How White Girl Problems Changed Our Culture

Love it or hate it, White Girl Problems is here to stay. In just a year and a half, the popular satirical Twitter has managed to get over 400,000 followers, earn an impressive celebrity fanbase and complete a book that’s due out on Hyperion in January. Although most people are quick to turn their noses up on the success of Twitter feeds (Shit My Dad Says was cancelled after only one season on CBS), you can’t deny White Girl Problems’ influence on popular culture. Not only has the Twitter spawned many imitation accounts (you name a race/ gender/ sexuality/ stereotype and there will undoubtedly be a White Girl Problems-esque Twitter account about it), it’s become a part of our lexicon — something that people aways say after complaining about something ridiculous and trivial. How often have you heard people comment, “That’s a white girl problem. I have such a white girl problem today…”? Probably more often than you’d like to admit. It goes to show that, unlike Shit My Dad Says, which was a funny concept conceived by a comedy writer, White Girl Problems has become more than just a funny Twitter account. It tapped into something universal and helped define the everyday experiences of a sizable part of our generation. When people criticize it, I often think it comes from a place of secret shame and embarrassment. They’re uncomfortable with the fact that so many people relate to it. I get that, but White Girl Problems, to me, is all about being able to make fun of yourself before someone else does. It’s a level of self-awareness that, quite frankly, we all were in dire need of. I think it’s refreshing that so many people are recognizing their privilege and, in a way, acknowledging how lucky they are to have such silly predicaments. It beats being a humoress delusional diva, doesn’t it?

Another component of White Girl Problems’ success is the anonymity of its creators. Even though The Daily revealed who was behind the Twitter feed back in April, the writers have kept a low profile throughout, even keeping their names off the cover of their book and crediting it to the voice of White Girl Problems, Babe Walker. This secretiveness has helped blur the lines between fact and fiction and allowed readers to get completely immersed in Babe Walker’s world. Is Babe real? Is she a character? Are you best friends with her?! Probably. Everyone knows a Babe Walker. Everyone knows a person who is a walking and talking white girl problem, right?

Most importantly, White Girl Problems is funny. Like I mentioned before, countless ripoffs have been made in the wake of its success, which only help exemplify how strong of a wit it actually has. Although no one knows if White Girl Problems will ever veer into television, the video featured above of Babe Walker attending fashion week shows that it’s more than capable of making the transition. TC mark

image – The Hills

Ryan O'Connell

I'm a brat.

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  • Abstainer

    Not being on Twitter makes you realise that in fact, no Twitter feed has ever ‘changed our culture’.

  • Anonymous

    If I’m reading this right, a Twitter account that did (as explained above) nothing other than inspire more Twitter accounts is a culture altering phenomenon.

  • fulldamage

    Did… did we need an article about how important White Girl Problems are, the way in which “everyone” identifies with them, and how privileged people just gotta love and appreciate their own ability to make fun of themselves? 

  • Amber

    Too many people on my Twitter feed misuse #whitegirlproblem. Spending 20 minutes trying to get into your dress, or being upset that the taco place down the road doesn’t deliver is NOT a white girl problem! More like #firstworldproblems, c’mon people!

    • Anonymous

      they kinda go hand in hand. duh.

  • Lilym

    oh the dear privileged folk, let us praise you privileged people for recognizing for yourselves that you, indeed do have privilege,! and how wonderful for you! that you can recognize it! and that you have made yourself a “culture altering” phenomenon, for indeed recognizing that you have privilege! and joking about it! and simultaneously lending credence to your own privileged problems, using said privilege! many cookies for you!

    • https://twitter.com/iamthepuddles Jordana Bevan

      hey fucknugget, if you live on more than $2.50 per day, you’re more privileged than 3 billion people. shut the fuck up.

      • fulldamage

        Hmm, nice ad hominem, but you’re kind of ignoring the substance of this post.  Were those 3 billion people you are referencing impacted culturally by this twitter account?  If not, then this article is still basically privileged people patting themselves on the back for a privileged audience, regardless of what economic bracket this poster falls into.  

        At the very least, you can see that that the cheerleadery quality of it is kind of alienating to some people, as is the implied inclusivity of “we.” Regardless of your level of personal wealth, it is possible to have very different views than the article author’s about what is worthy of being celebrated, which makes the overall tone off-putting.

      • Customconcern

        Fulldamage is correct. It’s a kind of fake self-awareness. Acknowledgement of one’s own privilege while simultaneously celebrating it. 

        In the same vein, why are so many people (esp ladies) on Twitter/the internet always like, “OMG I’m so gross, I’m on my laptop in bed wearing no pants and eating chocolatee!!1”. Seems like a similar kind of thing to me. 

      • Lilym

        But also, this is true.  Thank you for mentioning it. The fucknugget was sort of unnecessary! but this is kind of why this posting is kind of absurd. Also there are a lot more kinds of privilege than class privilege!

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jonathon-Ferrari/100001319787228 Jonathon Ferrari

      I’ll tell you this: capitalizing the first word of a sentence and proper punctuation is not a rich person priviledge.  It can be had by all.  In fact, I’d venture you’d reach that priviledged world even sooner if you learned how to write at a high school level.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jonathon-Ferrari/100001319787228 Jonathon Ferrari

      I’ll tell you this: capitalizing the first word of a sentence and proper punctuation is not a rich person priviledge.  It can be had by all.  In fact, I’d venture you’d reach that priviledged world even sooner if you learned how to write at a high school level.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jonathon-Ferrari/100001319787228 Jonathon Ferrari

      I’ll tell you this: capitalizing the first word of a sentence and proper punctuation is not a rich person priviledge.  It can be had by all.  In fact, I’d venture you’d reach that priviledged world even sooner if you learned how to write at a high school level.

      • Customconcern

        I think you mean rich person privilege.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jonathon-Ferrari/100001319787228 Jonathon Ferrari

        Probably.  I’m a terrible speller, but I don’t do it willfully.

      • Lilym

        Good thing everyone in this world learns how to write at a high school level, m’irite?!
        Thanks for this grade A example of how to derail! for dummies!

        http://www.derailingfordummies.com/#intellectual

      • Ralphy

        Heh, that’ll show ’em! I can hear power structures giving a shit already.

    • Customconcern

      today i was so hammered on vintage Patron that I fell off my imported Indian elephant while drunk-riding him to the liquor store,  goddamn it #whitegirlproblems #imawesome

      • Nels0n924

        Haha I have that same problem sometimes.

    • Ralph

      You know what else changed culture? Rehashing identity politics from the mid 80s by impotently fighting over who has more privilege at every opportunity with lazy sarcasm.

      • Lilym

        Oh, hey white dude. Cool.

      • Customconcern

        Oh hey lazy sarcasm. Way to prove his point. 

      • Customconcern

        Oh hey lazy sarcasm. Way to prove his point. 

      • Customconcern

        Oh hey lazy sarcasm. Way to prove his point. 

      • lilym

        AN ENDLESS CYCLE

      • Customconcern

        Oh hey lazy sarcasm. Way to prove his point. 

      • Customconcern

        Oh hey lazy sarcasm. Way to prove his point. 

      • Customconcern

        Oh hey lazy sarcasm. Way to prove his point. 

      • Customconcern

        Oh hey lazy sarcasm. Way to prove his point. 

      • Customconcern

        Oh hey lazy sarcasm. Way to prove his point. 

  • Lilym

    oh the dear privileged folk, let us praise you privileged people for recognizing for yourselves that you, indeed do have privilege,! and how wonderful for you! that you can recognize it! and that you have made yourself a “culture altering” phenomenon, for indeed recognizing that you have privilege! and joking about it! and simultaneously lending credence to your own privileged problems, using said privilege! many cookies for you!

  • Nick

    I’ve never heard anyone say white girl problem in real life and ive only seen it retweeted a few times. Fan boy much?

  • https://twitter.com/iamthepuddles Jordana Bevan

    yo i fucking hate the “white girl/first world/etc problems.” one, because (very specifically in my experience) the few people who have been all, “ew stfu, white girl problems” to me when i’m talking about something that bothers me, are maybe lower middle class and i am middle middle class (socio economic statuses ftl) and i want to be like “um i’m sorry, but you’re telling me i have nothing to complain about and implying that you DO have something to complain about??” like, sorry assholes but you’ve also got it better than 90% of the world’s population. arggghfhgfkdjghfghfg http://infographicsgenerator.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/15-facts-about-us-inequality-poverty-infographic.jpg

    • Customconcern

      everyone thinks they are middle class.

      but also, i get where you are coming from. there’s  having a sense of perspective/realising that some things really are first world problems (like the little green line on my laptop screen that won’t go away) and then there’s the fact that you only have one life, and if you’re a bit sad or something, it’s usually totally legitimate, from your point of view.

      i dunno. that sounded better in my head. too much caffeine 

      • https://twitter.com/iamthepuddles Jordana Bevan

        truth, but my family = suburban stereotype the the max, including all relative statistics.

        nah brah, i know exactly what you mean. whitegirl/firstworld problems try to blend emotional/material complaints and make them both about being spoiled. sure, the material criticisms are probably appropriate (my computer screen has to be at a perfect 98 degree angle (omg nick lachey) to not be white fuzz, i feel ya) but when these #tags try to trivialize the emotional components of our lives they miss the mark — and probably do have some kind of cultural influence, moving us even more towards an emotionally barred society

      • Joy Jalapolis

        Love the nod to 98 degrees! LOL.

      • Guy

        So true, and so frustrating.

  • http://goldenday.tumblr.com Kia Etienne

    i feel like #whitegirlproblem = #firstworldproblem. i prefer the latter; it has no ethnic connotation and is still hilarious.

    • http://twitter.com/kelseysuxxx Kelsey Dixon

      #firstworldproblem is problematic because it perpetuates ignorance about the actual state of things in third world countries and undermines the strides of progress that third world countries have been making to improve themselves. guess what, there are starbucks and iphones and wifi in mexico, too.

      • Lilym

        and also, it implies that there is not shitty ass shit in the first world for people who are not white/middle-upper class/ privileged in myriad other ways?

      • Lilym

        and also, it implies that there is not shitty ass shit in the first world for people who are not white/middle-upper class/ privileged in myriad other ways?

      • http://goldenday.tumblr.com Kia Etienne

        “third world country” is a status that changes as the country changes. so if the country’s GDP skyrockets and then remains stable, then it is no longer a third world country. so a few generations ago, China was a third world country, whereas now they are not.

        and what would you rather use to denote typical American self-obsessed tweets? #firstworldproblem is the best i got.

      • ksjdh

        Sometimes, good satire needs good generalization. 

        It’s not that serious. 

  • dip

    “They’re uncomfortable with the fact that so many people relate to it. I get that, but White Girl Problems, to me, is all about being able to make fun of yourself before someone else does. It’s a level of self-awareness that, quite frankly, we all were in dire need of.”

    Critical thinking ITT

  • Madeleine Hunt Ehrlich

    saying “white girl” and “universal” in the same sentence is inherently contradictory 

  • Ugh

    the whole whitegirl/firstworld problems thing is strange to me because, like a lot of other counterarguments will say, experiences are relative, and just because i realize that someone else has it empirically worse, doesnt mean my problem goes away. it just means i feel bad for feeling bad about it… while also still feeling bad about it… 

    • Kennneth

      mmmmmmm empirically relative. 

  • Dontmind

    Hey Ryan.  Let’s hear yo witty ass take on Occupy.

  • http://www.nosexcity.com NoSexCity

    “Blessed is the man who can laugh at himself, for he will never cease to be amused.” 

  • eh...

    Jeez this is full of ignorance. Take a sociology class.

  • macgyver51

    Twitter is not life itself. Sorry about that.

  • Guest

    stupid.

  • http://twitter.com/suntwee MarieSa

    ugh I seriously cannot with this article or these comments. 

  • Anonymous

    i used to care about #whitegirlproblems and then this article happened. i don’t want to know someone actually exists behind those mildly absurd borderline truthful/offensive tweets. especially when the bitch who is behind them is so goddamn annoying. ugh. why.

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