I Feel Personally Attacked By Bo Burnham's Hilarious 'White Woman's Instagram'

by Karen Johnson

What do avocados, tiny pumpkins, inspirational throw pillows, and overused sayings like “It’s wine o’clock!” all have in common? They’re all frequent flyers on white women’s IG accounts. Don’t get offended, Susan. You know it’s true.

Listen, if there’s one rule in life I wholeheartedly believe in, it’s this: We have to laugh at ourselves. We have to see the value in good, clever humor, and let that humor fill us up with joy and make us belly laugh until our faces hurt. Even if the jokes are about short people, and your kids are taller than you by age 12. Or the jokes are about people from the Midwest, and you say “ope!” at least 11 times a day and live in the dairy capital of America. Or yes, even if the jokes are about white people. And you’re white.

No, it’s not racist, Brenda, so take a breath. See the list above? None of those groups are marginalized, oppressed groups of society. It’s not racist to make fun of weird shit white people do, like bring jello molds full of weird, jiggly meats to potlucks. It’s not offensive (short-ist?) to poke fun at short people, even if they occasionally have a hard time reaching things on high shelves. Short people aren’t systemically oppressed. Neither are Midwesterners. Or white people. (Now, if you’re short, white, and live in the Midwest… just kidding. Still not oppressed.)

That’s why Bo Burnham’s latest video entitled “White Woman’s Instagram” is so pee-your-pants-spot-on hilarious. Because it’s okay to poke fun at stereotypical white women stuff, and you know that a lot of it is true.

From the brooding opening, with an avocado reference (of course!) straight out of the chute, Burnham’s satirical song and video are hysterical AF. And if you’re not laughing because you’re too busy being offended, please, FFS, get the stick out of your ass and join us in humorville. It’s fun here! Try it!

Sitting in just a flannel and socks, trying to look super casual and all “hot-mess-mom,” but in actuality, totally posed with strategic lighting and camera angles, Burnham jumps right with allllll the white girl jabs. There are a few staples you know he had to include like a burning pumpkin candle scene, wearing a cowl-neck fall sweater, with a dog reference (golden retriever, but really any dog would do), and a super funny clever tee that no one else has (read: literally everyone else has) that says “May contain wine!”

So far, he’s 3 for 3, wouldn’t you say? Obsession with fall? Check. Dog? Check. Wine references? Mmmmm CHECK. It’s like we’re predictable or something.

I mean, am I a little offended by him poking fun at my fuzzy comfy socks? WTF BO BURNHAM FUZZY COMFY SOCKS ARE LIFE. I’m just a short, white woman in the Midwest with cold-ass feet!

I think, honestly, my favorite parts aren’t necessarily the things he mentions (bobble-head of Ruth Bader Ginsburg?! Yes please!), but rather, his hysterical brooding facial expressions and the way he tosses back his hair and looks behind him as if he was deep in thought and not thinking, “Is the best angle for my butt?” Because that serious “look over the horizon, into a far away land” and then snap a picture and slap on 13 filters is a staple of white women IG and you know it.

Burnham also pulls no punches and mocks the “super woke” white women with their “no hate” posts and misuse of civil rights references. (“Some random quote from Lord of the Rings incorrectly attributed to Martin Luther King…” I died hearing this one.)

And then there are less serious, random lines like “a goat cheese saaaallllaaad…” with an image of that standard throw pillow we all have that reads inspirational words like “dream,” “believe,” “wish,” and “joy” that make you crack up and say OMG IT’S ME. And you want to be offended, but you’re not because he’s right. And he’s hilarious. And humor is good for the soul.

I mean, does he poke fun at the serious shit we all include too—like missing loved ones who’ve died and writing our insecurities on our faces in Sharpie? Sure.

But then he pans out to an image of himself holding 900 tiny pumpkins and you spit your drink because you know that like every white woman ever loves tiny pumpkins.

Because Bo Burnham is a comedian, and his job is to entertain. And anyone who’s in the public eye and whose job it is to make people laugh, cry, feel anything really, knows that there will always be backlash. There will always be criticism. There will always be someone who is offended. But you trudge onward, knowing that making everyone else laugh and feel that salve that humor offers is worth the vitriol you might get from… well, an angry white woman, probably.

Also, making borderline offensive but incredibly funny videos that point out the truths and hypocrisies of the world is literally Bo Burnham’s thing. His song “Welcome to the Internet” makes you question everything we know about humanity as he proves just how fucked up we all are. (Well, the internet proves it.) But as you listen, laugh, cringe, then laugh some more, you’ll again, much like you did with “White Woman’s Instagram,” find yourself saying, “Well shit. He’s right.”

Yet, anytime someone cracks a joke about white women and their $8 Starbucks orders, or their family pics where everyone wears matching flannels and frolics in a field, or their unwillingness to wear anything but leggings any hour of the day, there’s always that one bitter Betty who says something incredibly dumb like “Um, isn’t that racist?” No, Betty. You literally just came from a fucking photo shoot in a goddamn field and stopped for a venti-mocha-whip-latte on the way over. YOU’RE STILL WEARING YOUR FLANNEL INFINITY SCARF FFS. Take a seat.

I’ve watched his hysterical video like 12 times. Most of it is true—even about me. And it’s definitely true about a shit-ton of white women on IG. The thing is, it doesn’t matter. Am I still going to buy a wheelbarrow full of pumpkins this fall and take a picture in a field wearing flannels? (Bo, can I borrow yours?) You’re damn right I am. Will I stop eating goat cheese salads now? Fuck no! Goat cheese salads are fantastic. Especially with avocados. (Yeah, that’s right.)

So, no, I’m not offended by this spoof of white women and their IG accounts, nor am I likely to change my own white woman IG account. Because that’s not what humor is for.

This short, Midwestern white chick ain’t going nowhere, Bo, but keep the jokes coming.