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The doppelganger dilemma

Amanda Priest

Significant contextual information: one of my biggest pet peeves is when someone tells me I look like another person. The awkward interaction of “Oh! You look just like my friend Diane from high school, you guys should totally meet!” is one that happens all too often. One, why would I want to meet someone from your high school; two, I highly doubt we have anything in common other than our socially dubbed ‘alternative lifestyle haircuts.’ More recently than ever, with the newly popular phenomena of doppelganger and ‘lesbians who look like Justin Bieber’ websites, this trend of informing your peers that they look like someone else has forced ones’ authentic self to fall by the wayside. I have gone through many hairstyles throughout the years, and I can honestly say I have never sat in a styling chair asking, “make me look  like Bieber.”

The theory of interconnectedness has given people the confidence to assume they are part of a larger community. The constant celebrity doppelganger Facebook posts are providing the masses with the idea that if they look like these celebrities, they can become these celebrities. This statement is irrevocably false. Just because you have the same basic bone structure as Kat Dennings does not mean you have the same talent.  I understand that your chestnut hair and busty physique gives you the attention you enjoy on a college campus, but in the real world you will be just another Danica McKellar (Don’t know who that is? That’s the point, but actually look her up, she was on “The Wonder Years”).

This piece was initially going to be about the lesbian community and the ways in which sociocultural gender binaries force ones authenticity to become nonexistent, but I can’t stop complaining about the Internet and celebrities. Telling me I look like Ellen Degeneres, or God forbid one more person utters the name Bieber in my presence, does nothing but make me believe that you are comparing my existence to others. I think the ambiguity of your compliment makes me doubt the sincerity of the statement. Really, lesbihonest, you’re providing me with an awkward social accolade by naming the only two lesbians you know: Justin Bieber and Ellen Degeneres. Personally, I would love to have the wit of Ellen and the paycheck of Justin, but I will never in my lifetime achieve that kind of success. I am perfectly okay with admitting that. I want to know that there is still substance in this world beyond comparison, and I need to know that the agency I have over my own body isn’t analogous to the hair or clothing style of another’s. To put it simply: I want my own identity.

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