The Appeal of the Bad Boy and How Women Get Sucked In

LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 15:  TV Personality  Jesse James attends the 2011 Art Of Elysium 'Heaven' Gala held at the Californ
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 15: TV Personality Jesse James attends the 2011 Art Of Elysium 'Heaven' Gala held at the California Science Center on January 15, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images for Art of Elysium)

In 2011, I remember coming across this headline: "Why Did Kat Von D Tattoo Jesse James' Face on Her Body?" Wow, good question! Von D swore she'd never laser that baby off, but as of December 2012, she has started the removal process. It is not that simple. It is reported that it will take "anywhere from five to 15 laser sessions, with eight weeks of healing time in between." That sounds about right, because when you date a bad boy, it will take just as long or maybe longer to get him out of your heart...

When I was done rolling my eyes at the headline, I was compelled to read the article. I could not help but wonder how a talented and well-known tattoo artist like Kat Von D could walk right into this. You are never supposed to tattoo the name or the likeness of a lover on your body. She's a professional tattoo artist. She should know about the curse!

Apparently, her tattoo of James was an image of him as a child. Of the tattoo, Von D explains, "He had a rough childhood, so to see what he's become from there, it's amazing. That's why I wanted the picture of him as a child, to capture that certain innocence. It was good having him beside me while we finished. The tattoo is a way of him recognizing somebody loves him." Uh-huh...

Let's pick that apart, shall we? So, she sees the innocence in him. Many an unlucky lady have been lured in by the glimmer of goodness that bad boys exhibit from time to time. So, what did she see in him? Let's see: multiple divorces; a porn star ex-wife who's in prison; cheating on his last wife... what's not to love? For Von D to "capture that certain innocence," she had to go as far back as this guy's childhood to find it... what's that? Red flag number 17? I've lost count. Anyways...

I believe Von D when she says he had a bad childhood. Part of the bad boy's appeal is their wounded soul. Bad boys aren't usually born, but made. Their back stories are often tragic and full of incidents that took place in households laced with drugs, abuse and neglect. They are not bad all the time. They are like fireflies, showing a glimmer of light for only a moment before fading back into the darkness. When they show a woman their wounds, even if only for a minute, it peeks her curiosity. Now that she has seen into his soul, she thinks she has him all figured out. The fact that he has shared his pain with her makes her feel special; he let her see past his tough facade and shared with her a fleeting and painful diatribe.

Now, she thinks that he likes her, that he has been keeping this pain inside all these years and has finally decided to talk about it with her of all people! She thinks she's really hit the jackpot! In her mind, this honesty is all a sign that his bad boy ways are on their way out. All this causes her to go on a mission; surely, there is a kind and loving person behind this notoriously unfaithful man. She has seen him!

Von D went as far to say "The tattoo is a way of him recognizing somebody loves him." Ah, another bad boy tactic. With a bad boy it is always "poor me, nobody loves me and that lack of affection has clearly driven me to the destructive behavior I've been exhibiting... for the past three decades..." You see, even when a bad boy cheats on you, he will find a way to feel sorry for himself and make himself the victim of the situation (because you're the one who left him after you found out, right? Bad girl! Shame on you!). His biggest fault among many may be that he is a card-carrying Victim of Victim Mentality.

It is easy for a woman to fall for a bad boy: we're nurturing, he's hurting and if he's cute, forget it, we're done.

I don't know if it's the bad boy's fault for playing the victim or the woman's fault for putting up her blinders and seeing only what she wants to see. You might've already guessed this, but I've dated a few of these bad boys and think that perhaps it is a little bit of both, throw physical attraction and chemistry in the mix and the combination can be lethal.

The reason Von D and James broke up is the same reason they should never have gotten together in the first place; Jesse James is a bad boy. He even drives a motorcycle (a classic symbol of rebelliousness dating far back into the last century --remember James Dean?). Jesse James never hid who he was; if anything, he banked on this bad ass persona and the name he shares with the infamous American outlaw.

This is who he is and it is likely that they broke up because Von D was hoping that he would treat her differently than the countless girlfriends and three wives before her. That, of course, didn't happen, because he is who is and that person is of course, a bad boy and an even more troubled man.