This guy landed a modeling gig after his mugshot went viral

Tara Blair Ball

Attractive people have advantages the rest of us don't.

Stockton Police Department via Getty Images

Whether we like to admit it or not, physically attractive people have an unfair advantage over the rest of us average-looking serfs.

Research has shown that hot people are judged more positively than less attractive individuals. They are assumed to be happier, more likable, more forthright, and smarter. They are more likely to be hired, receive promotions, and get higher salaries. They are even more likely to receive shorter prison sentences.

No story could show the unfair advantage of hot people more than in the case of Jeremy Meeks, pictured above in his mugshot.

In 2014, the Stockton Police Department posted Meeks’s mugshot to their Facebook page, along with a description of a recent spate of shootings and robberies.

Meeks, a member of the Crips street gang, was already a convicted felon at the time when he’d been arrested for multiple weapon charges.

But the Stockton Police Department wasn’t prepared for the public’s response to Meeks’s stellar good looks.

Thousands of women shared his photo with comments like, “Can he spend his prison sentence locked away in my bedroom?” and “I’d let him kidnap me anytime.” He became known as the “Hot Convict.”

While in jail, White Cross Management talent agency took him on as a model.

After serving 27 months in prison, Meeks was released and debuted on New York Fashion Week runway in February 2017. His net worth has most recently been reported as $4 million, and he is living in a mansion and driving a Maserati.

Screenshot by the author.

Meeks’s story is a fantastical one, but it still highlights how the advantages of being hot can be consistent and predictable.

Psychologists have actually dubbed this the “Halo Effect.” This is defined as “the tendency for positive impressions of a person, company, brand or product in one area to positively influence one’s opinion or feelings in other areas.”

Advertising often tries to employ this. If you see a product (for example, an actor grabbing and drinking a Diet Coke) in a TV show or movie, the advertisers are hoping you’ll see their product more positively because you happen to like the show or movie or the actor touching or interacting with it.

If you associate positive feelings with their product, then you’ll be more likely to buy it and recommend it to others.

Research has proven the same with attractive people. It’s as if hot men and women literally walk around with a halo around their heads that positively distorts your perceptions of them.

If you’re a hiring manager, the “Halo Effect” might be exactly why you decide to give Hot John a promotion over Average Gary even though both men have the same qualifications and experience. You’ll think John has an “edge” over Gary just because he’s better-looking.


While this may seem like depressing news for the average-looking of us, there are still ways you can employ the “Halo Effect” in your own life.

Here are some tips for whether you’re going on a job interview or a date:

1. Make sure to dress well.

In a study, dressing well actually had a huge impact on someone’s level of perceived attractiveness. The study concluded that the same person could be judged as unattractive depending more on their clothes than their other physical attributes.

If you struggle knowing what to buy to make you look good, research popular outfit styles for your age/profession/gender, and/or ask people for help, such as friends or salespeople at a store whose clothing you like.

2. Have a good (and recent) haircut.

A good haircut, another study found, can have a huge impact. The righthaircut can actually make a person be perceived as younger, healthier, and (of course) better-looking.

Research popular styles or find a hairstylist you trust and get their opinion. Once you find a haircut that works for you, make sure to get a fresh one before a major interview or date.

3. Mind your body language.

In several studies, researchers have found that someone’s body language can make or break how others see them. Someone who slouches, keeps their arms crossed, and doesn’t look others in the eye can come across as being nervous, insecure, and — you guessed it — less attractive.

Stand up straight. Hold your head up. Don’t cross your arms or stick them in your pockets.

Not all of us were born with steely blue eyes that will capture the hearts of millions of people and help us pull in millions of dollars, but at least we can use what we’ve got to our advantage. The “Halo Effect” can mean a huge difference in a promotion or salary, so why not try to get it for yourself?

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Memphis, TN

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