A New York Times article ‘explaining’ the phenomenon of twinks to straight readers—and saying that many of today’s twinks are straight—has been met with ridicule from the LGBTI community.

In ‘Welcome to the Age of the Twink’, journalist Nick Haramis explained twinks as “young, attractive, hairless, slim men”.

He described variants including Euro twinks, twunks and femme twinks, adding that Call Me by Your Name star Timothée Chalamet is “the ultimate twink”.

The article’s assertion that straight twinks now exist is what has drawn the most amused reactions.

“But the latest twinks—many of whom are straight—are what you might call ‘art twinks’, building upon an aesthetic legacy established by Ryan McGinley’s turn-of-the-millennium photographs of the sloppily skinny, or last decade’s leather-pant-clad Saint Laurent models chosen by the designer Hedi Slimane,” Haramis wrote.

He named young actors Tye Sheridan and Lucas Hedges as examples of the new ‘straight twink’ paradigm.

Social media users have made plenty of fun of the idea of ‘the age of the twink’.

“Is it like Mercury being in retrograde?” tweeted one person.

“Any gay with body hair who’s ever been on a dating app will tell you that it’s been the age of the twink for a very long time,” lamented another.

Others have ridiculed the idea of straight men calling themselves twinks.

“Straight people learning the words twink and bear has literally been the worst thing to happen to gay culture in the past decade,” posted one person.

“Straight men can have the word ‘twink’ when they pry it from my cold dyke hands,” said another.

Regardless of the existence of straight twinks, Haramis wrote that the mainstream embrace of a smaller, thinner male body type in pop culture could be something of an antidote for toxic masculinity and body image issues in a community that often fetishises muscular physiques.

“[As] women continue to use their voices to undo that legacy of toxic masculinity, a different kind of change is taking place from within the culture,” he said.

“These twinks, after all, aren’t just enviably lean boys or the latest unrealistic gay fantasy, but a new answer to the problem of what makes a man.”

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