Welcome to the second in a series of Who is “X” and Why Should We Care? where I will highlight people who are not household names but probably should be.
Today’s piece is about Tinx (@itsmetinx).
Who is Tinx?
If the name doesn’t ring a bell, ask your daughter/younger cousin/babysitter…in a nutshell, she is the Millennial Oprah.
To use the vernacular of the day, she is an influencer, but she’s not the vapid kind only in it to shill teeth whitener and vodka—she is one with brains and heart. At the ripe old age of 30, she is a Yoda to women in their 20s. She strives to be “the person she needed when she was younger.” She validates and advises like a loving big sister, assuring the young ‘uns that the 20s are a “mis-marketed” decade in which there is faux external pressure to have everything figured out.
Tinx brandishes an empowering honesty, acknowledging that we are all flawed creatures who are allowed frequent mistakes, but who should strive to be net positive in all realms—health, relationships, career. She loves to drink recreationally, for instance, but will be honest about when she’s overdone it and then make amends by cutting back.
Born Christina Najjar in Washington D.C., Tinx moved to London with her family when she was a wee lass. She started going by Tinx in homage to the fictional character Tinka Parker from the 1998 Kirsten Dunst movie “All I Wanna Do” which was based on a girls’ prep school that reminded her of the school she attended in London (this charming and quirky factoid is in and of itself a reason to fall in love with Tinx).
She came back to the States to attend college at Stanford and later Parsons School of Design (when asked about her blue chip credentials, she jokes that she “dabbles” in being smart). She pursued a career in fashion journalism until the pandemic rendered articles that were her stock-in-trade such as “matching your leggings to your Zodiac sign” irrelevant.
Unemployed and in lockdown, she started to pass her time on TikTok and noticed a white space in social commentary and celebrity culture. Her first foray into content creation were the now iconic “Rich Mom Starter Packs” in which, using her trademark little microphone and comically level intonation, she parodies the unique creature habits of rich moms in the Upper East Side, Miami, Aspen, Palo Alto, etc. (you will want to watch all of them).
She is the hilarious queen of demo-specific soundbites. While filming one of her daily hikes in the Los Angeles hills, for example, she asks viewers to take note of her Prolon fasting face (slender/hungry) vs. her sushi face (puffy)—if you know, you know.
Tinx is making what’s old new again. Recently, she started riffing on health food grocery store, Erewhon. Old as fire if you live in L.A., Erewhon was the original hippy, health food hang-out. In my efforts to research “Tinx Culture,” I recently went to an Erewhon for the first time in years to check it out and was shook (to use a favorite Millennial term). Tink is spot on. Its sheer awesomeness makes Whole Foods look like Stater Bros.
Flash forward a year and a half since her first post, and Tinx has over 1 million followers, a smoothie named after her at Erewhon and an agent that gets her all sorts of fun (and lucrative) partnership deals. I would be surprised if a chat show and an SNL guest appearance are not in the works.
Why Should We Care?
Millennial Appreciation Day
Millennials are annoying. There really is no doubt about that. They live up to the stereotype of being self-obsessed and fragile. Those who attempt to employ them find them exasperating, noting that they covet the corner office in the same breath that they seek to work a 20-hour week. They are obsessed with Drake and have developed a weird slangy vocab, which includes the word “drip” to describe one’s sense of style. Not to get too off topic, but, just for fun, here is Drake and his drip:
Despite these shortcomings, I think it’s high time we also thought about giving Millennials some love because, as implausible as it seems, there are things to admire about them. Their low tolerance of b.s. is one. I, for example, live in a suburb of Los Angeles that is characterized by its rigid and ancient topography of hierarchy and status. Its 1960s Americana vibe is charmingly retro and an epic mind fuck all in one package.
But, guess what, Millennials have little tolerance for or interest in self-appointed guardians of the status quo. They will call them out because they have the awareness, vocabulary and balls to do so. They don’t care who your grandpa was or that someone was “here first.” They judge people on their individual bonafides. As the years go by and more of them start adulting and rubbing elbows with the rest of us, I feel us all moving more with the times. This aspect of their world view is refreshing and comes not a minute too soon. I am hopeful that the rising Millennial tide will lift the boats of Gen Xers and Boomers.
Out of the Mouths of Babes
Basically, the Millennials get brilliant, relatable Tinx as their fairy godmother, and the (slightly) older set get Gwyneth Paltrow (her again!) whose brand of inaccessibility messages that no matter how high you fill your cart with her wares, GP will always be a smidgey bit better than you. Not fair, right? But who says we can’t borrow from one another?
I think women in particular accept the notion that a person’s life is lived in seasons and that there are guard rails around our behavior and thinking that correspond to our age/decade (act your age!). Yet it’s not always the chronologically elder from whom we can learn. For instance, it was my young adult daughter who introduced me to Tinx and reminded me that everyone has something to teach you. Tinx’s master class in life lessons can be extrapolated to everyone—here are but a few of her truth nuggets:
Pursue your curiosity and pull the thread from there (Tinx lives this example, as, in addition to making lemonade from pandemic lemons, she created a job that didn’t heretofore exist and that is based on her personal interests)
Take care of yourself—exercise and a healthy diet are our friends, but there is no glory in perfection and also no shame in Botox, lotions and potions to improve self-image
Engage with lovers and partners with self-respect and while keeping your dignity intact (self-love is #1)
I’m not in my 20s, but I am all in for whatever wisdom Tinx has to dole out. I may have grown up on Depeche Mode, but I do like Drake, and my drip is a work in progress.
As usual, hit me up (by any medium necessary) and share your thoughts.
And happy summer y’all…we made it!