Why Am I Not Repulsed By Babe Walker?

I was on a roll today, and that combined with a slow day at work plus starting a book that was so easy to get on a roll with means I finished book #5 of 2015. I read White Girl Problems by Babe Walker, a narcissistic, privileged, spoiled, all-around horrible person who narrates her life story over the course of an Adderall binge in rehab. It was so good, and so funny.

I have a theory that any book that evokes real physical emotion (i.e. crying or laughing out loud) is by default good. Movies are different, because you can see the person crying, or maybe there are people around you laughing, but books are only up to the words. White Girl Problems had me laughing out loud an embarrassing amount. Before you even get to the chapter list, the dedication reads a heartfelt “For Me.” That’s when I figured it was going to be good.

Babe Walker is so irreverent but also so herself, it made me want to interact with her in real life (even though I’m leaning towards thinking she’s not a real person…) After only a few chapters with so much focus on her physical appearance, I wanted to see what she looked like. But yeah, just Google-investigated further and she doesn’t exist. Either way, she (and the three funny people who created her) are hilarious. The book is full of misused ‘literally’s, ‘ugh’s, ‘I can’t’s, ‘over it’s, and ‘chic’s in reference to things like eating disorders and other general mental instability, etc. Which is why, during the whole book, I was questioning why I found myself wishing I knew her.

I think it was the voice – not just the narration style voice, but like, her literal voice. I found everything she thought and said very easy to hear aloud in my own head. A mix between the cast of Clueless and Heathers, combined with a sorority girl who does a lot of drugs maybe? I don’t know, but I had no trouble hearing it while I was reading. Which made it even more enjoyable.

A summary of her “white girl problems,” aka the reason and plot for the entire book can be found on page 237, right before her final meltdown: “The American workforce hated me, I hadn’t found a trainer who could give me the same results as Anthony, my therapist had just betrayed me by falling asleep during a really important session, I was on the sixth day of a text war with Genevieve, Roman was in ‘love,’ Mabinty had been on vacation all week, and my new boyfriend had turned out to be a girl. I couldn’t trust anyone.”

The trainer she references was training her by having sex with her for cardio, the therapist diagnosed her with Narcissistic Personality Disorder at the age of 7, and Mabinty was her Jamaican, pothead maid and mother figure who raised her after her mom walked out on her and her celebrity-lawyer father. It’s so ridiculous and over the top that it would be funny no matter what, probably, but this Babe Walker narration makes it that much better. At her grandma’s funeral, Babe calls her late grandma an attention whore because of her showy funeral, and her dad agrees with her. That pretty much sums up every character in the book.

Another good summary of the book can be found in the chapters list at the beginning. That alone is worth reading, pointing to chapters called “My first trip to jail was not nearly as fun as I thought it would be. Supercute mugshot though,” “Sorry for texting you ninety-three times last night,” and “Maybe people would take me seriously if I weren’t so hot.”

So yeah, I loved it. She’s one of those characters that you can’t really relate to, but you have to admit to yourself while you’re reading that you mostly get the principles behind all her complaints, and can maybe even relate to some of those if you’re being really honest with yourself. Either way, it was fun to read. It was also fun to pretend like I got all her designer and LA references, about half of which probably went mostly over my head. Still made me laugh though, so that’s all that matters. ◊

I ordered a side of fries but substituted celery sticks for the fries. It was delish. Roman ordered a burger and a malt, as a joke (he would never eat that in public)… God, we were so happy then.”                                                                                                                                                       -23

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