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The Out-of-Touch Adults’ Guide to Kid Culture: Why Are Middle-Aged Men Being Called ‘Babygirl’?
May 14, 2023

The Out-of-Touch Adults’ Guide to Kid Culture: Why Are Middle-Aged Men Being Called ‘Babygirl’?

Reading Time: 4 minutes

You might think babygirl is slang for a hot woman, but nope. It’s deeper and funnier than that.

This week’s Out-of-Touch Guide examines capitalism’s effects on the young, currently manifesting themselves in the form of annoying TikTok wealth-accumulation cults, ridiculous big-budget shark movies that everyone will see, and people using Venmo to bill their friends for literally everything. Then there’s the whole ‘babygirl’ thing.

Why are middle age men being called ‘babygirl’?

Even in its current state of corporate control and content guardrails, the internet still sometimes nails slang. The word of the moment is ‘babygirl,’ a term coined in the bowels of online fandom to describe middle-age male antiheroes in TV shows and movies who are both sociopathic and sympathetic. Fan favorite Walter White from Breaking Bad is a babygirl. So is Kendall Roy from Succession, and Barry Blank from Barry (although Barry, as a show, seems like a send-up of the babygirl trope.)

According to twitter user alanbincfan666’s checklist, a babygirl is older than 30, has major emotional trauma, seems tired of life all the time, and would kill someone if given the chance. That’s me all over, but a true babygirl would hate being called ‘babygirl,’ and I would love it.

What is the ‘Rich, Hot Girl Era’ trend?

There’s a long tradition in the United States of heartbreaking belief in upward class mobility. Despite all evidence to the contrary, many people think they can make it big if they try really hard and hold onto their dreams. They’re called ‘suckers.’ Back in the 1920s, a newsboy might have told you, ‘if you work hard enough and keep your shoes shined, you can be as rich as Rockefeller!’ A hundred years later, we have TikTokers extolling the benefits of the ‘rich, hot girl era.’ You enter this dubious state by changing from a ‘scarcity mindset to an abundance mindset,’ manifesting what you want by ‘speaking it into existence,’ and ‘approaching every situation with two questions: Will it make me richer? Or hotter?‘ In other words: Make your dreams come true by making yourself insufferable.

This sounds like a lot of work to me; I’m cool being poor and ugly as long as I can nap. Besides, the ‘rich hot girl’ trend ignores the crushing reality of socioeconomic factors that make becoming wealthy highly unlikely for people who aren’t already born that way. On the other hand, trying to understand the American class system will make me neither richer nor hotter, so I should probably focus on my grindset.

Students aren’t the only ones cheating with AI

Artificial intelligence is causing serious concern in academic circles because students are using it to cheat when writing papers, but this TikTok from raipotpie turns the discussion on its head. She claims her college professor used ChatGPT to give feedback on an essay she wrote. She ran the prof’s response through an AI checker that determined it was 1% human written, 99% machine.

In the comment section, raipotpie explained that she doesn’t blame her teacher for not wanting to grade her paper, and that she’d used AI to write it anyway. Since AI is already making studying anything a useless endeavor, I think we should just skip ahead to the part where AI writes all the papers then AI grades them. Why should humans be doing all this boring shit? It doesn’t make us hotter and it doesn’t make it richer.

Venmo: How to transfer money the passive-aggressive way

Using money-exchanging app Venmo in the most petty ways ways imaginable is nothing new, but the trend is currently being being passed from millennials to Gen-Z. Young people are doing shit like offering a friend a bite of their guacamole, then sending them a bill for $3.50 for ‘their share, or requesting $2.50 for eating one of the cookies you baked. Imagine a friend-of-a-friend giving you a short ride home, then sending a text that reads, ‘What’s your venmo?? i need to charge you like $2.47 for driving you home last night lmaoooo.’

Friends sharing expenses is nothing new, but there’s something about how specific you can be with Venmo that makes it weird and funny. It’s also the impersonal nature of the app. You’d probably be too embarrassed to ask someone to repay you for a glass of wine they drank at your house, but using Venmo means never having to hear, ‘Wait, are you serious? You want me to send you $.38 for my share of a jar of salsa?’ I’ve started charging friends for the time I spend hanging out with them and a per-word fee for any texts received.

Viral video of the week: ‘MEG 2: THE TRENCH – OFFICIAL TRAILER’

Because I have no joy in my heart, I hate movies that are supposed to be ‘entertaining.’ I’m deeply suspicious of spectacle, production values, competent sound design, actors with noticeable charisma, and anything ‘fun’ in cinema. But sometimes a movie is released that is so overblown, so ridiculous, and so naked in its attempts to be crowd-pleasing, that it transcends stupidity entirely and short-circuits all critical thinking. ‘I must see this movie!’ I say, like someone who hasn’t watched every Andrei Tarkovsky film.

Right now, that film is The Meg 2: The Trench, a tale of CGI sharks of unimaginable size. You wouldn’t think it would be possible to make a dumber movie The Meg, or to make bigger, faker-looking sharks, but the crazy bastards did it. I will be there among the mouth-breathers on opening night, Aug. 4, and I’ll make sure to go to a 3D screening too.


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