Wednesday, June 05, 2013

What’s True in a REAL Teen’s Life: The Bad Boy and The Nice Guy

**This was originally written a year ago and I've added to it!** 
DISCLAIMER: This is not the reality for ALL teens. There are just MY observations and MY opinions. Here are the realities (for ME anyways) when it comes to these clichés:

The Bad Boys and The Nice Guy

➢ The Bad Boy(s): 

Source. Anyone a Tim Riggins fan? FNL? 
YES. I WENT THERE. Can I just say that I have yet to meet a guy in real life that resembles the popular of the YA bad boy. For instance, I did meet a guy like Wes from The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen. He was a guy who’d gone through a lot and had that tall, dark strager thing going on but he was a nice guy. How did I know this? He was dating one of my friends and she was really happy with him. THAT is the kind of bad boy we’re not getting. Another bad boy that SO MANY people are falling for: Noah Shaw of The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer. I have met a Noah Shaw like boy in real life and he’s the guy that all the girls hate. YEAH. They aren’t  dying to be with him. They know that he’s rich and arrogant and *well, it’s honest* sleeps around (but he doesn't have an accent....). That is not attractive to most of the girls I know. This guy? He’s been dating a freshman for a while and she’s been getting it good (bad way, btw.) I want more Wes kind of bad boys; the kind of guys have might have gone through a lot but don't take it out on you. If rich, arrogant, guy-that-gets-around is the type of guys people think teens girls want to be with, they’re wrong. At least, this is the case with most of the girls I know.

➢ Added:

Wow, did I have terrible writing a year ago or what? My opinion has changed and I can be much more articulate with my words. Now my hesitation has turned to calling bad boys "bad boys with a heart" even though they are jerks and possessive and well, not really good for the girl. Look, I will admit: there are guys out there who have tattoos and seem like trouble but aren't. There are good "bad guys" if that makes any sense. But in my opinion, I don't like the "bad boys" in many YA books. Taking Noah Shaw, I'm not sure he's even considered a "bad boy." Yes, he sleeps around and all but he's a rather boring character (except that he's hot and has a ton of money and a British accent). Tim Riggins, on the other hand, is what I would consider a "bad boy." Tim drinks too much and he sleeps around and isn't always nice. But he's really not a bad guy. He has rough edges but isn't a bad guy altogether. Honestly, bad boys can be done but I want them done in a way that they're not possessive or jerks. Another example from a YA novel would be Owen from Sarah Dessen's Just Listen and on that note, Wes from The Truth About Forever could also be a "bad boy." Owen's got issues with his anger and it's a flaw he works on throughout the book. Wes has been to a correctional facility, has tattoos, but makes amazing art. Both Owen and Wes have a past they're not particularly proud of but they've learned from their mistakes or are continuing to learn from them. Neither Owen or Wes are boys mothers would approve for their daughters at first but they change and grow. They're good guys who've made mistakes.

➢ The Nice Guy(s): 

I can’t NOT talk about the nice guy after the bad boy, right? Why did SO many people fall in love with
Etienne St. Clair? Yeah, he’s got an accent and all, but HE WAS A NICE GUY. He was sweet and funny and friendly and out going. He joked with Anna and all their other friends. And who can forget Cricket Bell’s charm? He was AWKWARD beyond a doubt. But he was nice and sincere too. He cared about the people he loved and he wasn’t afraid to show it (without not being awkward.) The thing about the good guy? They CAN be hard to find but they ARE out there. And girls like guys like him. I knew a guy who was arrogant and snobby but in a funny way. He was rich and you could see it but he only flaunted it when someone else talked about it. He was sincere and nice and smart. I want more good guys. A lot of the reasons we nerd, ahem, readers, fall in love with literary guys is because not many of them are there in the real world. I’d rather have a guy like Etienne, with money and an accent that Noah Shaw, quiet honestly. And believe me, it’s not just Etienne and Cricket and Noah Shaw. There are *and you knows its true* more bad boys than there are nice guys and I wish that would change.

➢ Added:

If we can have the bad boys, we sure as heck can have the nice guys! Let me get this out there: NICE GUYS DO EXIST IN THE WORLD. One of my very good friend's is currently dating a "nice guy." They've been together for about 2 years and they're relationship is great. Sure, it's not perfect and they do have their issues but in the end, their love wins. I've met her guy and he is awkwardly adorable. He's also the sweetest guy and very polite. They've had their issues but he's never hurt my friend on purpose (their families are the big issue). But the thing is, this guy is nice. He treats my friend well and he's there for her no matter what. Sometimes she needs a friend and he's there for her as a friend. 

I guess my plea for YA is to have a nice guy without baggage. It's not like girls don't find the nice guy hot. When he's nice and caring and funny, girls will fall for him. But I've realized that just because a guy has baggage, he can't not be the nice guy. Like Cricket Bell. Cricket is in no means a "bad boy." He's a "nice guy" to heart but he's done things that he regrets. He wasn't always the best person to Lola. Honestly, a lot of Lola and the Boy Next Door is about Lola's quest to get over the past she shared with Cricket. 

While I will admit: I do love a "bad boy," but I have my limits. When it's a "bad boy," there is nothing wrong with him begin rough around the edges but I don't want to be fearful for the girl. I like "bad boys" like Owen and Wes who have more to them than just being "bad." Even "good guys" have more to them.They've all got their own personalities and interests and should feel like actual people. 

What are your thoughts? Do you like any and all "bad boys" or do you have reservations too? What are your thoughts on "good guys?"