Hey guys, so I know this is quite late on a Sunday and I have definitely not really followed my two posts a week thing so far but I will post three next week to make up for it – I’m going to write this post and then schedule one (hopefully!).
So firstly, can I just say that I actually wrote most of this post the other day and it was really good and then I logged back on today only to discover that the draft never saved so I have to start from scratch…
Anyway… let’s get into the post!
I have noticed an increasing amount of TV, film and literature is promoting this whole ‘bad boy’ trend thing that is going on. What I mean by ‘bad boy’ trend is when there is a character that’s really rude and makes a female character really upset and angry at him but then she still ends up falling head-over-heels for him and she can suddenly forget how horrible he is, in fact, she doesn’t ever even forget how horrible he is she just decides to live with it. I feel like this is an incredibly unhealthy and damaging trend to be going at the moment. The more that trends like these are considered acceptable or even ‘desirable’ the worse off people are going to be. It is not healthy or desirable to be in an abusive relationship or to be in a relationship where the person is making you unhappy, no matter what their physical appearance may be.
One of the reasons I have decided to write this blog post is for all those young, vulnerable boys and girls out there who are around 11-13 and they’ve started to develop all these hormones, emotions and feelings that they don’t understand and they look to books, film and TV to help them make sense of what their going through. This is a natural thing, or it is for me anyway, to do. If you’re feeling a particular way and it’s confusing you, you seek out things that are going to reassure you that others have been through the same thing and feel the same way at one time or another. I just have this fear that people around the age of 11-13 are going to be looking for answers to all their feelings and the information they’re going to be treated with is going to be that they should desire a really horrible, rude, selfish, idiot as a potential boyfriend rather than someone that’s nice, has an interest in them, compliments them, loves them, cares about them, enjoys their company etc. and I just want to know that I’ve at least provided these people with a source that says that, that’s not the case. I also don’t want guys to be watching or reading these things and changing who they are because they think that they will be more likeable to others by acting like a jerk because it’s not true!
To be honest, I much prefer it when I’m reading a book and there’s a genuine nice guy, from start to finish! Thinking about it now I think that’s one of the reasons why Augustus Waters from TFIOS was so popular and it’s because he was a genuine nice guy who spoke his feelings and interest in Hazel Grace straight from the start and was always nice and polite to her and it’s such an unusual thing now to have a genuine nice person in books – they always turn out to be more of a jerk than you were expecting and then you’re really disappointed.
I’m going to tell you a story about my childhood; when I was younger my Mum never approved or let me watch things featuring damaging relationships and I always got annoyed, not because I desperately wanted to watch things with ‘damaging relationships’ in them but because I thought it looked good and I didn’t understand why she objected, was it because of explicit content? Swearing? and I could never get to the bottom of it and whenever I asked her to explain her reasoning she always said it was because she thought it was ‘misrepresentative and hurtful’ to someone that was at the age I was and I always thought it was ridiculous reasoning and just ended up generally being annoyed but now that I’m older I understand her reasoning and I am so incredibly grateful for the decisions she made about my wellbeing and growth on my behalf because I know that if she had let me watch and read all of these things when I was too young to understand that it wasn’t something to aspire to then I would have grown up wanting to be in relationships like the ones portrayed in TV, film and books and then I would have ended up unhappy.
I guess this is also a message to all the people out there who are currently living in a relationship where the guy is horrible to you but has his nice days so you decide he’s worth it, he’s not, you can do much better! There is someone out there who will treat you right, someone out there who deserves to be loved by you. I know this post sounds like it’s slightly sexist and homophobic as I’m not talking about same-sex relationships and I’m also only talking about the guy being the one who is behaving badly and unreasonably but for the purposes of this post and to fit in with the title it kind of had to be about this specific kind of relationship but I’m sure it happens in all relationships and both the people in the couple can be guilty.
Another story is that I once knew a girl who was going out with a boy and every week she would come to the activity that I knew her from and tell stories about what her boyfriend had done now and by the sounds of it he was always being quite childish by ignoring her for silly things or standing her up at the last minute to hang out with his friends or something and we always asked her why she didn’t break up with him and her answer was always that he was nice and that he cared about her; but this was obviously only some of the time and he obviously brought her loads of stress and upset, I don’t know if there was something deeper that was making the situation harder to deal with but from the sounds of it there wasn’t. I imagine there was also an internal part of her that was criticising herself and her mind was telling her that she couldn’t do better than him and that if she broke up with him she would never find anyone else and I think it’s trends like the ‘bad boy’ trend that tell us that this is the case. Or they tell us that deep down the guy loves us and is just emotionally damaged.
I think one of the things that makes it hard to properly realise that the relationship is damaging is because from an entertainment perspective as a reader or watcher you do tend to like the ‘bad boy’ and as you get older or you analyse it in more detail you realise that whilst you like him for the purposes of fiction you wouldn’t like him in real life. I always like the ‘bad boys’ in fiction because they are the most interesting, and in fiction they always are emotionally damaged and there is so much going on internally and throughout the film or book you’re getting to know them and understand why they are that way and it’s enjoyable from an audience perspective. It’s also usual for the love-interest of the ‘bad boy’ to be kind of dull and characterless and so compared to the love interest the ‘bad boy’ is just a much better choice of favourite character but in real life I know I wouldn’t be able to put up with the nonsense. For a young person however, who is just starting to develop all these feelings that they don’t understand for the first time I can see how they might mistake these feelings towards a favourite character as feelings other than what they are and because they’re young they can’t analyse what the feeling really means. An example is, when I was was younger and I started to kind of develop and my hormones were everywhere and I started to view people as attractive and started properly caring what I looked like and started feeling bad about myself and my body etc. etc. I mistakenly thought that because I saw a girl and thought she was pretty it meant that I was bisexual because I saw pictures of celebrities on the internet or in magazines and thought they looked pretty or even beautiful and I didn’t understand the difference, back then, between thinking a female was really attractive and thinking a male was really attractive if I found them both pleasing to look at that must mean I was bisexual.B I was young and although I understood about sex and reproduction and that whole process I never really made the connection between all the different things and so I thought for at least a year maybe, that I was bisexual although I never told anyone because I wasn’t sure. As I got older I realised that I wasn’t bisexual and I was infact heterosexual and definitely not attracted to females, but as everyone does, I do still see females on the street and think they’re attractive and pretty but more in a comparing-myself-to-them way rather than anything more. I walk down the street all the time and wish I could look like the person that has just walked past me or I watch a YouTuber or see an actress and wish I could look like her but it’s not the same thing and I realised that as I grew up. I feel like the ‘bad boy trend’ is going to cause lots of confusion for young people growing up and I think it’s really unhealthy. I accept that it’s interesting and enjoyable to read about but I feel like there should be more emphasis put on how it isn’t the only or most popular and ‘cool’ relationship to be in. I guess I wish there was a bit more of a balance for young people growing up so they were exposed to more positive relationships.
Okay, so I feel like I’ve spoken about that enough. If you have anything to add to the discussion – even if you would like to disagree with the points I’ve made, please leave a comment down below as I would love to know your thoughts!
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Inspired Teen 🙂