Last week my friend FB and I spent a wonderful evening listening to a talk on miniatures at London's Wellcome Institute. The writer, philosopher, academic and thinker Stephen Connor delivered an excellent lecture on "the miniature" in all its forms and uses. His observations were witty and bolstered by humorous examples from pop culture, including The Simpson, Fantastic Voyage and The Twilight Zone.
His talk covered a lot of ground and his arguments were manifold. I won't try and recap the whole thing in this post, but I will touch on some of his more interesting points. He reasoned that we find accurate scale miniatures fascinating because they do not occur in nature. We are used to the laws of physics determining that large animals have stocky legs and small eyes, while small creatures have thin legs and large eyes (the result of the way gravity and light behave). Therefore when we see a reduction of a thing in perfect proportion, it is both unusual and unnatural. Interestingly, terms of endearment are usually in the diminutive - "You are my little flower" being a good example.
Connor explored the established observation that miniatures give us a sense of God-like mastery. This can often lead to a desire to be 'in' a miniature. We are able to create models of places and buildings and we have a tendency to want to be in these tiny locations. However, he extrapolated from this that our bodies (which, of course, begin as miniatures) are one of those rare things we both regard as possessing and which we are 'in'.
Food for thought...