Compared to men of the 80’s and 90’s, the men we see in television shows, movies and even life have change drastically. There are subtle signs of this change which you probably haven’t noticed, but the alpha male is gone from television. Let me explain…
Television’s Fat Stupid Hubby With A Pretty Hot Wife
One of my favorite shows of all time is King of Queens, I think Carrie is the ultimate alpha femme – she’s beautiful, a bit bossy, knows what she wants, and can kick any chick’s ass who crosses her (I do love me some Carrie). Doug? Well he’s a lovable teddy bear; he’s a big guy but he’s all soft edges and heart. Doug is a great guy who many women would kill to have but he became the king–no pun intended–of the stereotypical Beta Male that television loves.
The list of men who portrayed this Doug archetype is long. Some of the more memorable names are: Raymond, Homer Simpson, and Peter Griffin. Just about every popular television show in the last few years has had this character.
No More Big Men
That movie The Expendables brought the old big men that I grew up watching, back together again to blow things up on the big screen. It did exceptionally well and may have reignited the public’s acceptance of muscle. When it comes to action movies: Sylvester Stallone, Dolph Lundgren, and Arnold Schwarzenegger (old school) was the past. Clive Owen, Jason Statham, and Daniel Craig is the now. Jason Statham and Daniel Craig workout hard for their bodies; they look natural; they look like they can kick your ass; and are the newer, more palatable take on an action hero.
Look No Meatheads In Our Gym!
Whenever I see a gym with the words “Health and Wellness” or any variation of on the sign, I assume that it will not have much in the way of free weights and the massive specimens who lift them in attendance. I assume these gyms became popular due to the guys who were very much douchebags in their behavior turning people off from going to the traditional gym.
Wellness gyms want you to feel comfortable and they usually choose to have machines over free weights because the machines do not intimidate people. The funny thing about the facade of this is however that their commercials feature the meatheads who are unwelcome, lying to you (the audience) that they got their perfect build from using the machines. Still – it makes me think that the big guys just aren’t welcome there.
I’m actually fine with this as long as there are other gyms that cater to bodybuilders. Just keep a few gyms available for these people and I’ll be okay with the “No Meatheads allowed” wellness gyms.
Big men aren’t going anywhere
Here’s the thing, for an extremely long time the Alpha Male has run unchecked on television and a lot of these changes are attributed to that. Then there is the steroid witch hunt that continues to plague professional sports and the same othering of muscular people that will probably never stop. But how about a bit of balance? Wouldn’t it be nice to still see a massive Terminator tearing ass on screen, or a ladies man as smooth as Eddie Murphy was in Boomerang?
The times change rapidly and I am more than sure the Alpha Male will return; but I will say he has been missed and with movies like The Avengers which showcased a larger than life Chris Evans and a righteous big man in Chris Hemsworth’s Thor — The Alpha Male is already coming back. What do you think of all of this? Have you missed the Alpha Male in the theater?See some words or phrases that you don't understand? Check out The Dragon's Lexicon.