“White Woman’s Instagram” by Bo Burnham

Bo Burnham is at it again, and this time he is criticizing a “White woman’s Instagram”. This particular artist appears to be a master at writing songs consisting of a myriad of observations which are random yet at the same time related. And what he is doing here, most simply put, is mocking a group of people. He is actually mocking the type of content you would stereotypically find posted onto a “White woman’s Instagram” account.

But Bo is doing so for a reason. And that would appear to ultimately point out how some people use social media for self-centered and frivolous reasons. Or as suggested, it is as if they are doing so by rote, adhering to a formula that consists of norms such as the following:

  • sweet animal pics
  • half-hearted social justice quotations
  • shoutouts to their dead mothers (if applicable) 

And even though Burnham has put this criticism into a race-based context, based on similar ideas presented in other of his works, we can conclude that what he is ultimately putting forth isn’t really race-related. Yes, White women may be the ones who stereotypically behave in such a manner on Instagram as illustrated, i.e. as if every day is peachy-keen and photo-worthy. But more to the point, knowing Bo, would be something like people’s dependency on publicizing their livelihoods via the internet in the first place. Or put differently, depictions of a perfect life on social media, in his eyes, are more of a prefabricated show than reality.

Lyrics to "White Woman's Instagram"

Bo Burnham

As you may be able to glean from the explanation above, Bo Burnham is such that he regularly criticizes society at large, albeit via specific targets (such as Jeff Bezos). And such is understandable when you realize that being a comedian is his primary profession, not music, although music is perhaps his primary medium. By virtue of this, all of his songs, including the one above, are meant to have a comedic quality, even though the bulk of them deal with serious subject matter also.

Bo was born and raised in Massachusetts. He got up on YouTube relatively early in the game, back in 2006. This was while he was in his mid-teens. Shortly thereafter he graduated onto Comedy Central and built up a notable name for himself throughout. Then Burnham went on hiatus for a good part of the 2010s. This would explain why there is such a time gap between his third album, What (2013) and his fourth, Inside (The Songs). The latter is where “White Woman’s Instagram” is derived from. And the release date of the project was on 10 June 2021.

White Woman's Instagram

“White Woman’s Instagram”

This is a tune which Burnham wrote and produced himself, as he did the entirety of Inside (The Songs). And for those who may be interested, said album is actually part of a larger, video-based work entitled Bo Burnham: Inside. The said project premiered on Netflix late in May, 2020.

One analyst of Bo Burnham: Inside has concluded that the bridge of this song, in which the singer somewhat eerily shifts focus onto the titular “White woman’s” dead mother, reflects a larger obsession he has with death.

Below are some other notable tracks from Bo Burnham: Inside:

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