The Allure of the Bad Boy

4 Aug

For a while, I have been contemplating the use of the “Bad Boy” trope in books. What exactly draws us to this character? Why don’t we like his neater, nicer, more decorous brethren?

Worry not. I have a theory.

My theory goes like this: most people are nice. Someone bumps into you at the store, steps on your toes in the elevator, whatever. You apologize, or say “excuse me”. That’s right. The stepee apologizes. Which is all well and good for the proper running of society. But the Bad Boy would never say sorry. Not even when it’s his fault. And the little part of us that is tired of that five letter word secretly cheers him on.

Who hasn’t told those little white lies to our friends and loved ones? We tell them they look nice when they…don’t. We tell them we are fine when we’re…not. We even listen to Uncle Whatshisname drone about his trip to the Bahamas and Aunt Whatsit whinge about her back pain. The Bad Boy doesn’t. He doesn’t even have an Uncle Whatshisname or an Aunt Whatsit. All his family died tragically in flames.

They never proved it was arson.

So I’m pretty sure we love the Bad Boy not because we ladies want to be treated like crap by our boyfriends. We just can’t help but fall for someone who doesn’t have that internal edit button. That guy who’s kind of an asshole, in a way we all wish we could be sometimes.

But if you don’t want to think of yourself in such an unflattering light, don’t worry. It’s just a theory.

You know, like evolution is just a theory.

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One Response to “The Allure of the Bad Boy”

  1. Tara Fuller August 4, 2011 at 4:31 am #

    Great post!! Too true. 🙂

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