Write to the Point!

A Neighborhood Studios Program at the Mark Twain House

A Bad Boy: What’s to Like?

By June Tran
Writing apprentice
Twain studios
As a culture, we have an unusually big obsession with the concept of the bad boy. Whether it is portrayed as Edward Cullen in the popular Twilight series or as Don Draper in the series Mad Men, these characters are often the most captivating personalities in both television and real life.
What is it about a bad boy that enthralls both its viewers and creators? The rudimentary definition that describes this personality is a person who has an instinctive motive to misbehave. They are the people who live on the edge of life, right in the middle of possible ruination and success. Bad boys are the physical manifestation of this middle point between both extremes.
In the case of Don Draper, a bad boy is also a confident and suave character. Jon Ham’s character exudes not only absolute confidence in his work, but also an irresistible charm towards women.
Danger and excitement are one of the emotions often associated with a bad boy character. An effective bad boy, however, does not bluntly display this as one of their main traits. More often, these traits are hidden under a cover of mannerisms or typical gentlemen behavior. In the case of Edward Cullen, the sense of danger is covered by the fact that he initially resists Bella’s advances. He rejects her in fear of her well-being.
What is possible the most delectable element of this relationship is Bella’s and Edward’s shared secret. By being in a relationship with Edward, Bella is the sole human ever to know Edward’s secret. This mutual contract elevates Bella’s character into epic proportions.
Though it is typical for the female character to be initially rejected by the ‘bad boy,’ once the secret is shared, the table is turned. The bad boy character is now vulnerable.
 Women do not like the bad boy character out of masochistic tendencies, but the underlying power that they receive by dating a bad boy. 
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