On June 26, 2018, The Cut declared that Pete Davidson had Big Dick Energy ("BDE is a quiet confidence and ease with oneself that comes from knowing you have an enormous penis and you know what to do with it"), and the term took off. It also happened to be Ariana Grande's birthday. Now, a year later, the singer's life looks a lot different. Back then, it was Davidson's confidence, sense of humor, and a general lack of regard for anything that wasn't Grande or their sick apartment that were real indicators of his BDE status. But, just as quickly as he was anointed the king of BDE he has, as Nylon points out, lost it. In the wake of his breakup from Grande, the Saturday Night Live star was spotted looking less-than-stellar on a walk. He canceled more than one scheduled comedy performance and the ones he did attend contained snarky references to the split. Meanwhile, Grande was spotted looking like this while doing some breakup shopping, thus confirming what I've suspected all along: Ariana Grande has the BDE, Pete Davidson was just borrowing it.
Have you ever heard of Shine Theory (coincidentally also coined on The Cut)? It's essentially a theory about female friendship that eliminates competition and encourages women to surround themselves with successful women if they would also like to be successful. I'd posit the same is true for BDE. Davidson's whole aura changed when he was next to one of the most successful pop stars in the world, as evidenced by the fact that he very much did not have BDE before their relationship.
This was true as recently as a month before he was reported to be dating Grande, when he "objectively bombed" during a performance at Kenyon College in Ohio.
"He performed like someone just woke him up from a nap," a review in The Kenyon Collegian reads. "He walked out and suggested the audience lower their expectations."
"I got the sense that people didn’t really know who Pete Davidson was," a student in attendance told the publication.
Meanwhile, Grande's career has been consistently well-regarded. In 2013, she won New Artist of the Year at the American Music Awards, and then Artist of the Year in 2016. She also won a Video Music Award for Best Pop Video in 2014 and, most recently, Best Pop in 2018. She's in the middle of the first tour for her album Sweetener, which she combined with her latest album, Thank U, Next, because that's how quickly she wrote and released 12 new songs. She's also just, like, extremely funny on social media, and also has been encouraging people to vote at her concerts. Now that's Big Dick Energy!
So, apologies to Ariana Grande for initially misinterpreting her BDE shine. May the Big Dick Energy Queen continue to reign supreme.