With his head cocked slightly to the right and a tattooed teardrop tracking its way down his perfectly chiselled face, the US’s most handsome felon Jeremy Meeks stares coldly out of his mugshot with eyes the colour of polished crystal.
It’s a gaze that won over thousands when it was uploaded onto the Stockton Police Department’s Facebook page, with many admirers taking to social media to swoon over the man Los Angeles criminal defence attorney Darren Kavinoky labelled a “very, very bad boy”.
Now Meeks’ mugshot has won over Hollywood too. The offender has scored a $30,000 modelling contract with Blaze Models in Los Angeles.
Fans of the reprobate have been accused of “glamorising” crime. In reality though, tweeting about how fanciable Meeks is doesn’t glamourise his crimes, it ignores them.
Meeks doesn’t make crime itself look sexy. The women lobbing their phone numbers in his direction are doing so despite his alleged offences, not because of them. They’ve fallen for his face with little knowledge of his faults, proving that society can turn even the vilest of creatures into a heart throb by ignoring the very thing that makes them despicable.
One of the reasons the Amanda Knox trial was so captivating was because its prime suspect was an attractive twenty-something woman. It was inconceivable to imagine someone so outwardly beautiful committing such ugly crimes. So too with Meeks.
As his picture spread on social media, his crimes became diluted, reduced to a few words beneath a picture, and often not included at all. Is he a gangland robber responsible for the deaths of others, or is he just a good old fashioned rascal out to make a quick buck? Does it even matter?
Suddenly we were faced with a scale of criminality: it’s one thing to fancy a conman, but quite another to lust after a rapist. (I wonder whether the women throwing their virtual knickers at computer screens would be quite so keen if this guy was a convicted paedophile?)
Meeks is now just a face, albeit a very attractive face. Hollywood have come a calling, with visions of turning him into a reality TV star. When a man’s crimes are passed over because of his good looks we have to start questioning the already questionable sanity of talent agents.
With every Facebook 'like' Meeks becomes even further removed from his actions, whatever they may be. Can anyone actually remember at this point? As his full lips and cut-glass cheekbones melt hearts across the globe, his odious crimes fall by the wayside, disregarded in favour of another tweet about how goddamn hot he is. Glamorising crime is dangerous, but ignoring it altogether is just plain criminal.
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