I don’t watch television much. In fact, my only source of screen entertainment is my handy Roku and a Netflix subscription, as I do not have cable or satellite, and I live in a location too remote to receive digital broadcast. A few weeks ago I had the urge to get lost in a TV series the way I did when Lost was on the air. With so many to choose from I somehow ended up settling down with The Vampire Diaries. I was surprised to find myself instantly hooked, the same way The Hunger Games trilogy and The Mortal Instruments books grabbed me.
Through watching the show I found myself, like many other women, drawn to the “bad boys,” wanting them to get the girls (or at least hoping they wouldn’t be killed off). I had to stop and ask myself, WHY???
Bad boys have been stealing our hearts for as long as popular fiction has been written. What is it about the disturbed fetishes of Christian Grey, the selfish and vindictive actions of Damon Salvatore, the inflated egos of Han Solo and Eric Northman, the sly motives and aggression of Rhett Butler that captures the hearts of women, young and old, around the world? It can’t be just their devilishly good looks–the casting directors of most films go out of their way to make sure all the characters are pleasing to the eye, good and bad. Perhaps the charisma stems from the underlying layers of these characters that reveal somewhere deep inside their tortured souls they can be benevolent. Is it the nurturing aspect of women that draws us to these formidable characters? The part of us that feels like we can save him? Are we born truly believing that somebody could love us enough to change his ways? Or is that just some narcissistic idea conditioned into our brains through years of exposure to mass media and popular fiction. I’m inclined to believe the latter. So then, what does that say about us as a society and the way we raise our children? Depressing, to say the least.
What do you think? Are you attracted to the quintessential bad boy? If you are male, what’s it like on the other side when it comes to “bad girls?” Please share your thoughts in the comments.
photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/cverdier/4637784033/”>Christophe Verdier</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/”>cc</a>