Let's Stop Romanticizing Bad Boys

         Picture your version of the perfect bad boy. Did you picture Danny Zuko from Grease? Jess Mariano from Gilmore Girls? Christian Grey from the Fifty Shades trilogy? Girls love bad boys in books and movies and therefore, girls love bad boys in real life. We are a sucker for any boy with cool hair, an “I don't care about anything” attitude, and emotional issues.

         The best part about bad boys from television and books is the fact that you aren't actually with them. You just get to fantasize about their dreamy eyes and that one time they took a break from being a colossal jerk to say something nice. Teaching girls from a young age that the bad boy is who they want because they're dangerous and always have a redeeming side is problematic. Christian Grey is a stalker. Danny Zuko is someone who cares more about his image than Sandy. Jess Mariano didn’t have the courtesy to tell Rory how he felt and he always put himself before her. They are all flawed. We have to stop romanticizing bad boys.

         The thing about real life is that bad boys usually suck. Some of them may deep down have a sweet side but 9 times out of 10 they are too self involved to care about anyone else but themselves. They aren’t sitting around waiting for a nice girl to love them the right way so that they can magically turn into a nice guy who will treat girls right. Bad boys don’t think that they’re bad. They think that acting the way they do is okay. They think ignoring your texts is okay. They think that your feelings don’t matter. They think that hooking up with a different girl every weekend and treating her like dirt is okay.

         On the same note, we should stop villainizing nice guys. Nice guys aren’t boring. They’re just sweet and will treat you well. We can’t always have cool bad boys and lame nice guys in media whose main audience is young girls, and then be confused and annoyed when girls always go after them.

I want more nice guys in young adult novels and television shows. Let's teach girls that the bad boy isn’t as cool as he thinks he is and the nice guy isn't boring. Or even better, let’s teach young girls that they don't need a boy to have a good story line.

Photo by Cameron Kirby on Unsplash