A photograph of sickly skinny white boys modeling fashion, referencing the cliche and meme trend.

Sickly Skinny White Men

Updated Nov 22, 2021 at 11:21AM EST by Owen.

Added Nov 10, 2021 at 12:55PM EST by Owen.

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About

Sickly Skinny White Men refers to a cliché in pop culture of sickly looking, skinny, white men having an advantage over other men when attracting beautiful women. The phrase was first used on Twitter in late 2017, becoming more widespread in the late 2010s. The cliché gained prominence going into 2021 due to the embodiment of it within celebrity couples, most notably Pete Davidson and Ariana Grande in 2018 and Machine Gun Kelly and Megan Fox in 2021. The cliché evolved to encompass more traits like cigarette smoking and Big Dick Energy, among others.

Origin

The origin of the sickly, skinny, white boy archetype in modern, male beauty standards can be traced back to notable pop culture icons of the 1960s-2000s. These pop culture icons are predominantly musicians like Mick Jagger and Kurt Cobain, among others.

As zoomers grew up during the 2000s, sickly, skinny, white boys became more of a heartthrob archetype in movies, television and other forms of pop culture. A notable, primary example of this is Robert Pattinson's character Edward Cullen in the Twilight trilogy, which was released in 2008. A secondary addition to this trend in television was Evan Peters' character Tate Langdon in American Horror Story that was released in 2011.

The first, genuine mentioning of the term "sickly, skinny, white boy" on social media, however, was posted in December 2017. On December 23rd, 2017, Twitter[1] user @rihannasgayson posted a tweet that included photographs of male model Hugh Laughton-Scott with the caption, "Sickly skinny white boys kinda won with this one." The tweet (shown below) received roughly 7,700 likes over the course of four years.


TY ... @rihannasgayson Sickly skinny white boys kinda won with this one

Spread

The term and cliché began to pick up traction in December 2017 sparked from the above tweet. For instance, on December 26th, 2017, Twitter[2] user @nopoweradeinusa referenced "sickly little computer boy" in a tweet he posted. The tweet (shown below) received roughly 1,200 likes over the course of four years.


christian @nopoweradeinusa every girl wants a guy with a sickly little computer body now because they think we're all bitcoin rich 7:34 PM · Dec 26, 2017 · Twitter Web Client

In May 2018, the concept of Pete Davison Dating Up was first brought into the meme spotlight when the comedian started dating Ariana Grande and eventually became engaged to her. Twitter users began to identify the sickly, skinny male archetype with Pete Davidson. On June 26th, 2018, Twitter[3] user @heavenbrat posted a tweet referencing Davidson as, "a corpse that could literally demolish my heart." The tweet (shown below) received roughly 2,000 likes over the course of three years.


sarah @heavenbrat why is pete davidson hot bitch what is it with boys that look like they're a corpse that could literally demolish my heart n id thank them 11:52 AM · Jun 26, 2018 · Twitter for iPhone 475 Retweets 12 Quote Tweets 2,039 Likes

In 2019, more Twitter[4][5] users latched onto the cliché for their own comedic purposes.

By 2021, the cliché received more attention when Machine Gun Kelly and Megan Fox began dating. In late October 2021, Pete Davidson was seen with Kim Kardashian holding hands on a roller coaster. These two couples became the subject of multiple "sickly, skinny, white boy" references on Twitter. For example, on October 31st, 2021, Twitter[6] user @mattxiv posted photos of the two couples with the caption, "can someone explain to me what it is about this type of man." The tweet (shown below, left) received roughly 11,800 likes over the course of 10 days. The next day, on November 1st, 2021, Twitter[7] user @jonmeIo somewhat offered a rebuttal in his own, separate tweet. His tweet (shown below, right) received roughly 2,300 likes over the course of nine days.


matt @mattxiv can someone explain to me what it is about this type of man MV 83 Los geles People EXCLUSIVE РHOTOS Jon Melo @jonmelo I'm convinced Kim K, Kourtney and Megan Fox are forming some sort of hot girl witch's coven where they drain the life force from skinny white boys with tattoo and depression to stay young and hot forever. They're all MGK's best friends too. In this essay I will- | angeles EXCLUSIVE PHOTOS

Overall, memes and tweets made about sickly, skinny, white boys revolve around the strangeness of their pairing with oftentimes beautiful women perceivably out-of-their-league. Meme creators who use the cliché are often baffled by why women find this type of man more attractive than others. The optics of these celebrity couples who demonstrate the cliché are often considered too odd to not receive meme attention by meme creators.

Other notable celebrities who fit this cliché are actor Timothée Chalamet and rapper Lil Peep, among others.

Various Examples


delightful guy @shorn_silk ... Shornsilk's School For Sickly And Effeminate Boys 3:05 PM · Nov 8, 2021 · Twitter for iPhone nath @villannelle straight girls scare me you have the power to date almost any man you want because men are the most gullible creatures on the earth that get hypnotized by a pair of tiddies and you choose sick looking skinny white boys that look like they're one c-------- drag away from dying....

lexie @tyesheriidan stan twitter crowning their new brown curly haired skinny white boy king every month Who need they Omg me! sickly skinny white cigarenisate??


Search Interest

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External References

[1] Twitter – @rihannasgayson

[2] Twitter – @nopoweradeinusa

[3] Twitter – @heavenbrat

[4] Twitter – @BoyYeetsWorld

[5] Reddit – r/WhitePeopleTwitter

[6] Twitter – @mattxiv

[7] Twitter – @jonmeIo

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