Sunday, November 25, 2007
I remember the first time someone told me I look like a celebrity. I was 18. Either I didn’t start looking like anyone until I reached adulthood, or people just started feeling comfortable confronting me about it around that time. Whatever the reason, it was my freshman year of college and I was at church. I had sort of noticed a girl staring at me during sacrament meeting. She kept stealing glances at me and then whispering to her pewmate. I thought maybe she knew me from somewhere. Or maybe my skirt had been tucked into the back of my tights when I walked by her to find my seat. It was unnerving. I tried not to let it bother me… until she made a beeline for me after the benediction. Was she going to try to recruit me for her sorority? Was she going to suggest sheer-to-the-waist hosiery?
Her: Okay. I know this is weird, but I just have to tell you. You look EXACTLY like the Sweet Valley High Twins. Do you get that all the time?
Me: No, I’ve never heard that. I don’t know what they look like.
Her: They look like you. (Duh.)
When I made it to the computer lab and looked the Twins up on the internet, I was perplexed. I didn’t see it. They looked tan and glamorous and perfectly coifed. I don’t recall exactly what I was wearing that Sunday in 1996, but I’d be willing to bet I found it in the men’s section of Miller’s Outpost. I didn’t even own a tube of mascara or a straightening iron. The word “bronzer” had never crossed my lips. I don’t know what that girl saw in me to trigger the comparison, but over the last eleven years, I’ve certainly heard worse. Or better, depending on how you look at it.
I’m ashamed to admit how excited I get when someone tells me I look like Angie Harmon. Or Courteney Cox. Or any other number of relatively attractive celebrities. When I was buying my first car, the salesman first insisted I looked like Angelina Jolie… and then he switched to Natalie Portman. I don’t know if you’re familiar with these people, but I’m pretty sure two Caucasian women could not look more different. I’m willing to accept he was just interested in my money. And whatever. It worked. I bought a car.
On the other hand, words can’t express how completely destroyed I was when someone told me I resembled Rosie O’Donnell. I wanted to choke her with a Koosh Ball… but I didn’t. I just went home and bawled my fat lesbian eyes out.
I’ve had a particularly comparison-heavy couple of months. I moved to a new city, started a new job, met a bunch of new people and have frequented new establishments. Last week, a cashier at the Soup Kitchen told me I look like Sophia Bush. My coworker told me I look like Nelly Furtado. So I started thinking about those computer-generated images… you know the ones that show what your love child with Brad Pitt (or Apolo Anton Ohno) would look like? I wondered what my composite celebrity portrait would look like.
So I made one. I’ve gotta say… I’m simultaneously disturbed and impressed. Sometimes I think it kind of looks like me. Other times I think it looks like a computer-generated police sketch. I’m interested to know what you think… and if you can guess who the parts belong to. Go easy on me. My heart can’t take another Rosie.