“Bad boys aint no good
Good boys aint no fun
Lord knows that I should
Run off with the right one…”
-Mr. Wrong by Mary J. Blige
When was the last time you heard a song that celebrated the virtues of a good man? That same representation is lacking in film, television, and all other forms of entertainment. Popular culture celebrates the “bad boy” while deriding the good guy as often as possible.
What makes a bad boy appealing to any woman? There are a number of possible reasons. The following are a few of those reasons straight from their mouths.
“Bad boys are attractive.” To say that bad boys are attractive is an assessment of an entire group of males that fit within a particular category. It implies that it’s only bad boys that are attractive.
A man’s physical appearance does not dictate his behavior or character.
Behavior and character are not confined to a particular look. A man can pass or fail the fluid concept of attractive and be either a good guy or a bad boy. Arguably, what each culture finds attractive is in many ways socially engineered, which explains why different cultures have different standards of beauty.
The bad boy is a mainstay in film, television, print, video games, and every other form of entertainment. Every generation has had their archetypal icons that fit within the bad boy construct. “A picture is still worth a thousand words” and each image is useful in shaping the reality of a people for good or bad.
“A woman wants to feel protected.” Many women express this need. While this epression is an understandable desire, it assumes that a woman can only feel protected with a bad boy in her life. Ironically, bad boys are more likely to jeopardize a woman’s sense of security, at least emotionally, if not in many other ways as well.
Bad boys are notoriously unfaithful.
They’re in such high demand that they spread themselves thin among many women instead of confining themselves to one woman as is typical of good guys. Apparently, being in such high demand affords them the privilege of unending forgiveness for such treasonous infractions even when the behavior becomes habitual.
“Bad boys ain’t no good
Good boys ain’t no fun…”
Is there really fun to be experienced during the process of an impending heart-break? If so, is the fun worth the scars that are left behind to mark the memories?
Often, sex is the reason given for why a bad boy is the preferred choice as though bad behavior and good sex are somehow synonymous. For most couples, sex comes sometime later.
There has to be some initial draw that piques a woman’s interest in a man long before getting to any point of physical intimacy and there also must be something to sustain her interest after the initial allure. Sex comes sometime later after this level of connection has been established between most couples. So then what is the proverbial bridge that connects bad boys with good sex?
Where do these notions come from that are ascribed to bad boys, and why are those who do so much bad loved so much, while those who do good are labeled boring?
Bad boys and good guys don’t fit so neatly into their respective neatly labeled boxes. To be a good guy does not relegate a man to being hopelessly boring or necessarily physically unnattractive.
The opposite is true of a bad boy. A man can be good and still manage to make a woman feel protected contrary to the popular (mis)representation of popular culture. I think it’s safe to say that entertainment and other media outlets greatly impact our ideas of attraction as well our behavior.
Certain behaviors and appearances are rewarded and others are cause for rejection. We learn these lessons early on when we are still innocent and unaware that our minds are being shaped.
We have learned that “Beauty and Beasts” are a perfect accompaniment to one another. We have learned that love always has a tragic end as demonstrated by “Romeo and Juliet.” We have learned that physical attraction is more important than substance as taught by “Cyrano De Bergerac.”
‘How we appear is more important than who we are’ is the lie that has been sold, and we’re all paying a hefty price for it in the decline of our relationships. Good is to be rejected and bad is to be desired.
It’s only when we awaken that we realize we, as well as those we choose to share our life with, deserve “the good” that life has to offer us. “The bad” comes as a part of life and not as a preferred choice over good because ‘it makes life more exciting.’ True love makes life more exciting. It frightens us, it thrills us as it builds us and we are free to experience the fullness of its true essence between us as it was meant from the beginning.
BMWK, is the bad boy all he’s made out to be?