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Mugshot Proves Attractiveness Bias

The mugshot of Jeremy Meeks has captured the interest of hundreds of thousands over the past few days…. Not because of his crime, or the tattoos that plaster his body…. But because he’s HOT!!!

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Yep, he’s married.

I will admit, when I first saw it, my reaction was NOT ladylike. In fact, I MAY have hinted at him committing another crime. Contrary to popular belief, it isn’t the “bad boy” image that is appealing to many.  It’s the fact that he had a model’s face!

But this whole issue made me think about how appearance plays into everyday situations. I’d feel far more threatened by a guy who looks like a thug than I would a white collar insurance salesman.  The crazy thing is that some thug-looking guys are only wearing what they can afford and work to make it look fashionable within their subculture, and should they commit a crime, they’re often the ones where you can say, “I saw it coming.”  However, the button-down, executive-looking guy is most often the serial killer that chops up bodies and eats them after he kills.  I think I’d prefer the “I saw it coming” to “I never would have guessed it.”

I recently interviewed two athletes from the West End in Tuscaloosa. Had I come across them in the grocery store, I never would have guessed they were professional athletes!  Conversely, I vaguely remember going to a restaurant years ago, and I was seated near a man wearing a suit.  He sat alone with his newspaper.  I thought he was reading.  As I passed his table, I noticed he was actually in the employment section, circling ads.  One of the servers told me that the guy would get dressed every morning and come there after putting in job applications.  To the outward eye, he would have appeared to be a businessman just reading the paper.  He was in fact unemployed.

What does this have to do with Jeremy Meeks?  Well, so many people are jokingly saying his crime should be overlooked because of his good looks or that he should consider being a model upon his release.  The sad reality is that while it would be hard for others to be given that opportunity after leaving jail, Meeks’ popularity could be helpful for boosting his modeling career. Too bad for those nonviolent criminals who won’t get the same chance.

Meeks’ mom is said to have established a GoFundMe account to raise money for his bail. Let’s see how many thirsty idiots people will be willing to fund his hot freedom.

(His mom probably should have told him not to say anything about being married until her fundraising goal was met, though.)


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