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These sorority email beauty tips will guide you through the Rush Week that is life

A leaked USC sorority email reminds us that beauty is in the eye of the rush chair.


Marisa Kabas


Posted on Jan 16, 2015   Updated on May 29, 2021, 6:19 pm CDT

Wanna rush the sorority Alpha Chi Omega at the University of Southern California? You better be willing to sacrifice your individuality in the name of sisterhood, as well as subject yourself to constant bullying over your physical appearance. It also helps if you wear Spanx. Lots and lots of Spanx.

That’s what we learned in a University of Southern California sorority email, which leaked online earlier today. Originally sent in 2013, the email outlines extremely stringent rules for what is and is not sartorially acceptable during rush week. But it’s certainly not the first of its kind. Below, the rules of feminine beauty, as told through past sorority emails and other sundry guides:


No waves. Ever. “You either need to have a curling iron (for our curly gals) or a flat iron (or a blow dryer if you have pin straight flat hair and you’re super good with hair so you can blow your hair out.) If you’re not good with these tools, now is the time to practice.”

If you have straight hair and you want to wear it curly, here’s a tip: Don’t. “Your hair needs to be able to hold for 15 hr days and hairspray crunchy or limp hair is not acceptable. Also, get some heat protectant and shine spray.”

If you have bangs, they need to be styled correctly, or you’ll look like Pete Wentz ca. 2009. “If they’re long and you’re afraid they’re going to be in your face the whole time, get some bobbi [sic] pins that match your hair color…We don’t want to look “’emo.'” 

Colorful hair will make you look like a garbage person. “When it comes to styling, bright colored dipped tips may reflect your personality, but recruitment isn’t the time to show that much individuality. Try a half up hairstyle to keep your tresses out of your face and it will also prevent you from fidgeting with it during the parties.”


Wear makeup, or a stranger will literally stop you in the street and put it on for you. If you are not wearing the required makeup, I will stop you and apply it myself. I don’t care if you’re late for class. I don’t care if you’re a sophomore or a super senior. I will stop you. If you don’t know how to apply all this makeup, check out my Pinterest board. I picked out all the videos and products with you guys in mind!”

Wear makeup so flawless, it inspires suicide. Between now and Bid Day, you are not to leave the house without full hair and makeup. If you look at yourself in the mirror and don’t think you look good enough to make your boyfriend’s ex-girlfriend want to kill herself, you should stay home.”


Don’t wear pants that give you: muffin tops or extreme low rise!!”

Don’t wear animal prints. They make you look slutty. “Stay far away from anything that’s animal print. Unfortunately a leopard print dress doesn’t scream cute college girl, no matter how chic it may be. Don’t confuse these rush parties with frat parties, it’s important to dress for the girls you will be meeting (not the boys). A sweet dress in a trendy print will make the perfect first impression.”

Don’t wear florals. You won’t look slutty enough. As much as we all love a fabulous floral, this is the one time it’s best to opt for the less is more approach. Stick with small, delicate prints when it comes to picking your dress for rush. Remember you will be standing very close to these girls, so you want to avoid overwhelming prints.”

Do not wear “shacker” clothes. “Do not wear sweatpants. I don’t even want you to look like shit at the gym. Recruitment is 24 hours a day from this point forward, which means from this point forward, you need to look the part. Don’t look like a stripper, and don’t look like a Kindergarten teacher. You’re not trying to fuck these girls or babysit them. Find a healthy balance.”

“Denim-legging” is appropriate, as long as it’s done right: AKA, not from American Apparel and worn with chic, cool chunky boots over them and a longer top. NO camel toe.”


Smooth out your fat. Even if you are very thin, Spanx will give you a better “line” when you wear clothes (no awkward bumps!) Plus you don’t have to worry about sucking in all the time or being bloated!”

Snaps to you for following these tips! Good luck at the rush that is life.

Photo via Charles Roberts/Flickr (CC 2.0)

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*First Published: Jan 16, 2015, 7:37 am CST