Commenter Marellus ask me over at The Rational Male to explain the idea that women are able to discern a man’s status in the Alpha/Beta hierarchy in just a few moments.  As I can’t take everyone out into the wild to demonstrate how a woman perceives a man simply by watching him I am going to present you with some pictures.  Let’s start with some obvious ones:

The top picture obviously presents a Beta male.  One of the biggest ways women identify a man’s standing is through body language.  First, look at the way he is looking at the girl.  Yes, there is some mirth in his eyes, but coupled with the angle of his back, the way he is holding his arms and his hands and also the turn of his head, he reads as too eager and hopeful.  He reads as someone who is trying very hard to be nice and stepping back to give the woman her own space to decide if she might just give him a shot.  There is no look of a man pursuing this woman. Only a man who is hoping that he might just be graced with her company.  She rather looks like she is laughing at him.  I don’t think she really is, in the sense that he is not good enough for her, but it is a possibility with this photo.

The bottom obviously represents the Alpha male.  His body language is completely different.  He’s laid back, literally.  He is looking at the camera as if to say, look at me and look at what found me.  The woman is on him and is putting herself in his arms while he simply lets her be there.  He is enjoying her company, but his enjoyment is not dependent on this woman.  He even looks slightly annoyed while she is completely wrapped up in him and isn’t aware of much else going on.

Now, I realize that those pictures were very easy so I present you with a couple of other pictures that are not as straightforward.

In the top picture, the man is tall and he is fairly broad shouldered, but I read this guy as being overly beta.  It is in his eyes, which have no intensity and it is in the slight tilt of his head and body toward his girl.  Most Alphas will let the girl lean into him and he will stand/sit up straight and look at the camera with some kind of humor, bravado, confidence or intensity in his eyes.  This man seems a bit confident, but too much of it appears to come from the girl.

The man in the bottom picture really could be either Alpha or Beta.  However, the way he is looking into the camera with a confident, full smile and the way she seems completely enamored with him and utterly happy to have him in her arms, is very Alpha to me.

The thing to remember is that these men really could be Alpha or Beta and in the moment the camera captured the image, they were not in their normal frame.  It happens to everyone.  Now, I realize I did not really answer Marellus’ question but I thought a demonstration might help.  What a woman garners about a man in about a minute and a half to three minutes will be the impression that she is left with for quite some time.  It is very possible to change this perception, in either direction (though it will be easier to alter your perception Beta rather thank Alpha), but it will take some fairly big event or quite a bit of time to alter it, especially in the Alpha direction.

Heartiste had a more in depth post about this (likely even more than one) some time ago but I was not able to find it.  It would answer the question more aptly than I have here as I think the article may have even been based on some scientific evidence, but I could not find it.  If anyone can remember this post and leave it in the comments I believe it may do a better job explaining what I attempted to demonstrate here.