College keg parties may become less common in the next few years as many college-age women turn to hard liquor over beer, mainly because it contains fewer calories. This new trend shows evidence of increasing pressure for young women to be thin, and the effects such pressure has on their personal choices.
Binge-drinking among college women has been on the rise for the past few years, and may become even more prevalent with the new acceptance towards drinking hard liquor at college parties. Women who take shots and drink cocktails get drunk faster than those who drink beer, and may not realize exactly how many drinks they have had. Eating disorders are also a growing problem on college campuses, and many young women skip meals during the week so that they can “drink their calories” on the weekends.
Dialogue about the pressures of women to drink and stay thin opened up recently at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania, where many students agreed that body image plays a large role in what women choose to drink, and that the “loudest social voice on campus is often one advocating partying,” according to the online college newspaper.
Students complained that alcohol acts as a social crutch, as there is nothing to do at college parties but drink. They suggested that including other activities at parties, such as video games or movies, would take the focus off alcohol and reduce the pressure to binge drink. Some suggested that the campus encourages weekend drinking by closing academic centers and libraries early on the weekends.
Jessica Garcia ’12 said, “It was refreshing to know I’m not alone in my sentiments with Lehigh culture and that I’m not the only one frustrated.”
I’m glad to see that Lehigh University opened up this conversation, one which many colleges across the country should probably have. Alcohol and body image are two of the biggest issues that young women face today, and the best way to combat these negative influences is to bring them out into the light and have discussions about what healthy choices are out there for women today.
What is the best way to combat the pressure to drink heavily and stay thin on college campuses? Suggest solutions in the comments section.
Photo credit: stopalcoholdeaths