By Jefferey Spivey
Jeremy Meeks made national headlines a couple years back when his mug shot became a viral sensation. Now, after serving a 27-month sentence for illegal firearm possession, he’s a free man and ready to take the modeling world by storm. Horny California housewives are ready to make their prison fetish fantasies a reality. And I’m starting to doubt there’s any hope of advancement for the American people.
This is further proof that you don’t have to actually possess a skill to succeed as long as people think you’re hot. It’s a turn into a sad, desperate, dark corner of our celebrity obsession. Not to mention it’s an extra sour punch in the face to all those who’ve dreamed about pursuing an entertainment career their entire lives. And actually have the talent to do so.
We Americans love a good redemption story, and more than anything, America is most certainly the land of second chances. Some of our most beloved celebrities are reformed criminals and addicts. But we might be a little premature in writing the next chapter of Meeks’ narrative.
If he was ugly or overweight, he’d just be another dude getting out of prison and fighting to acclimate to every day life. Finding a job that paid him a living wage while also overlooking his significant criminal past would be a challenge, to say the least. He may have done his time for illegal weapons possession, but many ex-cons continue doing their time long after they step foot back on the outside. This guy won’t experience any of that just because he had a hot mug shot.
Some people argue that this is a great opportunity for him, and that we as a public should be happy that Meeks has the great fortune of bypassing the normal struggles of felons in their post-prison lives. But why is there so much passion about supporting this guy when there are plenty of unemployed people in America who need support and didn’t break the law? We’re happy for him because he’s hot? The level of superficiality in his situation and in the public discussion about it is disgusting to say the least.
"But why is there so much passion about supporting this guy when there are plenty of unemployed people in America who need support and didn’t break the law?"
Furthermore, I don’t think the male model pickings are so slim that talent scouts need to start scanning mug shots for new talent. If they want to discover photogenic unknowns, look no further than Instagram for attractive men who have tremendous followings and don’t have tattooed teardrops on their faces.
Jeremy Meeks hasn’t even had so much as a test shoot (unless you count that mug shot), and national media is already heavily documenting his ascent in the fashion world. Whether or not he’ll make it remains to be seen. White Cross Management only boasts 460 followers on their Facebook page, and prior to signing Meeks, hadn’t received any notable national attention. It’s very possible that Meeks’ release from prison is just a generous extension of his 15 minutes of fame, which has already worn pretty thin.
"It’s very possible that Meeks’ release from prison is just a generous extension of his 15 minutes of fame, which has already worn pretty thin."
Is the American public really this shallow? So shallow that we’re willing to let our hormones override the law? Or is this escapism from the comedic yet scary reality of this election year? Maybe turning a felon into a supermodel isn’t as bad as voting a reality TV businessman into the White House.
Whatever the reason, we can do better than swarming over Meeks’ every move like crows over roadkill carcass. There are actual celebrities that don’t even deserve this amount of attention. Let’s find a feel good story to make viral or a meaningful cause to champion before I lose total faith in humanity.