Jeremy Meeks, the convict whose mug shot has set the internet ablaze over the last week, has made a name for himself well beyond the gang world he’s apparently been used to. The man has sworn that he is a good family man, but as an alleged member of the Crips, Meeks has definitely seen his share of the wrong side of the law. While there is no denying the man’s visual appeal, Jeremy Meeks has become hot for all the wrong reasons.
We live in a world where both girls and boys are inundated with images of physical ideals that no one could possibly reach. As parents, we try and tell our children it does not matter what anyone looks like; what counts is what that person is like on the inside. These are truths parents tell their children every day, yet they are relentlessly hit with images of good looking teens being popular, experiencing good luck, or generally enjoying good fortune. The dissemination of Meeks’ mug shot is a slight exception to this, given a mug shot is an indication that things are not exactly going well, but the problem becomes that Meeks again falls into the category of a good looking person becoming popular because he is attractive.
He is hot for the wrong reasons, and unfortunately, the furor over this convict’s good looks is going to compound the problems that parents are facing in promoting a positive sense of self among their children. Parents tell their children that it is important to be good, upstanding people, and that running afoul of the law is a bad thing. However, any child with internet access could stumble upon this man’s face being splashed everywhere and question why he is somehow popular. The thing of it is, Meeks seems to have garnered popularity across the globe simply because he’s attractive. His extensive rap sheet gets only the barest of mentions through the mass of stories raving about how good looking the man is.
It is truly sad that this has occurred. Not only does it promote the notion that once again, people will garner attention if they are good looking, it also sends a dangerous message to our kids that what matters more is your good looks, not what you have (or have not) done. In fact, by the time the dust settles on the Meeks’ affair, it is quite possible that this man could be offered some sort of contract in the modelling world. His criminal record will fade to the background – at least, until he crosses paths with law enforcement officials again.
Jeremy Meeks, while undeniably good looking, is poised to set a dangerous precedent because he is being lauded for his good looks instead of being held up as an example of what not to do. He is truly hot for all the wrong reasons; he is a convict who is accused of new crimes, and while everyone is innocent until proven guilty, mainstream media is going to be found guilty of making Meeks another one of the beautiful people that the youth of today will try and emulate unsuccessfully. Here’s hoping the youth will not also try to emulate his criminal past.
Opinion by Christina St-Jean