Friday, October 2, 2009

Pick the Alpha...This Guy or The Other One

Okay, I'm being silly. Of course, hunky, lickable Clive Owen is the alpha male here. Right? Earlier this week Anne was talking about Alpha heroes and I started thinking about it. Do we decide someone is an alpha male because of the way he looks? Been wondering. Now who's to say yummy Clive wouldn't run crying like a sissy girl at the first sign of trouble and we might be shocked to our toes to see this 'slobberly dude' ditch the bowl of cheetoes from his lap and leap into the fray like a ninja warrior!

You think?

I'm wondering if we equate way too many things to how a person looks. I commented the other day about the movie The Mist. I watched it with the family a few weekends ago. Hated the movie. Soooo not my cup of tea. Thomas Janes was fine looking as the Alpha hero of the movie that revolved around creatures lurking in a heavy mist. He is stuck in the local grocery store with his little boy and a host of other townspeople. Everyone who ventures out into the mysterious fog gets slammed by the alien creatures in the most intensely gruesome way possible. Now here's where I get to my dilemma on the whole Alpha Male thing. There was this character whom I called 'the little dude' through the entire movie. An assistant manager at the grocery store, he was small, wore glasses, seemed very unassuming. For the most part the store manager or others laughed at him, rolled their eyes at everything he said and basically treated him like crap. BUT.....when the bad stuff started going down, he was the first guy to leap into action. He blasted bad guys with amazing accuracy and dove into situations that left the big, bad tough guys shaking in their boots.

I loved him. After awhile, I began to kind of ignore the hero because the 'little dude" was just so kickass I couldn't wait to see what terribly brave thing he might do next.

Guess I'm wondering, why do we necessarily equate an Alpha Man with Alpha Looks? Are we really that shallow or are we just programmed to think of an alpha male as being gorgeous?

10 comments:

Chris R said...

Alpha male is the one that is driven to protect those weaker IMO.

When it comes to fiction, book or movie, it is just "nicer" if the alpha comes in a nicer looking package. :-)

Regina Carlysle said...

Agree. Naturally it's nicer in romance fiction to have a great looking guy involved. Aside from fiction? I don't think it's necessarily true.

Kelley Nyrae said...

In real life, its probably not true all the time but I think its human nature to kind of assume that.

Anne Rainey said...

I wasn't sure how to answer until I read Chris' comment. Ditto that! LOL

Fran Lee's Romance Blog said...

An alpha is a leader. Some men are NOT born leaders, but somehow manage to take up that role when they are forced into it. Ever heard of a dude names Audey Murphy? A little guy about 5'5"...skinny, baby-faced, and the middle child of 12 kids. Unassuming, polite to a fault, and always walking away from a fight. But when he was the sole support of his large family, he decided to take that alpha role. At 15 he tried to join the army. At 16, he forged his B/C to look like he was 16, and they took him. He sent every penny of his pay back to support his family.

Audey was the most decorated soldier in WWII, and the youngest commissioned officer in the entire US Army. Small, skinny, soft-spoken, and one hell of an alpha guy!

Regina Carlysle said...

Absolutely, Fran! I was thinking about guys like him when I wrote this.

These Alpha guys aren't always ripped and yummy. Romance readers just expect them to be dashing.

Paris said...

For me, the alpha attitude is what makes a hero sexy. Of course the whole handsome as sin thing works best in books and movies but I know what you mean about the little take charge guy--he suddenly got a whole lot better looking when the chips were down;-)

Regina Carlysle said...

Reminds me of the stories about deep down hunky geeks. Cindy Spencer Pape has some wonderful GEEK stories and it's fun to see the brilliant scientist toss aside his horn-rimmed glasses, remove his pocket protector and assume the alpha role.

Melissa Bradley said...

It's all about the attitude. Alphas are leaders, driven to protect and defend. Chris is right about it being nice in a romance novel or film if the alpha comes in a hot package. One hero that comes to my mind is Commander Adama from Battlestar Galactica, an older, weather-beaten, glasses-wearing, alpha who defended his people to the last.

Tielle St. Clare said...

I think we do rely a bit too much on the looks of a character to determine who's Alpha. I love the secondary characters who are clever and brave...the side-kick. And I'm with you, I love geeks! Make them sexy and smart and I'm there.