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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