Next week marks the beginning of Sigma Chi's Derby Days, a week-long event aimed at promoting involvement to raise money for Sigma Chi's charity. It promises to be an enjoyable week filled with barbeques, relay races and lip sync contests, yet I find one part of their program objectionable.
One of the week-long activities is a contest between sororities to see which can eat the most frozen yogurt. Each time a greek girl buys frozen yogurt from Alpine, she will receive a sticker to place on the point board next to her sorority's letters. While I certainly believe that there was no malicious intent in the creation of this contest, I find that a contest to eat the most frozen yogurt is in some ways a perverse commentary on Duke's female society.
Whether true or not, a strong stereotype exists surrounding a "sorority diet" that is based heavily on "fro-yo." I will admit that it is true that girls eat a lot of frozen yogurt. I, for one, live on the stuff. But I do not pretend that my diet is the model of healthy eating. Frozen yogurt has no nutritional value, no calcium, very little caloric value and serves mainly as a space-filler. If we want to promote healthy eating habits to combat the pressures here on girls to be thin and perfect, then I highly doubt a contest encouraging them to eat more frozen yogurt helps the cause. Why not have a contest to see who can buy the most diuretics, or who can throw up the most meals in a week?
I see no problem with the contest itself; it is the frozen yogurt, which carries such a strong stigma, that I find misguided. Why not have a contest to see which sorority can eat the most bagels? Or sandwiches? Or foods that do not say: Girls should not eat real food. Although I appreciate Sigma Chi's charitable intentions, I merely find this a further reinforcement of existing stereotypes that lead to disordered eating.
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