The enduring appeal of the ‘bad boy’: “I know, because I’ve dated many.”

This week, rumours have surfaced that Jeremy Meeks better known as ‘Prison Bae’ or ‘Hot Felon’, has a new girlfriend, Chloe Green.

Green appeared on the second series of Made in Chelsea, and previously dated Jennifer Lopez’ ex-husband Marc Anthony. She is the daughter of Sir Philip, a British businessman worth an estimated five billion Australian dollars. He is the chairman of Arcadia Group, which includes, Topshop, Topman and Miss Selfridge.

Green posted to Instagram a picture of the pair with the caption, “Just the Beginning… We appreciate all the love and the hate,” and images have been uploaded of the couple kissing and cuddling on a yacht in Turkey.

Meeks has shared one topless image of himself from the holiday, his tattoos, including the name of the violent gang he was once a member of, very much on display. His inky tear seemingly runs down the outer corner of his left eye; tortured, mysterious and distant.

LISTEN: I used a data guru’s tips to see if they worked, on Mamamia Out Loud. Post continues below. 

Oh.

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And did I mention that Meeks is married?

Oh goodness gracious it must have slipped my mind. He has two children as well, who are presumably at home with his wife.

From 2002 to 2011, Meeks served nine years in prison for grand theft. In 2014, he was charged with gun possession and resisting arrest.

But no one cared much about that. We cared about his face.

Since being released from prison in 2016, Meeks has enjoyed a successful modelling career, including walking the runway at New York Fashion Week. Women, it would seem, love Meeks.

What is it about the ‘bad boy’ that, for some at least, is so endlessly appealing?

In my early twenties, I dated my fair share of ‘bad boys’. None of them had quite been to prison (… that I know of, some of them probably should have been) but I dated them knowing full well they treated women badly. They smoked weed or did recreational drugs (which I didn’t), they drank too much, they couldn’t hold down a job, they had difficult relationships with their families and they hung out with the wrong crowd.

But there was something, as shameful as it is in retrospect, that drew me to them.

To start with, I think it’s worth acknowledging that I didn’t like myself much. I don’t know why, exactly. But I definitely struggled with chronically low self esteem, and could never really understand why someone would want to be with me.

All things are possible !!! #bodrum #turkey #boatlife

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When you’re a woman who struggles with confidence, attention from an alpha male is intoxicating. You feel seen. You feel special. And when they show a specific interest in you, you feel lucky.

To me, bad boys were like the naughty kid in Kindergarten you can’t keep your eyes off. Why can’t they sit still? What’s going through their head? Surely they won’t…

But then again, maybe they will.

They always keep you guessing. The future is never certain or safe. Every day you’re with them feels like a victory, because it’s like you’re standing on quicksand and soon enough everything will disappear.

Before long, you convince yourself that you can see things others can’t. Those things aren’t actually there of course. It’s just an imaginary projection of what you hope they might one day become.

Psychologists who specialise in love and sex say it’s difficult to desire what you already have. But with the ‘bad boy’, you never quite have him. It’s like trying to hammer a cloud to a wall.

Thank you Philipp plein for an amazing show and Cannes experience !!!

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The ‘bad boy’ is a project. Something to work on. For the time being, you are their moral compass. You tell them to call their mother, or to drink less. You start with what you think are firm demands, but eventually you just become a boring nag. Is there anything that feels less sexy?

As someone who lacks it, you are perpetually attracted to their confidence. Their charisma. They are above everything, forever the exception to the rule. And for a very short time, it’s exhilarating.

The uncertainty and the constant knots in your stomach can easily be mistaken for passion. But within a few months, you realise it’s not romance – it’s anxiety. And it’s not a rush. It’s sickening.

It’s not exciting. It’s repetitive. You have the same conversations over and over again, and give up on trying to change them. You wake up one morning and think “I’m with someone who just isn’t a very nice person,” and that’s all the clarity you need.

‘Bad boys’ aren’t fun or adventurous.

They’re mean.

Dating a ‘bad boy’ means being dumped on Valentine’s Day, or the day before they go overseas for a few weeks. It means being cheated on. It means sleepless nights and gift-less birthdays, and friends who want to ring your neck. It means being yelled at 2am by someone who isn’t making sense.

Having dated a few, there is no longer any appeal to the ‘bad boy’.

It’s the good ones that are far, far more exciting.

You can listen to the full episode of Mamamia Out Loud, here. 

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