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Hayley Rose

Hayley Rose
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I was born when Halley’s Comet last appeared overhead and named accordingly. Since then, I've become a writer, artist, and columnist. In addition to Open Salon, my work appears frequently in The Huffington Post, All Things Healing, Gender Across Borders: A Global Feminist Blog, and several other publications. I blog daily at my site HayleysComments.com I recently published my first book, "I Know Why They Call a Shell a Shell." The book is about domestic violence, a topic that I am very vocal about. It chronicles my journey away from tumultuous love affairs by weaving stories of her past with stories from literature, music, and visual art of both modern and classical significance. Find me on Twitter @HRoseStudios

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Editor’s Pick
AUGUST 2, 2011 9:43AM

A Look At the Psychology of the Bad Boy

Rate: 13 Flag

 Why Did Kat Von D. and Jesse James Break Up? A Look At the Psychology of the Bad Boy and How Women Get Sucked In

I came across this headline the other day “Why Did Kat Von D. Tattoo Jesse James' Face on Her Body?” Wow, good question! You would think that someone who makes their living as a tattoo artist would know that tattooing someone's name or face on your body is considered bad luck. Tattooing someone's PII on your person is never a good idea. As a child, I couldn't help but wonder why my uncle had “Nancy” tattooed across his arm when he was married to my Aunt Helen...

After I was done rolling my eyes at the headline, I was compelled to read the article, why would a talented and well-known tattoo artist like Kat Von D. walk right into this well-known curse?

Apparently, her tattoo of James is 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, he cheated on his last wife with a white supremacist, has no respect for the environment (he was caught selling bikes that emitted 10 times more than the legal limit for carbon emissions in the state of California), 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...that's never a good sign.

 I believe Von D. when she said that 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 goodness, a light, for only a moment before fading back into the darkness. When they show a woman their wounds, even if only for a moment, 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 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. then goes 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, right?). 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 sunk.

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 name that 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. 

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I was not shocked at all and let that be a lesson in getting a tatoo..:)
HUGGGGGGGGGGGGG
Me either- and she should know by now about tattooing people's names and faces on your body
Entering the "suck-zone" of this piece because well, I married a bad boy too but baby, he's a REAL GOOD MAN. LOL

Anyway,

I nodded along with this line: "After I was done rolling my eyes..." because that was my reaction when I heard "the news" about this "celeb" break-up and there wasn't even anyone there to "appreciate" my gesture. It just had to be done, right?

I'm somewhat inclined to think Miss Von D wasn't so much sucked into this as it kinda looks alot more like she threw herself under this train wreck but I'm disinclined to care all that much...

I did appreciate your take on all of it though. Especially the firefly simile. Sparks flying all around that one. Quite "Brilliant" really.
Tay perhaps were both right

AJ Don't worry- I'm rollin' my eyes right along with you-
OMG, I couldn't agree with you more- yup I think she threw herself at the situation as well, if you click the hyperlink and read the article it says she struck up the conversation with him first and then the relationship ensued...

Thank you on the firefly simile, I liked it too :) glad you appreciated it :)
She didn't seem exactly like Sister Mary Katherine either! Great post.
Haha Susie, tru dat.... lol
Once we (women) “stop settling for burnt toast” bad boys world wide will be SOL! Great post, thank you.
lots of sympathy for your thesis esp if you feel youve been wronged by guys like this.
however, nonmonogamy is not inherently depraved. maybe jesse is closet/"down low" polyamorous.
anyone curious, see my latest post on the subj.
MCS burnt toast LOL

vzn- interesting theory on the polyamorous

monsieur Thanks!
As a girl who has always fallen for bad boys, I think you nailed the appeal.
I feel compelled to point out that motorcycle riding has nothing to do with it. There are plenty of riders who don't subscribe to the bad boy image thing. They just like to ride. That said, I've been fascinated by Kat Von D and how she has managed to promote herself into the celebrity she now enjoys. At least she - unlike the Kardashians - has some talent that justifies the celebrity....but the reason she and Jesse James hooked up was simply their mutual search for more celebrity. Celebrities are famously notorious for hooking up with other celebrities specifically to enhance their mutual celebrity. Neither Kat Von D nor Jesse James have ever done anything in their lives to justify the extent of their relative celebrities. You are wondering about why Kat hooked up with Jesse. It is just as valid to look at the question the other way, and ask why Jesse hooked up with Kat.

Same answer. Jesse James' celebrity soared when he married Sandra Bullock, but then he lost much of his luster until their breakup, which pushed his celebrity to new heights. See the pattern. The celebrity seeker needs constant controversy to remain in the public eye, hence the pattern of hookups and breakups on which the tabloids thrive.

The paradigm is the same for Kat Von D. She didn't hook up with Jesse because she was trying to soothe his pain. She hooked up with him because she has a product to sell - that being Kat Von D - and when her celebrity started to flag, she hooked up with Jesse to get another celebrity infusion, and then another one on top of that from their breakup.

If this sounds cynical, well, ask yourself this: why do Jesse James and Kat Von D employee agents and publicists? These people aren't really people. They are brands.

BTW, if you were actually part of the Tattoo sub-culture, you would know that when you carry as much ink as Kat does, the image of Jesse James just gets lost in the overall blend of images. No big deal. Besides, a good tattoo artist could go over that image and put something else in it's place.
"... 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 hit the jackpot!"

I think this is the key to it all. Been there, done that, still tempted sometimes!
Sagemerlin- Interesting take on the essay. Thanks!

Divorced Pauline Thank-you! :)

Day Lily- yes lol.. but u know what they say...when you play with fire... Thanks for stopping by!
It is a lethal combination. I'm going to stay single for a long, long time!
Razzle..... in that case hopefully u enjoy your time to yourself :)