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January 14, 2015 at 10:09 am

Role Reversal: Famous Alpha Women and The Beta Men in Their Lives

aishwarya rai-abhishek

When Hollywood heartthrob, Joseph Gordon Levitt, suddenly announced his secret marriage on December 20 to entrepreneur girl friend and robotics genius (I know!), Tasha McCauley, the paparazzi naturally went crazy, trying to ferret out details. The couple obviously did a good job of keeping everything under wraps. But we are primarily happy that Levitt has married a genius and is now all set to become a yummy trophy husband to McCauley’s brain power.

It was only recently that actor George Clooney raised a storm of commentary when he married human rights lawyer Amal Amaluddin in Venice. While it ended the 52 year old’s long reign as Hollywood’s most eligible bachelor, Clooney too has married the brain trust.

Of course, they are not trophy husbands in the actual sense, nor is it meant to be derogatory. It is just that these are men secure enough to marry really, really accomplished women without worrying about getting eclipsed. Amal and Tasha usher in an era of the women geniuses (who got themselves a trophy husband). We welcome this role reversal and we hope, not as feminists, but as womanists, that this sets off a trend of reverse sexual hierarchy.

Although we see much potential for this to become a trend in present time, history too has been scattered with powerful, intelligent women who married beneath their league, for reasons only they could explain. This post however, is not about trophy husbands. It’s about alpha females.
Aishwarya Rai Bachchan: Often cited in the global and local media as the ‘most beautiful woman in the world’, Aishwarya has global recognition and a cult following that she rose into long before her marriage to the scion of the Bachchan family – Abhishek Bachchan. True, Junior Bachchan is popular by his own right, but being the uber-cool hubbie that he is, we are sure he would agree that we place his wife a notch above him.



Indira K.Nooyi: As the CEO of PepsiCo India and ranked 13th in the Forbes list of Most Powerful Women in 2014, Indira Nooyi is clearly the breadwinner in the family. Juggling career and family at a time when women were expected to be domesticated, Indira is clearly the alpha woman in her family. ‘Motherhood is a full-time job, but a CEO’s job is like handling three full time jobs together’, she says in an interview to The Atlantic. So kudos to her husband who played the wind beneath the wings for her.



Oprah Winfrey: Give Oprah’s ginormous popularity, we may be forgiven for referring to Oprah’s partner to be Mr Oprah Winfrey. As the founder of Atheletes Against Drugs, Stedman Graham, her partner, is a success in his own right. He also runs an educational and marketing firm, but chose to play second fiddle when her career took off during their 29 year-old relationship.

oprah and graham


Elizabeth Taylor: She is a famous actress of yesteryears, the stuff of the legends. And he is a blue collar construction worker. Oddly enough, Elizabeth Taylor met her eighth and last husband, Larry Fortensky, at rehab – Betty Ford Clinic, and they fell in love and got married in 1991. He however, didn’t quit his construction job. “I am a proud man, and I like to work. I didn’t want her money,” he said in a recent interview with The Daily Mail UK.

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Elizabeth I (1533-1603 AD): Who could forget the first Elizabeth the world ever knew. We are talking about the Queen of England, of course. Naturally, when you are the queen, marrying above your station or equal to it is a tad difficult. Instead, Elizabeth I had “favorites” and Robert Dudley, the 1st Earl of Leicester is perhaps the most famous. When in her favor, the royal appointments and land grants he received made him one of the most powerful men in England.

elizabeth leicester


Meryl Streep: A three-time Academy Award winner, Meryl Streep is widely regarded as one of the greatest film actors of all time. Her husband, sculptor, Don Gummer has been playing the Beta to her Alpha for 36 years now.



Princess Victoria of Sweden: It’s the fairytale story of ‘The Princess and her Personal Trainer’. In 2009, London’s Sunday Times reported, “For the past year the court has been grooming Daniel Westling, 35, who comes from a village; the hair has been cut short; he has been given designer spectacles and his baseball cap has disappeared. He now owns three gyms, which allows the press to refer to him in a slightly more dignified way as a businessman.” He’s now an official member of the Swedish Royal Family, a knight of the Royal Order of the Seraphim, with the title, Prince Daniel, Duke of Vastergotland.

princess sweden


Margaret Thatcher: As Britain’s first and only woman Prime Minister and the longest-serving too, Maggie Thatcher is a legend unto herself. She is considered to be a tough cookie who grappled the cross-continental cold war politics. A soviet journalist called her the Iron Lady for her uncompromising politics and leadership style. Her husband, Denis Thatcher, a successful businessman himself and a baronet to the boot, was however, happy to spend much of his life in Margaret’s shadow.

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Chanda Kochhar: She is the managing director (MD) of ICICI Bank and its chief executive officer (CEO). Kochhar has consistently figured on Fortune’s list of Most Powerful Women in Business since 2005. Playing the Beta male here is her husband, Deepak Kochhar, a wind energy entrepreneur and her classmate from B-School.


Content & Image Source : iDiva