So it’s not news that good girls love bad boys. It’s completely senseless, but for some of us it’s a visceral response, even though cognitively we know better.
I have a Sunday night ritual – assuage my need for flair by painting my nails, fingers and feet, some fabulously-fabulous color. It’s one of my few “girly” tendencies; from more unusual shades like forest green to deep, dark, Lolita reds, there are an obscene number of tiny little bottles in my bathroom cupboard.
(How this relates…) Last Sunday I was watching episodes of Castle whilst lacquering my nails a lovely shade of lavender. For those of you who don’t watch, one of the characters is Detective Ryan. He’s a sweet, upright, well dressed, attractive man. While objectively I’ll admit that he has strikingly vibrant baby blues, I don’t find him prodigiously tempting.
Then I watched the episode “Wild Rover” where Ryan goes under cover with the Irish mob. He scruffed up his image, slipped on a leather jacket, copped a defiant attitude and dangerous swagger… POOF …his desirability went through the roof. (Somebody slap me!)
While a character in a TV series clearly has no effect on my actual life, the instinctual response got me thinking. I flatter myself in thinking that I’m reasonably intelligent, sensible and responsible. I rarely allow myself to be ruled by emotion. Unless extremely distressed, I think before I do. So why the gut reaction to the bad boy?
Some people say it’s because women innately want to “fix” things, but I disagree. I don’t have that gene. Besides I have plenty of my own problems – it would be pretty megalomaniac to believe I was capable or entitled to change other people to fit my ideals of who I think they should be.
Perhaps it’s the whole opposites attract cliché. Or conceivably that the risk is simply titillating, the thrill of knowing that whilst playing with fire, you just might get burned.
However, I have a sneaking suspicion that it might just be about self-esteem. Not that we covertly want to be treated badly. No woman does. However, to be that girl who’s special enough to thaw a bad boy’s heart; to prove that we are worthy, unique… To be viewed as extraordinary enough so that He-who-has-broken-a-million-hearts would actually be careful and tender with ours… That’s who we want to be.
Have I mentioned we’re also stupid?