Letting The Fat Girl/Beta Guy Thing Go

A while back I read a good way to frame a piece of advice that centered around a discussion between Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio:

“As a child, I was overweight and I was very chubby and I was always the wrong kid at the audition because my hair was wrong and the shoes didn’t fit. I did lose weight very sensibly when I was younger but those days are very much behind me.”

Turning to DiCaprio, she adds, “I remember you saying to me one day, ‘You’ve really got to let the whole fat girl thing go’. And that’s the truth, you’re right.”

Replace “fat girl” with “beta guy” and it works for men too. Almost nobody can’t cite a period in life when they were less than impressive.

Seriously, life is long. People change. if you’re dedicated to fixing your problems, you will at least make a significant dent. If you can’t give yourself credit for that, if you insist on semi-consciously falling back into the fat girl guys didn’t want, or the nerdy kid who got bullied, or Zit Guy or whatever cross you bore at some point in your youth, you’re really just chopping yourself off at the knees without help from anybody else. You’ve done the work of your opponents for them.

I didn’t say it was easy. There’s a little person in most of us who wants to remind us of our old, since-dispatched flaws. This psychological homunculus sits on our shoulder and tells us we’re reliving our old ways decades later, that we’ll never get to where we want to go because we used to be whatever it was that held us back. Sometimes we want to listen to this person, because at least the expectation of achievement would dissipate and we could accept failure.

Fire that person.


Filed under beta guide, girl guide

15 responses to “Letting The Fat Girl/Beta Guy Thing Go

  1. I am not...

    But the difference is that when Kate was fat, she wanted to be thin and pretty.

  2. Brendan

    It’s true that the shortcoming is less obvious than it is for women, but it’s nevertheless something that more and more guys are becoming aware of at younger and younger ages. And it is fixable, to some degree, like weight is. So while the comparison isn’t exact, it’s close enough to be a relevant one.

    It’s not like being a short man or a very tall woman — shortcomings which you can’t change, really.

  3. Weight loss for women is doable.
    A man changing himself from beta to alpha is doable
    Adding inches in height is not.

  4. Its interesting that Brendan and theprivateman have mentioned height as being something immutable for a full grown adult.

    That’s true of course, but the short man who is willing to direct his energies towards even shorter women has a better statistical chance than the short guy who is still going after the taller girls.

  5. I am not...

    Of course changing from beta to alpha is doable – the question is whether you want to. There are trade-offs. I think there are a lot of people who would agree with Paul Graham’s hypo and stay as betas.

    I’m not at all sure that betadom is a shortcoming. To put it another way, I’m sceptical that the nerdy kid being bullied is the one who needs to change.

    [From a moral perspective, you’re right. But from a practical perspective, what’s the use of being proud of your personal integrity if you’re getting walked over? Why let the douchebag with the smooth social skills bang the prom queen and get promoted above you just so you can be wedded to some romantic idea that you’re better than him in the end?

    I think some people have taken “the meek shall inherit the earth” way too far and imparted lack of agency with a misplaced sense of Godliness.]

  6. @I am not:

    Why would any man want to remain beta? He’s not gaining anything from being a doormat.

    [Exactly. Good people need to be strong, because goodness is impotent without strength.]

  7. VI

    I’ve personified everything weak about me, and every time I’m running the track or somehow pushing my limits, I imagine that I am fighting against that dark reflection of myself that tells me I’m not good enough. I don’t hate many things, but I hate that weak part of me and personifying it this way pushes me to destroy my weaknesses.

    About tall girls
    Remember two things.
    1. Most men prefer shorter girls.
    2. Most men are intimidated by tall girls.
    If you like a tall chick, pick up your balls and go for it.
    I prefer tall girls, probably because I started having girlfriends at an age at which the girls were taller than the boys.

    [Greetings, Vincent! All the short guys I know who have even mediocre love lives have outstandingly tight game. I used to work in a place that had two short guys in the same office (two people shared each office). That place was a hive of alphatude, you could sense the power just walking past the door. Man-on-man shit testing began in earnest if you entered. Sadly, a tall guy with no game still has more opportunities before he opens his mouth than a short guy with a Danny DeVito personality. I’d chalk this up to “that’s the way women are wired” and be done with it except for the fact that much of height obsession I’ve seen in women in my cohort is socially pressured – she wants a taller guy than her girlfriend has so she can show her up.]

  8. CSPB

    I expanded on this theme at The Obsidian Files blog.
    Impossible in My Reality: Guest Post By CSPB

    [Interesting. Can’t deny that lots of betas are in a learned helplessness feedback loop.]

  9. I am not...

    I’m not talking about some meek shall inherit the earth thing, or anything moral. I’m just talking about a sense of self, from a purely practical perspective. You gotta do what makes you happy, and there is a difference between beta and omega.

    To go back to the weight thing – if you are obese, you should probably lose weight because it will limit you in a lot of ways. But a lot of people prefer to be slightly overweight and eat chocolate than be the perfect weight and hit the gym. They’re not wrong to think like that, it’s just tradeoffs, and what you’re comfortable with. Similarly with alpha/beta/omega.

  10. Hana

    I came across the debate on another blog as to whether it was easier for men or women to raise their attractiveness levels. I’ve been assuming it’s easier for men. Short of losing weight (as mentioned here), getting a new hairstyle/better makeup/better clothes, women can’t really raise their attractiveness level much. On the surface of things, as a woman, it’s easy to assume that guys have it easier–they can jump a couple of points in attractiveness just by learning some social techniques.

    But then I thought a little more about it, and I wondered: is it really any easier for a natural “beta” to change his basic personality than it is for a naturally plump woman to lose weight? It has to be pretty tough to adopt traits you’ve never had. In the end, a lot of it does come down to willpower and motivation: how much do people really want to change?

    [A great comment in the interest of cross-sex empathy. If one’s beta is socially conditioned, as much beta is today, changing is a matter of motivation and effective de-programming. For those who are neurologically wired for full betatude, it’s a much tougher road.]

  11. I am not…,

    Good point advocating balance. You don’t have to be a hard-charging alpha, but unalloyed betatude is hiding your lamp under a basket – you’ll never get the rest of your talents showcased. If someone feels proud and happy that way more power to them but it’s not the way I want to live.

    Likewise, a few extra pounds is OK and can be traded off, but being obese (absent medical pretext) is something people have to take care of because it reduces their ability to get their other gifts into the world.

  12. OffTheCuff

    Hana, I think undoing betaness is far more difficult than simply dropping a few pounds. The latter is a pretty simple project, the former is a long-term work in progress that never ends. I can’t say I’m done with the former, but I’ve taken the red pill and know what’s up now.
    From my perspective, it’s comparatively simple for a woman to become more attractive. Our bodies are predictable and you’ll get reliable results. Worst case, you can drop $30K in plastic surgery and be as hot as you want. If I was an ugly 18-year old girl I’d seriously consider getting a ton of plastic surgery, bumping myself to a 9 right out of the gate, and living a smooth, easy life as the world falls at my feet. You’ll certainly get back on that investment. Probably even better than student loans!
    I think the major difficultly is that it’s common knowledge what attractive women look like — images are everywhere, and culture tells us from day one. It’s a jealously-guarded secret how attractive men behave, in fact, women will go out of their way to deny actual truth. Woe be to the guy who actually does what they say!

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  15. Hana

    Hm–interesting comment. Two things: plastic surgery costs money, and since even with plastic surgery, a woman really isn’t going to be considered that attractive after the age of 40, would plastic surgery really be worth it? (Plus, what 18 year-old girl has $30,000??) Also, as for losing weight – to me it’s also always seemed like a relatively easy thing, but maybe that’s because I’ve never needed to lose weight or gained weight easily. People who are naturally predisposed to put on weight say that it’s a daily struggle to keep the weight off, and although I’ve never been in their position, I have to believe them.

    I agree, though, that it’s really hard to change one’s basic personality. I think Badger is right – there’s a difference between those who have been culturally conditioned to be “betas”, and those who are naturally betas. It’s true, too, that few people know what makes men attractive to women. I don’t think this is really anyone’s fault – even most women don’t know what makes men attractive to them. It’s an unconscious response.

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