In Sororities, No Bad Hair Days--or Doughnuts--Allowed

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The DePauw University women whose waistlines seem to have gotten them evicted from their Delta Zeta sorority house might still belong to a wider sisterhood. "All sorority girls have, whether they will admit it or not, been told about the importance of either maintaining or improving their sorority's image," writes one sorority member at the University of Southern California in today's Daily Trojan. Last semester, for instance, a Kappa Kappa Gamma member sent her sisters an E-mail with tips on how to stay thin. "Attached," writes the columnist, "were inspirational photos of overweight sorority girls from other houses." As the E-mail writer explained, nobody wants to live in "Kappa Kappa Krispy Kreme"!

So why bother to stay a member and face such judgments? The USC columnist describes two different worlds: Inside the house, "sorority members embrace quirks, tell you you're beautiful when you feel you are not," she writes. But outside, "We're told in order to ensure a good reputation that when wearing our letters we must look our best, for a sister wearing her letters on a bad hair day could potentially ruin a house's reputation."