Hannah Gadsby, Miss Piggy, Rihanna and Idris Elba all have BDE (Photos: Netflix, Rex Features, Getty Images)

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How Big Dick Energy became a Big Internet Trend

It’s gender-neutral and only vaguely about big dicks

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By Zoë Beaty on

So, you want to know if you have BDE. Or, maybe, you’ve woken up this morning to find your social-media platforms awash with Big Dick Energy and you’re just trying to figure out what, exactly, it is and why we’re talking about it. Over the last 24 hours, the internet has been transfixed by the concept – and, if you’re not already, chances are soon you will be, too. Heck, it’s now so big that the term is gaining significant coverage in the national and international press.

Why are we talking about it? Because, right now, the world can’t get enough of Pete Davidson (naturally) and Ariana Grande. So when, last week, Grande definitely possibly tweeted about the size of Davidson’s penis, it was never going to go down quietly. Shortly after she floated that he was “like, 10 inches…?”, she deleted her comment. But it was, of course, too late. The internet ain’t one to let something like that slide. Sure enough, someone else tweeted about Davidson’s “big dick energy”, and a new era dawned. The BDEra, if you will.

In case you missed the other Very Important Journalists painstakingly describing what BDE is, it goes a little like this: BDE is an attitude of sorts, that some people have (Davidson definitely being one of them). Mostly, having BDE is similar to having a quiet assurance or confidence – the opposite of hyper-masculinity, or “cock-whacking” (men who insist on metaphorically whopping their dicks out on the table at all times), as our deputy editor, Lucy Dunn, colourfully described it in our news meeting this morning. It’s someone (or something) who, without being in anyway arrogant or boastful, radiates self-assurance and strength. Do not be fooled by the BDE – this actually has nothing to do with genitalia. You don’t have to have a big dick, or have a dick at all, to have BDE. BDE is not aligned with gender.

Much of the discussion around people with BDE has been identifying who they are. For instance, aside from Davidson, Cate Blanchett has also been cited as a big-time BDE, along with Idris Elba, Cardi B and Lindsay Lohan. Emily Reynolds at Vice also identified that the Tasmanian Devil from Looney Tunes is a Big Dick Energy-haver, as is Oscar the Grouch.

It’s a feeling, more than anything. A good example, perhaps, is the very obvious BDE gap in Miss Piggy and Kermit’s relationship

How can you tell? It’s a feeling, more than anything. A good example, perhaps, is the very obvious BDE gap in Miss Piggy and Kermit’s relationship. Compare the two side-by-side and it’s easy to see that, while Piggy is packing some serious BDE, her lover, Kermit, is not. And, while Kermie is quite obviously a Good Guy, you wouldn’t catch a BDE-haver lamenting the tribulations of Being Green.

Other BDE-havers include Pepé Le Pew, Hannah Gadsby, the Slumflower (Chidera Eggerue), Janelle Monáe, Leslie Jones, Jürgen Klopp and all the women who defied Saudi Arabia’s driving ban. And the non-BDE-havers? The most commonly cited, naturally, is Donald Trump, while Jennifer Lawrence (a try-hard, sorry) has been named frequently, too, along with any Boring Handsome Men (see: Brad Pitt, David Beckham and George Clooney). To that list I would like to add Anyone Who Tells Me They Are “Crazy”, candles and Jacob Rees-Mogg.

Of course, this is all a bit of light relief at a time when decency in politics and, well, humanity, appears to be scarce. Some have already pointed out that the dick-centric nature of the vibe could get tiresome (The Guardian suggested there should be a vagina-centric equivalent) – which is perhaps why we’ve already seen a few tweets evolving BDE to BDHE (Big Dick Head Energy). For now, a rare moment hangs in the air: agreement that Rihanna is the planet’s Biggest Dick Energy-haver. If that’s not something to celebrate, what is… 

@zoe_beaty

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Hannah Gadsby, Miss Piggy, Rihanna and Idris Elba all have BDE (Photos: Netflix, Rex Features, Getty Images)
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