Alpha and beta males in cinema.

Lately I have found out that psychologists divide male society on two types: alpha and beta males. What does it mean? The first type refers to a strong serious man who can be silent as well. He never fails because physically and socially he keeps under control and dominate the events. And of course he is damn handsome and sexually attractive. This type of men is a quintessence of masculinity and power. When they speak about alpha men Arnold Schwarzenegger and Bruce Willis appear in my imagination. They seem to be cool, at least the characters they perform. No fear, no panic, no blame. This type seems to be attractive but nowadays it is not that popular as in the 1990s when stereotypes concerning alpha male’s image were at the peak. So in cinema alpha males appear in such movies as Dirty Harry (1972), The Terminator (1984), The Matrix (1999), The Killer (1989), Apocalypse Now (1979), Goodfellas (1990), Fight Club (1999). Even though these movies are actual masterpieces I admire I wouldn’t say that the main characters are my heroes. To tell the truth I try to avoid people of similar traits in my life. They are not for me definitely.

As you can guess beta males are just opposite to alpha. Nevertheless they are also popular in culture. Beta males are failures and unsuccessful guys who almost never gain what they want. When intelligence dominates power than it is about beta males. Also it is said that they are born losers who bully people, betray, blame and lie. For me it is half true. Well, that’s pretty an unpleasant description and tend to be more psychological than cultural one. Maybe I’m wrong but for me beta males refer mainly to main characters of Woodey Allen’s films and obviously Woodey Allen himself is a personification of such type of a male. Thus his movies The Curse of the Jade Scorpion (2001) and Sleeper (1973) are just exemplifying in this case. And of course Zelig (1983) film depicting life of a man who took traits and characteristics of people around him especially when he was in troubles. Whether I’m right or wrong but for me Zelig is an actual beta male in a psychological sense. But at the same time Jerry Falk (JasonBiggs) from Anything Else (2003) is a beta male in a cultural sense.

So as you can see the subject appears to be a bit complicated especially when it refers to media and cinema.

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One thought on “Alpha and beta males in cinema.

  1. NF Hannibal says:

    Found this on google, thought you might be interested-

    “The ideal is the Gamma Male. Not often talked about, but they are out there. Usually a Gamma is an Alpha Male that “grew up” and toned down the antics slightly and started being socially conscious and more of a team player. Or they started as a Beta Male that “grew a pair” and started bumping back on the rest of the world rather than just taking it lying down. Either way works as a route.

    Think Jean-Luc Picard (from Star Trek), Gammas use diplomacy but when required to they will respond with adept force. Mostly they are consciously aware of both their own natures, and the needs of women. They adjust on the fly to the situation, sometimes hard, sometimes soft.

    Gamma’s are the true ideal, but I think the Alpha and Beta terms are so ingrained, that it is simply easier to broken record the idea that if you’re too Alpha the solution is to add Beta, and if you’re too Beta the solution is to add Alpha.”

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