In the past year, the National Panhellenic Conference has been approached by more casting directors, producers, and film crews than ever before - all in the quest to sweet talk us into soliciting our members for participation in reality TV shows.
All claim to be tasteful, well thought out and non-exploitive. The approaches range from simple and sweet to swagger-filled promises of only putting the sorority brand in a positive light.
Dare to say it, but we're doubtful. And to each, we've declined or simply advised our member groups to proceed with caution.
Unfortunately, the solicitation often doesn't stop there. It frequently goes through levels of social media searching for collegiate members on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and other sites looking to land a single hopeful with TV stars in her eyes.
For anyone who has been a consumer of reality TV, it's clear that positives are in short supply, especially when involving the depiction of young women. Often, the female gender is tortured into the most exaggerated stereotypes that defy description.
Ohio State researchers writing for Psychology Today conducted a survey on the viewing habits of consumers and found that fantasy is the fuel that lights the fire.
"Reality TV allows Americans to fantasize about gaining status through automatic fame. Ordinary people can watch the shows, see people like themselves and imagine that they too could become celebrities by being on television. It does not matter as much that the contestants often are shown in an unfavorable light; the fact that millions of Americans are paying attention means that the contestants are important. . The message of reality television is that ordinary people can become so important that millions will watch them. And the secret thrill of many of those viewers is the thought that perhaps next time, the new celebrities might be them."
This is a sad statement of our world today - that fame is not achieved through hard work and perseverance but rather by chance.
Those of us in sorority know better. Fame and fortune are earned, rather than spotlighted in an exaggerated drama. And the fleeting moment of TV fame is often not the kind that most of us would want cited on a resume.