We’re all very, very sad this week, and with good reason – Ariana Grande and Big Sean are no more. I know. We all thought they were going to make it work, especially after his sexual misconduct charges were dropped. He was so earnest in his Twitter outrage after Justin Bieber groped Ariana during a concert. (Side note: Grande and Big, despite their names, are both tiny.)
But this love triangle between tiny pixie princess, accused rapist and Canadian punk trying his best to be a bad boy makes me think about the appeal. Why do sweet, innocent teen stars love to test boundaries with bad boys? Spoiler alert: I don’t know. I honestly don’t. But let’s ponder the phenomenon, shall we, as we look over some of the most famously mismatched couples ever (and be grateful some of these good girls got OUT OF THERE.)
Imagine the fresh faced model from the “I Wanna Dance with Somebody” video. Remember her? Remember how bright and vivacious she was? Now think of her confessing to Oprah that she did drugs to cope with her tumultuous marriage to Bobby Brown. Yeah, that all didn’t turn out so well for Whitney Houston, and now, sadly, their daughter, Bobbi Kristina Brown turned out to be the sweet-girl apple that didn’t fall far from the I-love-an-addict tree. Her love for a bad boy turned tragic, and doesn’t look like it’s going to end anytime soon. (We’re pulling for you, Bobbi Kristina!)
...Ike and Tina Turner
Ike Turner was heavily addicted to cocaine and crack, and loved to hit a woman. He also refused to let a little lady named Anna Mae Bullock sing with his band because he liked to stick with male singers. But when his drummer handed her the microphone one intermission, Ike saw a star in the making. He decided to represent (and beat) her. Re-christening her Tina, the Turners set the world on fire, winning Grammys and fist-fighting. After Ike’s infamous five-day cocaine-spree fueled limousine brawl in Dallas in 1976, Tina snuck out of the hotel room and ran away from her abusive husband. She eventually filed for divorce and declined to pursue any shared finances or property, taking only her stage name with her when she left.
Ah, the 1980s. A happier time. When all a woman looked for in a man was hair as big as hers. In a fairy tale pairing of hair, youth and more hair, Heather Locklear (at the time star of “Dynasty”) and Tommy Lee (at the height of Motley Crue’s popularity) found one another. They spent many happy hours together spraying AquaNet and acid-washing their jeans. But this fairy tale did not have a happy ending, because you might be the most desirable woman on the planet, but that just won’t stop a hair band guy from pointing at girls that they want the roadies to bring backstage. Locklear and Lee divorced in 1993. Locklear moved on to a little more milquetoast bad boy (Richie Sambora from Bon Jovi) and Lee moved on to a little badder girl (Pamela Anderson.) We all know how that turned out (sex tape. Millions from the sex tape. Divorce. Pamela Anderson has Hepatits C, you guys.)
We all know what happened in that Lamborghini after the Grammy’s pre-party in 2009. We all know that Rihanna even got back together briefly with Brown. We all also know that Rihanna is a self-proclaimed “Good Girl Gone Bad” now and is currently living her life as a walking marijuana ad (You get those snacks, Ri!) Breezy, however, is the very model of reform now that his probation officially ended last month. HAHAHAHAHA, J/K, he just had a baby with Not His Girlfriend. And the baby is named Royalty. Guys. This is a man who felt the need to get into a scuffle with Drake to prove his manliness. And we all know how that ended–with glass in Tony Parker’s eye. Rihanna is doing great.
Upon meeting on the set of 1963’s“Cleopatra,” Elizabeth Taylor, Hollywood’s Golden Girl, and Richard Burton, handsome leading man, could not keep their paws off each other despite being married to other people at the time. Look, Elizabeth Taylor was never lily white, what with her heavy drinking and serial marrying, but Richard Burton managed to leave her twice for other women. Sure, they got remarried after a divorce and were possibly even considering remarrying a third time after their second divorce–but too many whiskeys and younger broads got in the way. The two remained devoted to each other between their soap opera-worthy reconciliations and frequent fiery fights. The quote “Maybe we loved each other too much” has been attributed to both of them.
Lest we forget: before Bey and Jay were drunk in love, before they were making bank on the run, before they were defining what a perfect marriage looks like via Instagram (despite divorce rumors), they were a good girl and a bad boy. Though there is no exact confirmation of when they started dating, Beyonce confirms she met Jay-Z when she was 18. Hova was “Big Pimpin’” and remixing “Hard Knock Life” at this time. Beyonce was still lead singer of Destiny’s Child, her father was still their manager, and they were still in their “Say My Name” stage. (I know. Can you imagine a time before even “Survivor”?) That is when Jay and Bey met. Though Beyonce was an independent woman (throw your hands up at me), by the time 2002 rolled around, she was at least publicly collaborating with Jay Z on “03 Bonnie & Clyde.” They were spotted at basketball games. She wore a Yankees hat. And when “Dangerously in Love” dropped, we all knew they were totally a couple, and seemed to even each other out–Beyonce got a little more bad girl, Jay Z got a little more mainstream. The couple married in 2008, and although Solange (and Rihanna?) may know better, they are (so far) the poster couple for Bad Boys/Good Girls who made it work.
America’s sweetheart married some motorcycle guy in 2005. We love it! She is so cute and unpretentious, of course she would marry some motorcycle guy! She is so lovely and kind-hearted, she even jumps into the custody battle over James’s daughter with a porn star. But you can’t expect a monster to stay in his monster garage and be content, amirite? So in 2010, many many many women came forward with allegations of relationships with James. Jesse James checked into sex rehab. Sandra Bullock adopted a son, won an Oscar for “Blind Side” and got over it. Jesse James claims marrying a Hollywood big shot ruined his motorcycle career. Okay.
Guys, did you know Michael Hutchence dated Kylie Minogue in 1989? AThat is bonkers. Kylie Minogue was apparently devastated after Hutchence’s death in 1997. (I was also devastated. INXS’s “Kick” was the first tape I bought with my own money.
She’s a Disney star! He’s a spoiled Canadian! The truth is, Justin Bieber is, sadly, more troubled than bad. He so desperately wants you to think he’s bad that he got this sweet tattoo, acquired a monkey to take selfies with (and then abandoned it in an airport) and is drinking Sizzurp. (Do they kids still do that?) Let’s face it, he’s a joke of a bad boy, no matter how hard he tries. Selena, go back to Orlando Bloom now that he’s divorced. Date a wealthy businessman. Prince Harry is single. Now THERE’S a bad boy.