit in. I didn’t want to be a part of anything like that! But don’t fear—Hollywood got it wrong at least 5 times and we’re going to set the record straight:

1. Sydney White

I’m going to be honest—this movie is a guilty pleasure. What’s not to love about a Snow White parody? All Sydney White wants is to join her mother’s sorority house and carry on her legacy. After facing an evil president and a whole lot of ridiculous hazing, though, Sydney White ends up being banished from the Kappa house and the nightmare continues as she is forced to live in “the house of the seven dorks”.

This movie portrays sorority recruitment totally wrong. When I joined my sorority, we had a ton of fun events so that we could get to know everyone! No one woke me up in the middle of the night to humiliate me or forced me to do anything that lowered my self-esteem throughout the pledging process. Instead, we grabbed ice cream, watched movies, and had sleepovers! Your future sisters will want to make you feel welcome and included. Recruitment is about finding where you belong and being appreciated for who you are! I’m disappointed in Amanda Bynes for perpetuating the negative hazing stereotype. That’s not what it’s all about, ladies!

photo: @alina_odonnell

2. Legally Blonde

Another classic film! I’m all about that girl power and am a HUGE Elle Woods fan. Because, who isn’t? When the Delta Nu sorority president gets into Harvard Law School, her whole world is flipped upside down. It’s a cinematic masterpiece! But I am not a fan of how sorority life is portrayed throughout the film.

First of all, chapter isn’t for discussing the quality of our toilet paper—we actually do have important business to attend to! This movie highlights the negative stereotypes about sorority life and makes it seem like all sorority girls are blonde, ditzy, and rich. Sorority girls are just normal girls! There is not a certain mold to fit so the color of your hair, what you wear, or where you come from doesn’t matter. All that matters is the supportiveness of your sisters and staying true to your authentic self.

3. The House Bunny

The House Bunny goes through the transformation of the Zeta Alpha Zeta sorority going from “nobodies” to “somebodies”. When a former Playboy Bunny becomes the house mother to a group of misfits, she teaches them all about the importance of looking good and getting all the cute boys. The rest is history!

Just so you know, you don’t have to change who you are to fit in with a sorority. The whole point of recruitment is to find where you fit—and there is a place for everyone! Every sorority is different and your future sorority will undoubtedly accept you for you! There’s no need for a big makeover sequence in real life (unless you’re really feeling it).

4. Neighbors & Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising

I’m sure we’ve all sat through these movies for the opportunity to stare at Zac Efron on a screen for two hours. Totally fair. When Psi Beta fraternity moves next door to a family of three, a full-out war commences. The second movie follows a similar plot line and shares the story of a group of girls who create their own sorority in order to avoid the “typical” Greek experience of being judged for their looks, hanging out with fraternity bros, and not being allowed to have any parties.

False. So false. There really isn’t a “typical” sorority experience! You get out what you put into it by creating a bond with your sisters that will last a lifetime. Greek life isn’t about partying and hanging out with boys either. There are so many fun things to do with your sisters other than that. My personal favorites include pajama parties, Bachelor watch sessions, and make-your-own pizza night. YUM!

photo: @alina_odonnell

5. Sorority Wars

This one is truly ridiculous—Sorority WARS. It’s in the name, people! When two childhood BFFs take on college together and both long to be in the same sorority, war breaks out. One friend gets into Delta and the other ends up in the rival Kappa house. The rest of the movie follows along as their friendship quickly falls apart.

This movie portrays an awful rush week and is the complete opposite of everything Greek life. Just because you are in a sorority doesn’t mean you can’t be friends with people in a different sorority. In my experience, the Greek community is so supportive of one another. I love going to Greek philanthropy events and having social events with other sororities! We’re all one big Greek family.


Let’s not forget about inaccurate portrayals of Greek life on TV! Hit shows like Greek and Scream Queens emphasize negative sorority stereotypes once again. Is anyone surprised? Hopefully now you won’t be fooled with the way the media often makes Greek life out to be. Don’t be afraid to go Greek! Let’s continue to break the stereotypes each and every day and show everyone what Greek life is truly about.


About the Blogger: Alina is a senior at Texas Christian University and served as a former Public Relations Chair for her sorority, Alpha Delta Pi. Follow Alina on Instagram: @alina_odonnell

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