I have been lucky enough to be born with a mesomorphic body type. For those not familiar with that concept, it essentially means that I have a natural muscular frame. Over the year’s I have gone to the gym and attempted to work on this natural body shape, albeit with an improper diet and an inconsistency with my attendance at the gym. The temptation of Mcdonald’s, KFC, various restaurants, sweet’s for when I visit the cinema and other various exercises in food hedonism – have provided ample opportunity to diet on the world’s worse bodybuilding diet. I am not going to analyse the rest of my looks at this point as I believe I’d be participating in pure narcissism. Nevertheless I’ve done my best to maintain the look’s I have with various facial washes and the appropriate moisturisers.
Being the introvert that I am I’ve never been one to shout at the top of my lung’s while out with my friend’s. It is just not in my character. I may have the odd drink from time to time, perhaps on occasion, more than necessary. Even then, shouting, being abusive to people, saying the ‘What are you looking at?’ – to my fellow man is still not in my character. This is why on occasion I have underestimated my own gender’s propensity to do exactly the behaviour’s I’ve just described. Which lead’s me onto my learning of the alpha male bulls**t.
Back in high-school the idea that I had any social standing was fanciful at best. Coming from a small village a few miles away is probably what caused me to be an outcast. Being unpopular was something I got accustomed to and I developed the appropriate mindset to deal with it. When I got to college however perhaps by default thing’s appeared to change. Helped albeit by my college being near to where I lived, thus perhaps having more in common with the people I would meet at my new college. Yet suddenly for some reason, various people would take a instant disliking to me for different reasons. On one of my first college classes a person for anonymous purposes we shall call Steve was playing the alpha male bulls**t. Steve was rather loud and obnoxious. Now initially I had no issues with this, it did however become a problem when he was targeting myself.
I would find myself reading out of a textbook out loud via the request of my teacher to the rest of the class only for Steve to be laughing every time I spoke. Steve would whisper thing’s to the people he who were sat on the same table as him (mainly girl’s) and I was certain it was about me. Steve was constantly trying to outdo me in many various way’s. At one point I overheard one of his female friend’s say to Steve that ‘I was good looking’ only for Steve to turnaround with a unpleasant facial expression towards me and then look back at the person who had dare suggest such a thing and said something to the effect of ‘Really?’ Steve was obviously playing the alpha male bulls**t because of the girl’s in his presence. I was popular outside that particular classroom which indirectly told me there had to be more to it than a case of of high school repeat. Weird kid comes from weird place and is unpopular, end of story. With my new popularity and the expelling of my of old high-school label as ‘weird’ something more sinister had to be in play for someone to have a problem with me.
At one point during my tenure at college random people would ask me if I was taking steroids, a rumour that was going around the college like wildfire. In my mind there had been no prizes for guessing who had made this up. Steve was in my view not a bad-looking guy but myself being the height of 5’11 coupled with having a muscular frame and him being 5’7 and also having a muscular frame – may have had an impact on his decision to make out I was some kind of threat to him. But college would soon be over and this would all be behind me or at least I thought.
Role on to fresher’s week at University several months later, and I would be at University. So the idea of the ‘mad parties’ and ‘wild nights’ was most demonstrated in this particular week at University. Whilst making the most of this week I ventured into one of the many nightclubs in Leeds. I walked into the toilets at the nightclub, as soon as I had used the toilets a perhaps slightly older man looked at me and said ‘Have you got a problem?’ I said ‘No’. He then said ‘You better not have a problem, or I will kick the s**t of you!’. ‘Charming’ – I thought to myself, as I walked out. In some situations the slight brief look at someone can be enough to trigger the ‘What the f**k are you looking at?’ question. I can remember that no eye-contact was made, he obviously thought that I was some kind of threat once again.
More recently me and my friend were walking in to a supermarket when we had got though the entrance and a man decided he had a problem with me. The slight build up to this was that a man who can described as mixed race, around the 6’5 – 6’6 height mark and of a large muscular build had entered the supermarket from the opposite entrance to us. As the opposite entrance lead into the rest of the supermarket me and my friend naturally came closer to this man. He was immediately looking at me and I found this odd considering that I had not once looked at him. Simply you can notice when someone who is a few feet away from you is looking in your direction. I looked back attempting to be polite and at one point I said ‘Alright?’ in a mild tone. This had no effect. He had no interest in wanting to acknowledge me through a friendly manner. He did end up further in front of me and my friend and bizarrely, and perhaps ironically whilst he was looking at the ground he said ‘What are you looking at?’ in a firm tone. I thus shook my head, my friend found this strange as well. The man in question would go one step further though.
My friend and me both decided to continue shopping rather than ‘walk out’ over fear of what could happen. We went down a different set of isles away from him. This seemed like a smart move on both of our parts. For me it wasn’t a case of ‘coming to blows’ that worried me. I envisaged damage being done in the shop, I envisaged police turning up and taking a statement from me. All because of this man who was obviously playing the neanderthal version of being an alpha male. Me and my friend were on the last isle of the supermarket when the man in question walked straight past us, while (again ironically) not looking at us. He spread his entire body out and made a loud grunting noise. He had lost the eye-contact battle which was not of my choosing to begin with and then obviously decided to return to a man’s prehistoric roots and make a caveman noise as he walked past me and my friend. This really was a ridiculous situation. Me and my friend then paid for our shopping and then exited the building.
I could write on about all the other occasions that similar situations albeit not as serious have happened where there has been a clear ‘alpha male’ dominance theme going on. This has happened anywhere from work, the gym, walking in town, being abroad at a water-park and countless other areas of where my life’s destinations have taken me. It is not my attempt to feel this is personal or I am unique, I am merely trying to write down about experiences that have happened in the past. I acknowledge that perhaps on occasion I may at least have been partly responsible for these situations arising, after-all I am aware that eye-contact is a sign of confidence and I like to display confidence. Nevertheless, the vast majority of the time I am always attempting to ‘mind my own business’ and through these countless experiences I know I must avoid eye-contact with those I believe have an alpha male complex about them.
None of the above stories made any sense until I discovered the terminology ‘the alpha male’, though I previously remembered watching a documentary on animals that live in the African Savannah and the term being used loosely to describe some of the animal behaviours. I had no idea that it was much of a ‘thing’ within human society. Being the ‘dominant male’ is something that has never interested me. I believed if you were popular with people this would be shown through charisma and leading a life that could be described as interesting. I did not believe (perhaps naively) that undermining and being verbally aggressive to your fellow man was necessary. Having lived through high school I understood bullying, but there was more to this. Being popular in most areas of your life’s corners and then being targeted at random times in unexpected situations was different to bullying in the conventional sense. Both bullying and the alpha male bulls**t are two situations cut from the same cloth, though fortunately, perhaps unfortunately you have to experience both to understand the differences.
Oliver Wilson, (2018)