“Once a good girl’s gone bad, she’s gone forever. I’ll mourn forever…I gotta deal with the fact I did you wrong forever.”
As Jay-Z made his song cry, I couldn’t help but wonder, ‘What makes a good girl go bad?’ More importantly, what makes her stay that way? And is there ever a way to bring her back?
Undoubtedly, the foundation begins with the first man in a girl’s life – her father figure. He lays down the groundwork for future relationships and how they expect to be treated by men. In the show Two and a Half Men, Charlie Harper hits on a younger lady. Her response is simply, “No thanks, I don’t have Daddy issues.”
Parents pass on more to their children than they are aware. Little girls always take notice of how her father treats her mother, or if the father is even there at all. Lil’ Wayne’s video “How To Love” is a prime example of how the cycle evolves. Statistics show that the cycle of imitating what we grew up seeing commonly repeats, including with our first love.
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Ah, that first love that would break a girl’s heart! And yes, getting hurt in the dating game seems inevitable. But it’s about quality as well as quantity. It does usually take more than just one bad relationship to turn a good girl bad. A girl may just get back into the dating scene after a couple of heartbreaks, but the breaking point comes when a good girl decides she no longer wants to be hurt.
The result may be promiscuous no-strings attached sex – physical love with no break-up or broken hearts. She’s numb and no longer wants to take her chances with true intimacy.
When a guy really does a woman wrong, it makes it easier for her to rebel. Women tend to seek men as a sense of security and when he viciously breaks that trust, she loses a certain innocence that can never be returned.
When a good girl goes bad, she’s got something to prove. She’s turning against someone who hurt her and her guard is up. In the back of her mind, she’s still rebelling against the guy that broke her, or even against her father figure. Even if he’s not there to see her, he’s still in her mind and somehow, that can be justified as the same thing. She’s still showing him that he lost the best thing ever. A lot of girls turn into the “life of the party” – perhaps to make that point, fill the void, or cloud their mind.
So what exactly happens to them?
The answer might lie in the women we see in the public eye. Rihanna was simply a Good Girl Gone Bad on her album. When her violent incident occurred with Chris Brown, her life began to imitate art. Out came more tattoos (the gun?) and one wild look took the place of another. Her latest spectacle was to wear nothing under her see-through shirt on the “We Found Love” video set and sport a necklace bearing a rather vile word* to church. Psychologically, she could be showing the world, including Brown, not to mess with her (again) because she doesn’t give a ___.
Karrine “Superhead” Steffans is notoriously known as the hip hop groupie. But for anyone who has read about her vicious upbringing in Confessions of a Video Vixen, one can almost understand why she led such a promiscuous lifestyle. If the men in our lives had treated us as poorly, it would be all we know and it tends to be what we stick with. Again, the cycle of what we grew up with is hard to break.
A good girl gone bad may not always stay in the bad girl realm, but she will never be the same. Innocence can never be restored.
Adele said, “Sometimes it lasts in love, but sometimes it hurts instead”. Most of the time, it can hurt like hell. So whether it’s intentional or not, men should be careful when given a woman’s trust.
You never know if you might be that one that turns her bad…and when a good girl’s gone bad, she’s gone forever.
*We’ll give you a hint: it’s a word that begins with a “c” and is often used as a euphemism for a woman’s nether regions. We’re trying to keep it family-friendly here at SoulTrain.com so use your imaginations!
Check out the video from Rhianna’s “Good Girl” days, “Umbrella” below:
Zoey Flowers is a freelance writer and Hip Hop lover. She was a representative for various major record labels and has contributed to other music websites, television, and radio shows.