Photo Should Remind Us to Look For More Than A Pretty (Handsome) Face

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By Charles K. Poole

OK, I’ll admit it. The guy is good-looking. No, scratch that. He’s great-looking.

There, I’ve said it. Now let’s get to the point.

The now-viral image of Jeremy Meeks’ mug shot, taken after he and alleged accomplices were arrested on weapons and gang charges, can’t be ignored. And believe me, it hasn’t been. That mug shot is everywhere; I can’t escape it. The piercing eyes, the perfectly square jaw and the almost manicured facial scruff has people everywhere doing a double-take. So it makes no sense trying to deny that yeah, Meeks hit the lottery when it came to the human gene pool.

That doesn’t bother me, although I wouldn’t want to be in the same space as Meeks and risk any comparison on the looks scale. That would be equivalent to setting myself up to fail. No, what bothers me is how quickly how he looks became news when what he allegedly did and, it seems, allegedly does escapes scrutiny. That perfect face is marked with a tattooed teardrop, which, if my gang insignia dictionary is correct, can represent one of several possibilities: the number of years that the person spent in prison, the number of times the person was raped while incarcerated, or the fact that the person has killed someone.

Let’s just say this is not the kind of information you’d typically expect to find on someone’s dating profile.

But clearly, that doesn’t matter to the throngs of adoring fans and thirsty women and men alike whose only interest is in what he looks like and how they’d look with him. These folks don’t care what he did or who he did it to. Whatever sense of right and wrong they allegedly once held went out the window the moment they looked into that steely gaze, wandered over the planes of his symmetrical face and caught their breath after momentarily losing themselves in the photo, ‘er, I mean mug shot.

What’s wrong with us, people?

Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not calling for the guy to be stoned or penalized for his crime any more than the law demands. But I do believe that the glorification of looks over deeds involved in this hub-bub over the felonious hunk should give all of us pause, if for no other reason than all the fawning over just how “hot” Meeks is exposes just how shallow we are. We know better, don’t we?

Perhaps not. Or perhaps I’m taking all this too seriously. Something is seriously askew with our so-called moral compass when hotness supersedes common sense. I don’t know Jeremy Meeks, nor do all of these admirers he’s secured over the past several days. He may be a guy who just made some bad choices or he may be bad to the bone. He appears to like guns and may be an active member of a gang. We also know that he claims to be a husband and a father…quite a duality of influences going on here. Perhaps this “opportunity” and recognition will get him on the right track. I hope so. It’s the folks with whom he engages in criminal activity that I’m concerned about, as they’re not my usual crowd and I’d hazard a guess they’re not most people’s, either.

That’s why it’s important to see Meeks more as potential predator than a potential romantic partner (with a nod to the fact that he says he’s married). And even if you don’t care — in that romantic notion kind of way — what wrong a potential love interest has done, maybe, just maybe, you should accept that such devil-may-care attitudes about attraction are best left to fluffy rom-com scripts or tales of regret, a variety of which can usually found on the Maury (Povich) Show.

So go ahead, indulge in scoping out that now-famous mug shot. Take one good, last look at the handsome fella that Jeremy Meeks. Then get real and stop dreaming he’s your dream guy. If looks could kill, he has ‘em, but probably not in the way your fertile mind is actively imagining.