An Ethnography Of “The Frat Party Bro”

Some fifty people are gathered in a circle. In the center, commanding their collective attention, is a drunk powerlifter. He is vigorously miming the act of lifting a huge weight. Everyone is as rapt as if the real thing were happening.

This dude had mimed lifting two hundred. Then two hundred and fifty. He was now raising the stakes to four hundred pounds. He grasped the imaginary bar, shifted his feet, and heaved—pulled—thrust it into the air. Victorious, he dropped it down and everyone cheered.

This is an actual event witnessed at my school last weekend and you couldn’t find a more perfect encapsulation of American bro culture: standing around cheering at the most extravagant possible (if fictional) displays of masculinity.

For those who haven’t set foot on a college campus for a hot minute, allow me to give you a refresher: the bro is a subspecies of college male, often large in size and loud of voice, who can often be found in the basement of a frat house, in the stadium bleachers, or anywhere kegs can be found. They can be observed blacking out, peeing on walls, telling other people about blacking out and peeing on walls, or perhaps calling me a "ratchet bitch" and explaining to me why that's funny.

Like any social group, bros can also be identified by common styles of clothing. Allow me to enumerate the good, the hot, and the ugly.

Emily Lever is a French-American writer who wishes she led a life of adventure. You can follow her on Twitter here.

  • chon

    sunglasses indoors forever

  • ricecube

    is a ratio of 5:5 not just 1:1??

    • easystreet

      In this case no

  • Guest

    this fucking sucked you know nothing about frat bros. where are the boat shoes and chubbies and patagonias and prl button downs.

    • Blake

      Agreed. Emily needs to spend some time down here in Georgia.

    • dubhan


    • Ross

      PRL button downs are like Jesus for frat boys, son.

  • Paul

    Yeah, the majority of this stuff would not be relevant to frat bros where I went school #SEC

  • Joe

    This is a very small minority, I feel like this was written purely because of the single event she was talking about in this article.

  • Ross

    Alpha Delta Pi.. fuck those guys.

    and as a member of a frat i can confirm 80% of guys dress close to this. except hi top sneakers, its boat shoes in sun, snow, or hot fucking lava.

    • Ghost of Jam Master Jay

      Agreed. I was in a fraternity in college & high-top shoes were a total GDI maneuver. ADPi is a sorority tho

      • Ross

        You can wear Jordan’s or nikes etc but after that it’s too much flexing of moms Barney’s account.

        Adpi is a frat at the university of Kansas.

        Edit. Too drunk to care about exact letters but A PI sucks.

        • Ghost of Jam Master Jay

          I was a DU at KU. Rock chalk.

          • Ross

            Rock chalk!

  • Anonymous

    “The Stars and Stripes may represent imperialism and oppression around the world” Emily Lever confirmed for socialist loser

  • Ross

    And this girls article is so stereotypical I hope she wrote it during fiber class’s studio time cause no one noticed her new acid washed skirt.

  • Sir Fratalot

    Erm…did you go to Skidmore, bro? This is the worse thing ever posted on the internet. Fuck