Pop culture sure does love to show us how much frat boys like to rage face and pull insane pranks, but is there another side to every frat boy? A side that people don’t usually take notice of? That is a question worth exploring. Now I’m not going to be naive here, I know that fraternities throw parties and I know that frat boys act a certain way, and do certain things, but I don’t think that anyone can actually live up to the stereotype that pop culture has created.
First off I’d like to look at a few pop culture examples of fraternity members to get a good idea of what the stereotype is. Lets start with some movies. In Animal House, most of the frat guys are just idiots who want to party and drink. In Neighbors, the guys are a little more intelligent, athletic, and attractive. In Van Wilder, The guys are more pretentious and give off the vibe of an entitled rich kid. There are many other fictional portrayals of frat boys, but I think these three are a good starting point. If we extract the major traits that these guys share or contribute, we end up with an attractive, athletic, pretentious, party animal. This cultivates images of backwards baseball hats and guys jumping off roofs into pools of beer, but thats where the dilemma is. No one is actually like that.
Sure there are assholes in every frat. There are rich pretentious guys, and there are drunk idiots and guys who end up with a different girl every night, but these are all different guys. No one is all of these things. And to add, every fraternity has smart kids and kids who don’t party at all. The problem with the stereotype is that it takes a bunch of different guys and combines all of their traits. In any organization as big as a decent sized fraternity you are going to end up with at least one of almost every type of person, however, no one person embodies all of these traits. sure there are guys who follow TotalFratMove on twitter and try to embody all that is frat, but its simply too much for a single person to do all on their own.
Everyone has responsibilities. No one can just party all day every day, and most frats enforce rules about maintaining certain GPAs. My fraternity, FIJI, has many values that we are all expected to uphold as well. These values are instilled into us at the beginning of the pledge process and most fraternities share similar sentiments. Even the guys who like to party know that school comes first, and take their academic pursuits seriously.
From what I can see, no, the stereotypical frat boy does not exist. First off, no one can be that “frat.” No one is lucky enough to be rich, attractive, athletic, good with girls, smart, confident, cool, and smart all at the same time. And even if they were, they would still have to care about their education enough to stay in a fraternity, and that in itself isn’t frat.