|Who could forget that Arnold used to look like this?|
|This is the current Mister Olympia. I'll let you make your own comments.|
|No one knows how he wipes.|
In "Of Giants: Sex, Monsters and the Middle Ages", JJ Cohen writes: "The giant is encountered in a performance of masculinity as necessary as it is obscene"(xii). But he also points out that the giants form is not reducible to some pure state of masculinity because the giants bodies are described in the same language that medieval writers used to categorize women. Giants then are not important in and of themselves. They exist instead as a measuring stick of human form. Bodybuilders perform a similar function in our society.
One need only look at Terry Crews performance as Sgt. Terry Jeffords, on Brooklyn Nine-Nine, to see feminine traits that JJ Cohen mentions. Crews plays the caring boss/dad who shelters his team as if they are his family. Despite his oft referenced size his character has more of a mother hen vibe than anything else. This too raises a question. Are men only not stigmatized for being caretakers if they're outwardly a projection pure masculinity or are we only comfortable with characters of Terry's size if they're feminized in some way?
The implications in either event are as paradoxical for us today as they were for writers in the middle ages. This is why the embodiment of a giant so subjective.