Why We Love Bad Boys - One Fangirl’s Two Cents
It’s not exactly news that in recent years we’ve had a huge surge in sexy bad guys. Roles that were once stereotyped to be monsters, disfigured villains, or evil scientists with hook noses and quirky mustaches are suddenly filled with GQ-worthy cheekbones, dazzling smiles, expensive suits, and coats swirling about dashingly in the wind. And we as fangirls love it. We scream for these bad boys, weep for them, and write dirty, naughty things about them and plaster our work all over the internet.
But is there more to this obsession? Do we love these bad boys simply because they have Benedict’s cheekbones or Tom’s blue eyes and broad smile? Sure, it doesn’t hurt that they are gorgeous. But that’s not the only reason. The main reason we love these villains, I think, is because of their unexplored story.
A story is about a hero. That almost never changes. A hero who wants something and finds a way to get it. That is the basic formula of a story. The Hero is handsome and brave. He saves the world and gets the girl and no matter what happens in between, we can almost always rely on him to succeed. We pine after heros, sure, but it almost feels like a pointless thing to do because they have a girl, and they have a victory, so where does that leave us, the fangirl? We’re the observer, the outsider, who watches through the fourth wall at their success.
The villain, on the other hand, is different. His story is not over. He hasn’t gotten what he wanted, and he is left wallowing in his defeat. He often has no one, nothing left at the end of the story, and yet there are so many potentials for him. Without a happy ending, the future is a question mark. And we, as fangirls adept in living in fantasy, can easily slip into this future. To a bad boy, we can be special. In this fantasy, we can be that one thing that makes a difference, that turns them around or urges them on.
We can be the one who tames Khan. We can be the one who dries Loki’s tears. We can be the one who matches wits with Jim. We can be the one who walks the Earth with Lucifer. In our fantasy, we can make a difference to the bad boy, and in turn become special to him. He hasn’t found his One yet, and we can be that One.