Unpacking the Appeal of Tinx, Tik Tok’s Big Sister
Each coast has its signature influencer restaurant. In Los Angeles, it’s BOA Steakhouse, where you can find 16 21-year-old TikTok stars dining any day of the week. In New York, it’s somewhere like Catch (don’t forget to post a video of you cracking open your dessert!). In these places, you know what you’re getting and who you may see. So when a popular internet personality suggests somewhere outside of those parameters, it can be a little surprising. On a recent Tuesday, Christina Najjar, better known as Tinx, suggested lunch at a rather staid steakhouse in TriBeCa, catching me by surprise. But I trusted her. Because she’s Tinx.
Najjar, 30, is a Los Angeles-based content creator, most popular on TikTok, where she has 1.2 million followers who tune in for her pithy pop culture commentary, daily vlogs, and, most crucially, her recommendations. She has a bowl you can order through the Chipotle app (named the Tinx bowl), a signature sippy cup from Simple Modern, and a smoothie named after her at the bougie Los Angeles grocer, Erewhon. She also freely dispenses dating advice, notably her “box theory” of relationships, which says that when you meet a potential romantic partner, they immediately assign you to a category from which you can’t escape. Relatability is an old script for influencers, but Najjar has managed to break through the massively saturated market. When I asked a friend of mine and a fan of Tinx’s to explain the appeal, she said, “She makes being basic okay.”
We’re at this steakhouse, Wolfgang’s in Tribeca, because it is home to one of Tinx’s favorite salads: the Beverly Hills chopped salad with chicken, dressing on the side. “In a non-ironic way, I love really good salads, and I have lists of this, which is kind of why we’re at this weird steakhouse,” she says, dressed in a look she had previously describe on Instagram as “rich TriBeCa mom” (tan wide-leg pants, sneakers, a black baby tee, a pink cardigan slung over her shoulders, Prada bag). Her sartorial character for the day—extremely specific types are one of the pillars of the content she creates— “grew up on the upper east side in a huge townhouse with three live-in staff; always fancied herself a bit of a rebel, but what that actually entailed was smoking cigarettes with her French tutor…” Her nails are painted different shades of neon and her phone case is almost an identical replica of her Instagram avatar: pink with TINX in white block text.
Tinx’s confidence begins with the moniker. When she was young, Najjar watched All I Wanna Do, the 1998 comedy starring Gaby Hoffman, Kirsten Dunst, and Monica Keena as Tinka Parker, a troublemaker who could talk to boys. Najjar adopted the name Tinka as her more confident alter-ego, which led to Tinx.
Najjar grew up in England with American parents, where she attended an all-girls school before heading to Stanford University. After college, she started working in retail, for Gap Inc., Banana Republic, and Poshmark, before going to Parsons for a masters degree in fashion journalism. She worked as a freelancer, writing confessional pieces like, “I Attempted to Go on a Different Date Every Week For a Year — Here’s What Happened” and “I Had a Massive Crush on My Trainer — It Didn’t End Well.” “They were the sort of articles where I was falling on the banana peel and telling the joke, that was always my schtick,” she says, referencing a Nora Ephron aphorism. “ I love the idea of other people learning from my mistakes.”
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