Within modern gay and LGBTQ media, twinks are seen as figures of sexual desire. Representing femininity while at the same time carrying sexual receptivity, many commentators deplore these portrayals while other media simply recycle them; evidenced by twink pornography featuring hairless bodies of adolescents aged roughly 10-15.
American gay porn studios such as Bel Ami, Cocky Boys and archetypal twink factory Helix Studios seem fixated on depictions of skinny babes. Even popular stars, like Kyle Ross from Helix Studios, appear barely out of puberty with minimal body hair or muscle mass – an obvious departure from previous industry preferences for larger bodied men, yet nonetheless still presents as a fetishized representation.
Skinny Babes fuel an insidious discourse that promotes an ideal of masculinity that diminishes queer diversity. Yet many openly gay celebrities who fit the twink stereotype remain uncomfortable with it – including actors Tye Sheridan (Ready Player One) and Lucas Hedges (Lady Bird/Manchester by the Sea/Lady Bird again), singer Troye Sivan and celebrity-child Jaden Smith who can all be counted among them.
As the industry evolves, new platforms and communities provide marginalized voices an outlet to express themselves and build their businesses – but with this shift comes an increased risk of fragmenting the scene into distinct tribes each with its own set of tropes, stereotypes and anxieties.