Last week, the picture of the famous “hot mug shot guy” went viral and women everywhere OVARYacted. Of course, plenty of people were also quick to criticize. One of the posts that made me cringe when I see it every five minutes is a photo of Hot Mug Shot Guy (Jeremy Meeks) next to a photo of Corporal William Kyle Carpenter who was recently awarded a Medal of Honor for jumping on a grenade to help save his fellow marines. The post with Meeks and Carpenter criticized women for swooning over Meeks for being hot although he’s a criminal, while claiming that Carpenter was “overlooked.”
I’m not saying that Carpenter’s sacrifice wasn’t a huge deal. As a girl who grew up in a military family, I’ve always had a huge appreciation for the military and all they do for us. I’ll also admit to getting a little hot and bothered when I see a man in uniform. However, those of you who agree strongly with the Meeks vs. Carpenter post must not know how the internet works. In my online reporting class, one of the topics we discussed was how posts get a lot of traffic, and how things go viral. One of the main things that makes things go viral is novelty. Articles that present an idea or event that is different and unusual will go viral.
The reason Meeks’ photo went viral so quickly was because he’s hot. Have you ever seen a mugshot? They’re never flattering. Never. But this criminal somehow made his look like a cologne ad. Two very conflicting things collided in this photo: a mugshot and sexy. Those two things create novelty and novelty makes things go viral. That, folks, is how the internet works.
The big issue I have with the Meeks vs. Carpenter post is that just because women get a little hot and bothered over a hot mugshot doesn’t mean we’ve dismissed his crimes. Meeks is still a felon, and is paying for his crimes. Sure, it’s interesting that such a vogue-worthy guy would also happen to be a “bad boy,” but he’s committed serious crimes. Although girls can swoon over him and talk about all the “dirty things” they’d do to him, but knowing what he’s done, if they ever met him in real life they’d probably be kind of nervous.