Girls, girls, girls -- in college! and Le Tigre are searching for "America's Hottest College Girl" -- so they can leave her in the cold.

Published November 15, 2005 3:00PM (EST)

We at Broadsheet aren't sure how we let College Humor's super-awesome contest -- a search for "America's Hottest College Girl," sponsored by preppie/slutty/schoolgirl clothing line Le Tigre -- go unnoticed for so long. After all, ads for it are all over some of our favorite Web sites. But it was only today, weeks into the contest, that our wandering eyes trained on the banner ad atop our screen, and our hand dared to click on through.

What we encountered is a kind of NCAA playoff - without any sport. The contest works like this: The country is divided into regions: North, South, East and West. Each region runs its own bracket; the 16 contestants in each region (64 in all) are divided into groups of two, and those two are matched for a faceoff. Voters view the pictures, along with each contestant's answers to a few banal questions (favorite drink, worst pickup line, fun fact, etc.) and make their choice. Whoever wins the most votes advances to the next round, and faces off against another winner in the same region. Over the next few weeks, one woman from each state will advance to the Final Four showdown to prove whether or not California girls still rule -- or something like that. On Dec. 9, the two finalists will have the final showdown.

Broadsheet isn't wild about beauty contests -- but that's not even our biggest problem with "America's Hottest College Girl 2005." We're offended by the paltry prize being offered to the winning lady! Get this: She will win a trip to New York (likely this winter, when no one wants to be here), a $1,000 shopping spree at Le Tigre (that's a lot of polo shirts!) and a "chance" to model in some Le Tigre ads.

A "chance"? Come on! Compared with the certain, uh, pleasures America's young men have had scrutinizing these women and their often expertly shaded décolletage (not to mention reading about their favorite drinking games and things they would "never do"), it seems like America's hottest college girl is going to wind up left in the cold, literally.

By Hillary Frey

Hillary Frey is the Books editor at Salon.

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