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Why Madeline Martha Mackenzie of 'Big Little Lies' Is the Preppy Heroine We Need Right Now

A love letter to Reese Witherspoon's character on Big Little Lies.
IMAGE COURTESY OF HBO
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Plenty of people these days are working very hard to let you know they don't care what you think. They're going to do their thing, your opinion be damned. They DGAF. (Look it up if you don't know what that means.) Not Big Little Lies' Madeline Martha Mackenzie.

Maddy cares. She cares what you think about her daughter and her car and her marriage and her hair. She's the tightly wound, perfectionist friend who always has your back. And the perfect floral dress and twin-set for every occasion.

Big Little Lies may have been short-lived, but in just seven episodes, it gave us a new preppy icon to join the ranks of Blair Waldorf, Alex P. Keaton, and Carlton Banks. Here are just a few of the reasons why we're obsessed with Reese Witherspoon's character.


HER (ALREADY) ICONIC WARDROBE.

Appearances are everything to Madeline, and so the clothes she wears are a careful study into how she wants people to see her. "She’s overly accessorized — the type of woman who wakes up extra early in the morning to put on her makeup and make sure her outfit is completely coordinated, so she’s ready for anything," costume designer Alix Friedberg said of Madeline's lust-inducing Tory Burch, Carolina Herrera, and Burberry. "Her look is very calculated, as is her personality."

SHE'S FIERCELY LOYAL.

When Madeline is a friend, she's a friend for life, whether that means coordinating an all-out offensive against Renata, when she picked a battle against Jane or (spoiler alert) helping to fend off Celeste's abusive husband.

HOW SHE NURSES THOSE GRUDGES.

Let's hear it for the person who doesn't pretend to be nice. Madeline is almost nobly committed to pursuing what she likes and who she doesn't. "I love my grudges," she quips in the show's second episode. "I tend to them like little pets."

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HER BUTTONED-UP PERFECTIONISM.

Madeline's type-A tendencies are peak Witherspoon. Perfectionists have gotten a bad rap in recent years. And yes, like Maddy, they can be a little anxious and prone to micro-managing. (Ok, nagging.) But when you want someone to fight your idyllic town's quasi-fascist censorship tendencies or counter-program a trip to Disney on Ice, complete with limo and champagne, who do you turn to? The laid-back, go-with-the-flow, beta Mom? No. You want the pushy, to-do-list wielding alpha who cares what people think. You want the perfectionist.

THAT NAME.

Madeline Martha Mackenzie? It speaks for itself.

This story originally appeared on Townandcountrymag.com. 
* Minor edits have been made by the Townandcountry.ph editors.

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Caroline Hallemann
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