If you’re a real action movie fan, you know the biggest super group team-up movie of the summer isn’t The Avengers, but The Expendables 2. Because who wants to see a bunch of heroes come together to wear tights, yellow armor, or purple pants, when they can see the mass team-up of 80s and 90s beefcake action heroes whose combined machismo could instantly mature a twelve-year-old boy into a beer-drinking, cigar-smoking, bicep-bulging, five-o-clock-shadowed manly thirty-something?
If the question is “Are we not men?” then the combined manliness of The Expendables 2 cast reminds us that the answer is “Yes, but obviously only because action stars taught us to be.” Each of these men (well, okay, 25% of them) and their action movies could teach a master class on being the epitome of man, but amongst them there is only one Albert Einstein of Macho, one Dalai Lama of Masculinity, one Aristotle of Testosterone: Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Since he appeared in Conan the Barbarian in 1982, Ahnuld’s action films over the decades have woven together the definitive guide to being a Y-chromosome carrier. So, if you happen to need a refresher, or are new to this whole “being a manly dude” thing, here are 10 essential rules on how to be a real man – according to Arnold Schwarzenegger action movies.
1. Make A Good First Impression
From the first moment you enter a room you want everyone to know you mean manly business. If you’re in good shape (and why wouldn’t you be?) you can most efficiently achieve this by being naked. Now unfortunately public nudity can have legal consequences, so shirtlessness, shirts that can’t contain your massive biceps, carrying a giant log one-armed, or rocking scruff, cigars and shades are acceptable alternatives to immediately convey just how much of a man you are. It’s also generally advisable to try and trip people so they’re forced to look at you from an appropriately worshipful low-angle.
BONUS: Make sure you have a really cool name that’s no longer than six letters. Like Trench. Or John. Or Conan.
2. Dress for Success, Dress For The Occasion
A man needs to look good. When you’re going about the daily business of representing the pinnacle of your gender, this is best achieved by wearing designer sunglasses and suit or leather jackets constantly. When you’re not enjoying some leisurely downtime and the gloves are coming off – so to speak – so should the clothes. When involved with heavy work like washing the dishes, building your own house, or facing off against aliens hunting you, be sure to let your shirt rip to both allow yourself greater mobility and to better show off your ridiculously buff bod.
BONUS: Face paint and getting wet or sweaty is always a good way show you mean business. It is also okay to beat someone up and steal their clothes if it means looking good.
3. When It Comes to Women, Have A Type
A man knows what he wants and sticks to it. This as true for clothes and guns as it is with women. There is only one type of woman most suitable for a real man. She must be athletic, a little sleazy, tough, and a back-talker. Most importantly that toughness shouldn’t get in the way of her demureness and her need for you constantly save her – whether it be from awkward small talk, or a kidnapping. Because what a real man requires is a woman to make him feel needed, and to perpetually allow him the opportunity to remind himself – and others – just how much of a man he is.
BONUS: A man should do nothing to get a woman. You barely need to say anything at all or show any affection (no sweet talk or romantic gestures). Just by being the manly man you are, women will just instantly fall for you and your leather jacket.
4. Know How To Drive Aggressively and Off-Road
Being a real man isn’t about driving flashy sports cars, it’s about knowing how to drive any car aggressively and efficiently – that way he can assert his natural dominance as King of (and over) the Road. You should know how to do things like speedily drive through oncoming traffic or burst through locked gates. You should also know how to drive off-road, because sometimes that path through those trees could be just the short cut you need to shave an extra few minutes off your travel time or escape.
BONUS: Know how to jump-start a car by just pushing it with your physical might.
5. Choose Your Friends Carefully
Having friends can be a risky proposition for a true man. Their envy of your masculine superiority can often lead to resentment or often betrayal. Ideally, you should really need no friend but yourself (because in the end you’ll always fight alone anyway), but, hey, everyone needs somebody to show-off their 10-foot barbeque to, right? So, if you have to have a friend, you should make sure they are at least your physical and/or manly equal. Or Tom Arnold.
BONUS: A real man isn’t a racist, so don’t just choose white friends.