I admit, between Jonathan and Steve in Stranger Things I would pick the latter in any given day, even with or without his buzzer beater moment of redemption. It’s not that I don’t like Jonathan or find his stalker-like antics unappealing. It’s just that there’s a sense of thrill in the idea dating a bad boy like Steve. Somehow, there’s something about being with someone who might break your heart for all eternity, but doesn’t. And even if does he devotes his entire heart into mending yours.
Over the years, Hollywood has successfully romanticized the idea of bad boys and their rebellion to the point that it’s almost too easy to disregard how they misbehave. Case in point: some, like Boyd Holbrook and Tom Hardy, have made smoking cigarettes look too sexy you wouldn’t even bother about the health risk that comes with it. But your boy, being quite the respectful charmer that he is, would probably resist lighting up a cigarette in front of you or excuse himself if the desire kicks in.
The definitive Hollywood bad boy is everything your mother warned you about when it comes to men. They’re so scruffy they look like they just came out of a long hibernation. Sometimes they are reckless and don’t particularly care about appearances. He probably wouldn’t care if you have disheveled hair or wearing a crumpled shirt. For him, it’s always about the attitude and how you carry yourself.
It’s all about staying true to who you are, no matter what people say. They are unconventional and unminding of rules, yet these are the exact things that make them ridiculously charming. They bear a sense of mystery, like James Dean, and you’re easily drawn in and eager to learn more about them.
In movies, it’s an overused trope–brooding bad boy who doesn’t give a shit about anything secretly likes a girl so he sweeps her off her feet like no nice guy can. It’s a cliché, but it works. Every. Single. Time. Why? Simply because it’s nice to have someone who is so conflicted with the world and with himself look so at peace when he’s with you (or even just lovingly gazing at you from a distance while he’s perched on his motorbike). It’s nice to know that someone who has the tendency to be nonchalant care so deeply about you. It’s nice to know that despite this prejudice of him being a bad boy, he has one good thing in his life–you.
Basically, there’s a something indescribably gush-worthy about the idea of being with someone who attracts trouble, but at the same time makes you feel safe and secure in his arms.
The standard Hollywood bad boy isn’t really that bad to be honest. Like every person, the bad boy has his own redeeming qualities. They’re probably just more upfront about things most people would be shy about. Most importantly they know how to love. Never mind the crazy alternative measures they resort to in order to prove just that.