23 June-2014, Firstpost: The last time the Internet went crazy over a hot guy, it was because Saudi Arabia had deemed him too handsome and deported him in April 2013. Photos of the handsome man in question, Omar Borkan Al Gala, were later published by asaintown.net and it did spark an Internet frenzy of sorts, and yes an intense debate over whether he was ‘too’ handsome or not.
Come 2014, and there’s another hot guy on the Internet, who’s driving headlines, articles and Facebook likes. But unlike Omar, this one is a convicted felon. So who is this ‘hot felon’ as most headlines are referring to him? A man named Jeremy Meeks, who’s 30 and has who served two years in prison after a 2002 conviction.
Why is he suddenly the topic of discussion? Last Tuesday he was arrested in Stockton, California and the Police Department there posted his mugshot on its Facebook page on Wednesday alongside those of three of his companions. What’s prominent in Meeks’ mugshot are his blue eyes, the tattoos and the typical bad-boy look. Also there’s a hint of a reminder of Prison Break lead Wentworth Miller. (Only because of the tattoos). Clearly it was enough to drive the internet and media crazy. His mugshot has got nearly 94,855 Likes, almost 25,000 comments, 12,550 shares.
For the year 2014, he’s the new hot guy that the Internet loves. The comments on the image range from #JeremyMeeks come to my house and steal a kiss from me” to “Gigity gigity… Stunning man” to “You can lock him up in my house and i will punish him.” And Meeks’ family have even started a page, building on his new found popularity, to argue that he’s a family man and doesn’t have any gang related history.
Hollywood Life decided to get their hands on previous mugshots of the Meeks to showcase that his hotness factor had gone up significantly from 2002. They even ask in the story, “Is Jeremy hotter today than he was yesterday? Check out his previous mug shots and see for yourself!”
EOnline put out mugshots of other criminals who were hotter than Jeremy. In case you felt a lack of choice and were insisting on dating a felon, this was probably just an attempt to show that there are other fish in the sea (read jail).
ABC News went one further did an interview with him. And oh no, heartbreak! Meeks told the channel that he’s married. He told the channel, “This is really not me. I don’t know why I’m so popular.” He also insisted that he was no longer a gangster.
Incidentally the ticker on the video kept reading, ‘Hot Convict’ speaks, just so you didn’t forget why he was on the news. On Twitter, Jeremy was photoshopped onto the Calvin Klein, Hugo Boss and Givenchy ads. And HotFelonFriday became a trend on Twitter.
The madness around Meeks hasn’t left everybody impressed. As Mary Elizabeth Williams points out in Salon this is the most depressing meme ever and that one can’t forget that Meeks is a dangerous criminal. Nor does the media spotlight showcase women in a strong light and confirms this myth that women only love the bad boys.
She writes, “As his fame has spread, the commentary around him has become more deliberately jokey and absurd, but the headlines that “Women around the world swoon” and ‘Ladies love this felon’s mugshot’ and ‘World’s most photogenic criminal has the ladies swooning’ have certainly done their bit to give the mainstream media a chance to make our gender look a little dumber,” and concludes by noting, “Hot or not? I don’t even want to have to explain why this is yet another messed-up example of women participating in our own degradation.”