Jeremy Meeks was arrested back in 2015 for firearm possession. After his mugshot appeared on the Stockton, CA Police Department’s Facebook page for being in jail, his image quickly flew across social media and he became known as the ‘hot’ criminal. People were going nuts over this man with the teardrop tattoo despite charges for firearm possession and street gang activity. After being convicted and serving almost two years in jail, Meeks signed a modeling contract. While serving his sentence White Cross Management reached out to Meeks and upon his release from prison, he signed a modeling contract with the agency. Since then, he has made millions modeling for Phillip Plein and recently walked the catwalk at New York Fashion Week with celebrities like Madonna and Kylie Jenner looking on. The ‘hot (ex) criminal’ has various Instagram and social media posts showcasing his success with the purchase of a mansion and a Maserati. Not only has Meeks made a successful career modeling, but has thanked the management company for giving him a chance and says he has turned his life around. With that said, this popularizing of ‘hot criminals’ presents the opinion that criminal activity, breaking the law, and being dangerous are sexy. This instance seems to show that there are advantages to having a criminal past as it creates mystery and intrigue around what types of criminal acts one has engaged in. For the modeling industry, it’s the ultimate money-maker, drawing the viewer in with good looks, and keeping them coming back for more by hinting at the criminal past and ‘showing off’ Meek’s tattoos. Every time they see an image of him, they may gain more insight into which criminal acts he has committed and become more drawn to him. There’s a sense of excitement in the anticipation of piecing together more of the story. In the end, sex and the ‘bad boy’ image continues to sell, making it clear that it pays to be a ‘hot’ criminal.
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