Thursday, January 12, 2006

Not-So-Hot Celebrities and the Bloggers Who Look Like Them

Through Andrew Sullivan, I came across a program at MyHeritage.com that allows you to upload a photo of yourself to see which celebrities you most closely resemble. Having only a pretty goofy picture of myself on my computer (not many pictures of me aren’t goofy, but in this one I’m making a silly face on purpose), I went ahead and did it anyway. The results were, to put it lightly, dispiriting. Granted, the program is overly sensitive to things like accessories, and every single celebrity it came up with for me was wearing dark-rimmed glasses. So, it’s possible (in some cases definite, as you'll see) that I don’t resemble these people as much as I share their taste in eyewear. Just be prepared that, in general, the system is a bit zany. One blogger put in a picture of someone who was matched with George Clooney, Art Garfunkel, and Michael Jackson; no lie. With that caveat, here’s my list, in descending order of percentage of similarity.

1. Steven Soderbergh

I have to say that, especially given what follows, this is remarkably accurate. To my amateur eye, this is in fact close to what I might look like if I shaved my head entirely. Style of glasses: check. Fairly large nose: check. Pale complexion: check. That certain rakish twinkle in the eye: check. Even Soderbergh, at number one, only resembled me by about 70%, according to this technology, so there were no great matches, as further evidenced by...

2. Eddie Murphy

This was an awfully early moment at which to lose all faith in this project, but there I was. Needless to say, it would be fairly difficult for anyone to closely resemble both Steven Soderbergh and Eddie Murphy. And while race is not always a conclusive factor in determining whether you could be mistaken for someone, it's particularly salient in my case since I've often been described as "translucent." This match did make the rest of the process much less painful, though, because whenever a homely celebrity popped up on the ensuing list, I could console myself with the fact that MyHeritage’s database had clearly been assembled by a team of crack-addled dolphins.

3. Elvis Costello

Again, the glasses. Don’t get me wrong: Like Elvis, I’m not going to win any beauty contests, but for different reasons, thank the lord.

4. Wim Wenders

It was at this point that I became very wistful for a world in which the computer was matching brains and not faces.

5. Jeff Goldblum

Yes, we’re both a bit lanky and ungainly, but come on. Where are all the milky blond people on this thing? I mean, I’ll take Macaulay Culkin circa Home Alone 2 at this point. Have I just been around defective mirrors all my life?

6. Robin Gibb

Now I’ve shared too much.

7. Gary Oldman

This makes little sense, especially since, whatever else you can say about my visage, it doesn’t radiate the essence of pure evil.

8. Gustav Heinemann

A German politician of some sort.

9. Elton John

A gay balladeer of some sort.

10. Max Horkheimer

According to Wikipedia, Horkheimer was "a Jewish-German philosopher and sociologist, known especially as the founder and guiding thinker of the Frankfurt School of critical theory." Calm down, ladies.

(This was fun; not to mention humbling. I recommend it to everyone. You have to sign up at My Heritage, but that just entails the usual giving them your e-mail and creating a password.)

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3 Comments:

Anonymous jim hanas said...

Dude. You totally look like Horkheimer.

2:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I did this a while back, and the celebrity I most resemble is Amelie Nothomb. Since you (like me) probably don't know who that is, here's a link to the picture that I apparently resemble more than any other celebrity:

http://images-eu.amazon.com/images/P/2253150711.08.LZZZZZZZ.jpg

[I'll give you a moment to stop screaming in horror ... and yes, I'm aware that the book title translates to "Fear and Trembling"]

I can't remember all the celebrities I resemble, but 8 of the 10 were women, and they included Meryl Streep (70 year old version), Bette Davis (90 year old version), and Whitney Houston (post-crack binge). So apparently my face strongly resembles a very old woman's.

... Why, yes, I am still single. Why do you ask? ...

I believe I've psychologically blocked out all the other celebs, but if their identities creep through my mental traps, I'll post them because they're all horrific.

-- The Comish (sic)

5:34 AM  
Anonymous sherlock said...

Apparently i look like Quentin Tarrantino, Joaquin Phoenix and Roger Federer at the same time. Figure that one out.

5:05 AM  

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