Pop Culture

Been a Big Year for Big Ladies Who Can Kick Your Ass

The phrase "yes ma'am" was invented specifically to accompany this picture.
The phrase "yes ma'am" was invented specifically to accompany this picture. Screencap from Marvel's What If...?
One of the fun things about pop culture is the way it can help you find out things about yourself than you never really knew. For instance, the sheer number of people who started out as “ironic” My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic fans and ended up deeply sincere furries is actually kind of sweet. Nothing makes me happier than seeing a 4Chan raid blow up in the edgelords’ faces and birth a nurturing community.

In 2021, though, the word of the moment is macrophilia, which is the fetishization of giants and large people. Big girls are having a really good year, and frankly I am all for it. Give me a woman who is worth the climb.

It started with Resident Evil: Village when the tailer showed off new villain Lady Alcina Dimitrescu, a 9-foot-tall vampire dressed as a Southern Belle that dragged the players by their feet and the nation by its libido. Dimitrescu was already a full-fledged phenomenon even before the game itself was released. Her voice actor, Maggie Robertson, delightfully read out fatally thirsty tweets about the character as a gag, my personal favorite being that “horny jail is now at capacity.” You can also literally watch fashion vlogger Karolina Żebrowska descend into profound gayness as she lays out the historical accuracy of the villain's wardrobe.

Most recently, Captain Peggy Carter joined the fray. Marvel’s new series What If…? looks at alternate realities of superheroes. In the first episode, Agent Peggy Carter gets the super soldier serum instead of Steve Rogers and becomes a Union Jack-wearing badass that now towers over every man in the room. I have now lost count of the number of Twitter users I have seen advocating for the British Bombshell to step on them. This won’t be the only time Marvel gives the macrophiles what they want. Actress and noted human giraffe Jameela Jamil has already showed off some of her fight training and the villain Titania in the upcoming She-Hulk series.

click to enlarge "Can you speak up? Sound doesn't travel as well at your altitude." - SCREENCAP FROM RESIDENT EVIL: VILLAGE
"Can you speak up? Sound doesn't travel as well at your altitude."
Screencap from Resident Evil: Village
Look, Lizzo declared this Big Girl Summer and I don’t argue with Lizzo. God knows I love a good TikTok set to Mika’s “Big Girl (You Are Beautiful)” as much as the next body positivity advocate.

That said, I really like watching people fall in love with freakin’ giants. It’s not just their size that seems to obsess them… okay us. It’s the perception of strength. Characters like Dimitrescu and Carter aren’t just physically large; they’re able to toss grown people like rag dolls. Sure, one does it for evil and the other does it for good, but the same basic formula is there.

If you ask me, this past year has made us all feel kind of small. There’s not much you can do to fight COVID except hide in your home and hope it goes away. The image of transgressive figures, woman who are tall and powerful and in general not going to answer to anyone, is kind of like a beacon of hope. Think of it like the Statue of Liberty coming down off her plinth to punch a cruel world in the face.

I hope that affection holds on past the plague. Finding new, positive ways to look at people is always a societal plus, and men embracing the crushing might of women, albeit fictional ones, is probably a good mental exercise overall. Maybe we as a society can translate that “stomp me, mommy” mindset into a “hey, maybe that powerful woman knows what she’s talking about” some of the time.

Or, maybe it’s all just a wankfest. If so, at least it’s an interesting one.
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Jef Rouner is a contributing writer who covers politics, pop culture, social justice, video games, and online behavior. He is often a professional annoyance to the ignorant and hurtful.
Contact: Jef Rouner