Nope! Let’s Dissect Jean Jacket (AI-Assisted)

Sarah Thomas, PhD
4 min readJun 16


So, I finally watched Jordan Peele’s “Nope” over Memorial Day weekend. I’ve been dying to see it ever since I saw the trailer. But it dropped in theaters a few days after I dropped my baby, and I was like…nope! (See what I did there?) But anyway, spoilers ahead. You’ve been warned.

If you’ve seen “Nope” already, you’ll know it’s a quintessential Peele creation, brimming with symbolism that would have you wracking your brains for days. There’s the shoe, the character Jean Jacket, and that awful eating scene. But in case you’re scratching your head over the shoe part 🤔, let me fill you in. Spoiler alert: the shoe isn’t just a shoe. It’s a symbol, representing the seductive yet dangerous nature of fame. Message!

Now about Jean Jacket — this isn’t a fashion accessory…it’s the terrifying creature that hides in the clouds, waiting for you to look at it so it can eat you. This monster personifies the haunting pursuit of fame. A striking metaphor, isn’t it? Every detail in this movie is a breadcrumb trail leading you deeper into the woods of symbolism; that’s what makes it a mind-bending journey.

Are you raising an eyebrow, finding it all too much to swallow (much like Jean Jacket did at the end? Hardy har)? Some people have broken it down and found some amazing hidden gold nuggets. Trust me, “The Ending of Nope Explained Part 2” by Brice Edward Brown [Link Here] and “Nope Explained: Ending Explained” by Lucas Blue [Link Here] are worth the deep dive. 😊

But remember, “Nope” isn’t just a cryptic puzzle to solve. It’s a sharp commentary on the double-edged sword that fame is. Peele’s storytelling shines a spotlight on the chilling reality of how the entertainment industry can blindside you, while artfully exploiting tragedy for viewership. I mean, who said horror couldn’t make you reflect? It’s been living in my head rent-free since I’ve seen it.

Here’s the thing. I run an organization that’s about much more than profit. It’s about empowering students, celebrating educators, and, ultimately, making a difference.

In our social media-driven age, it’s easy to get swept up in the pursuit of virtual fame, where likes and shares define our worth. I’ve generally tried to fade into the background, but I find myself stepping into the spotlight more lately. The spark was when I applied for a crowdsourced loan, and they asked about any press or awards we’d received. I had some stuff, thankfully, from a few years ago, but definitely nothing after the pandemic. I realized that, in order to have social proof for my business, it was important to step out of the shadows every now and then.

My friend Knikole Taylor wrote about Shonda Rhimes’s Year of Yes in #EduSnap16. In those days, I was in an uncharacteristic bit of flow and already living this way. But since then, I’ve taken a major step back for dissertation life, publisher life, wife life, mommy life, and the list goes on and on. Since my wake-up call earlier this year, I’ve been intentional in embracing opportunities, throwing myself into work, and pursuing just about every crazy idea that crosses my mind. It’s started to pay off, but I’m still uncomfortable and awkward AF.

All that being said, “Nope” serves as a stark reminder that the fame game can be a treacherous path. Fame, while seductive, can bring about unforeseen complications. The monster Jean Jacket in “Nope” is a symbolic representation of fame’s monstrous side that haunts and ensnares.

Photo by Daniel Herron on Unsplash

Every now and then, when I’m on Twitter, the topic of “educelebrities” comes up. This topic is sure to stir up controversy, but lately, it’s seemed to turn into a slur. (Someone called me an educelebrity once, and I was almost ready to fight, although they didn’t mean it negatively.) One connotation is that many of these individuals are the equivalent of snake-oil salespeople, who are promoting themselves and their brand at the expense and detriment of the field.

I grapple with this term. I don’t want to be an educelebrity, especially not in that way. I just want to do the work, meet cool people along the way, and make a positive change together. Do I want to be respected? Yes. Do I want my organization to have a massive impact? Absolutely. Does this mean that I need to put myself out there? Ummmm…yeah 🤦🏾‍♀️. But I’m sure there’s a balance somehow, and I’m determined to find it.

As you can see, watching “Nope” stirred up some thoughts. As I’m navigating my own journey, the movie served as a gentle reminder to stay grounded. While I’m all for embracing change, reaching out for new opportunities, and even stepping into the limelight from time to time, it’s important to stay true to oneself and not get lost in the dazzle of the stage lights.

P.S. Remember, life’s a journey, not a race. So buckle up, enjoy the ride, and don’t be afraid to take the scenic route once in a while. You might just discover something amazing! 🚗🌅



Sarah Thomas, PhD

Educator/Regional Tech Coordinator. Passionate about using social media to connect w/ educators around the world. We all have a story. What's yours? #EduMatch