Thoughts x

All it takes is a certain je ne sais quoi, and maybe Ariana Grande will want to marry you, too.

The saga began with a (possibly unintentional) Twitter joke from Ariana Grande. When asked about the length of “Pete,” an unreleased song about her new fiancé, Pete Davidson, Grande responded with a sassy innuendo: “like 10 inches? …. Oh f*ck … i mean … like a lil over a minute.”

Grande has since deleted the tweet, which is rumored to have been Photoshopped in the first place. But real or not, Grande’s words launched the phenomenon of “big dick energy.”

A viral tweet from Twitter user @babyvietcong later contributed to the innocuous joke’s rise as the meme of the moment: “Pete davidson is 6’3 with dark circles, exudes big dick energy, looks evil but apparently is an angel, and loves his girl publicly the only thing wrong w him is that he’s a scorpio but anyway… married him within a month too.”

The tweet has over 164,000 likes and ensured big dick energy’s claim in the upper echelon of the year’s meme pantheon.

In the days since its birth, BDE has inspired tweets, articles from the likes of The Cut, Vox and Huffington Post and speculation and debate over who exactly possesses the specific kind of energy.

Since then, a type of criteria has developed: BDE is not so much about anatomy as it is a vibe, a quiet aura of confidence and decisiveness that might not have much to do with how well-endowed you are.

The Cut used the four Hollywood Chrises as a control group of sorts against which to judge everyone else’s levels of BDE: Pratt’s is lacking, Pine’s is tentative, Hemsworth’s is nonexistent and Evans’ is plenty.

Armed with proper examples, you can determine which celebrities and which of your friends possess the coveted BDE. You may even be able to tell if you have it, but you’ll probably want to get a second opinion.

Good news with the meme: everyone can stan, because BDE is all-inclusive. Women can have BDE, too! In fact, just as many women possess the vibe as do men. All you require is some swagger and a certain kind of energy and all you girls can be BDE-certified.

In case you’re wondering how a woman can have BDE without, in fact, having a dick, below is a list of card-carrying BDE women to get you adjusted to the idea.

Rihanna: I can’t think of anyone, man or woman, with MORE BDE.

Cardi B: Only one step below Rihanna.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez: Liberal-leaning BDE may be the best kind, actually.

Cate Blanchett (and Sandra Bullock and probably Mindy Kaling): They all have BDE, as might the whole cast of “Ocean’s 8.”

Janelle Monae: Listen to her new album and try telling me you don’t agree.

Several of the articles that list celebs with BDE include women in their compendiums, but even so, many have argued that the term “big dick energy” is, in itself, problematic.

Despite the energy itself being gender-neutral, why is dick what comes to mind when people think of power and assertion? Would a meme such as “pussy power” be quite as funny or hold as much sway over the internet?

I guess there’s only one way to find out. It’s time to get #PP trending.

Writer Profile

Cameron Andersen

New York University
Cultural Anthropology and Gender & Sexuality

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