It's that time of the year, when Yale students discover out who among them is deemed attractive, thanks to the annual 50 Most Beautiful issue of student publication Rumpus. And here's a shocker: it's not exactly a diverse list.
Alex Klein from IvyGate is clearly not a fan of the issue, which is understandable, considering the content. Wikipedia informs us that the Rumpus has been publishing the list, which includes glamour shots and profiles of 25 male and 25 female members of the Yale community, for years. But Klein also seems to take issue with the nepotistic nature of such a list; "Best ways to get in? Know/hookup with Rumpus staff, make a public fool of oneself, (check, check) be a twin… or be beautiful, too, we guess." Unlike People's most beautiful roundup, the Yale list isn't based on true, quantifiable beauty, but visibility (kidding, People's list sucks just as hard).
We've only been able to find one picture from the photo shoot online, but it is a good one. Above we have student Justine Kolata - founder of the Movement for Beauty and Justice - looking rather cold in some pasture. Now there is nothing particularly porn-y about this image, but I've only ever seen one issue of Playboy in person, and the thing that stuck with me was a photospread featuring a naked woman, airbrushed within an inch of her life, palling around with a horse. I suppose it is supposed to go with the whole blue blood Yale image, but when I see sexy face next to a barnyard animal, all I can think of is that irritatingly catchy theme song and the senselessness of riding a horse without even pubes for protection.
However, we assume the message they're trying to get across has little to do with Hef and his harem. No, this picture is playing on the stereotype of the elitist Ivy league student. That is to say, rich, pampered, and white. Klein has gathered the statistics and created this telling chart, which breaks down the 50 Most by race:
When the ratio of most beautiful is compared to the racial breakdown of the Yale student body, Klein found that the Rumpus list is 21.6% whiter than Yale in general.
No one expects a college publication to be a particularly enlightened or well-edited read, and I'm sure there are plenty of people who will argue that this is all in good fun, but the things we do for fun can be rather revealing. The editors of the Rumpus went through thousands of students and faculty to find the "most beautiful," which would be odious enough on its own. But the resulting list of 52 reflects a certain John Mayer-esque bias. Here's hoping that the editors don't feel a similar need to defend their racist genitalia - we've had quite enough of that already.
Image via Miranda Lewis