Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Face The Facts

Over the years, I've noticed people really like to hear that they resemble celebrities. When I was a kid in the 70's, telling a girl that she looked just like Farrah Fawcett-Majors was a sure-fire way to evoke a proud smile - maybe even a kiss.

There are now celebrity look-a-like TV shows cropping up all over. Why somebody would want to announce to the world that they look like Willie Nelson or Keith Richards is beyond me, but I figure it's probably the only reward they'll ever receive for years of hard drinking and chain smoking. Let 'em live it up.

The simple fact is when someone says you remind them of somebody famous, you never forget it. In my case, the opinion of the multitudes (okay, like four people in 12 years, but still a measurable number) seems to be that I resemble the star of the now-in-its-fifth-season-hit-TV-series '24', Kiefer Sutherland.

Being a humble guy, I haven't really bought into this.

(Okay, before you point out how un-humble it is to say that you're humble, don't forget Moses' own words in the book of Numbers:

"Now the man Moses was very humble, more than any man who was on the face of the earth." - Numbers 12:3

Now, back to my own humility...)

On a good self-esteem day, I can look in the mirror and think, "Okay, I probably won't sicken anyone." But most often, the reflection staring back at me can only be described as being reminiscent of Danny Partridge... but without the fame, fortune, or my own reality-TV show.

But - as doubtful as the mixture of humility and reality causes me to be - it is a nice little pick-me-up when somebody says, "Hey, I think you look sort of like that guy who some people think is sort of good looking."

Imagine my excitement the other day when I read that facial recognition software had become mainstream and was now available on the internet!

To be frank, I really could care less that they're banking on its ability to identify terrorists in airports. For that matter, I have no interest in the fact that they're using it to demonstrate genetic similarity among family members.

No, my excitement had to do with vindication. The very idea that I could have an independent judge... An unbiased computer which would use complex algorithms to prove to me scientifically that the quartet of speculators from the last dozen years had been correct! That this prime-time star and I might in fact be so alike in appearance that I might be mistaken for him while traversing a major airport or shopping in an affluent city's mall!

Surfing over to, my excitement was somewhat quenched when I discovered one must create an account. Although it's free, I always resent having to give corporations my e-mail address.

But the drive to discover was greater than my disdain for such things, and so I pressed on. I uploaded a recent photograph of myself, and waited several seconds for the scanning process.

Incredibly, the software quickly analyzed the 2,400 celebrities in their database, and found ten matches, listed in order of similarity!

First on the list was Kevin Bacon.

Hmm. While it was admittedly a strange coincidence (considering my recent blog entry regarding the six degrees of separation), I think that Kevin Bacon looks more like a cross between George Thorogood and Jim Carrey than me.

I believe that more people have compared me to actual bacon than Kevin Bacon.

But certainly, I thought, Keifer would be the number two match.

He was not.

I tried to comfort myself with the thought that maybe he wasn't in the database at all. (This was theory was later proven wrong by entering a photo of Mr. Sutherland, and discovering that he looks 48% like himself.)

I had undertaken this task in hopes of redemption, or at least a little self-esteem boost. But clicking through the list in descending order demonstrated that not only was Keifer not in the running, but the software had determined I had a 44% similarity to liberal filmmaker Michael Moore. I was not boosted a bit.

The only lift I got from the whole experience was the thought that the facial recognition software might be faulty. There was a slight hint at this in the results. Number four on the list, with a 49% similarity to me was the following:

Yes, that's right... Olympic Gold medalist Wilma Randolph. People at the gym are ALWAYS telling me how much I look like her!

By the way, if you want to try this for yourself, here's the link. Feel free to let me know two things: 1) What celebrity you think you most resemble, and 2) What the computer decided.


At 4:26 PM, Blogger Shaun Sells said...

ok Ron, you are redeemed. I did mine and found George Clooney, Mel Brooks, Ariel Sharon, and here is the kicker... Bill Gates!

At 8:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the link ROn, I liked it as my wife was noted as Jennifer Aniston and Charise Theron, but I ended up as William Shatner - oh, well :)
Gordon K

At 9:44 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Make that two for Bill Gates. I wasn't too impressed with my results - I just got a bunch of people who had glasses similar to mine (Buddy Holly style). That shouldn't count!

But I'm proud to say a computer thinks I look like one of my heroes: Peter Sellers!

At 10:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Funny you ask. I was told one time that I looked like you. I have also been compared to Kiefer as well as Mark McGwire, how about you? I ran my picture and was also pared with Mike Moore. Lucky me!

At 10:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

In the last three years, I've been told by three different people (one a new accquaintance, one a family member and one a total stranger) that I look like Jennifer Garner (ALIAS).
You can imagine my surprise when the facial recognition software said I had most in common with Gene Kelly. Hmmm.
I tried a different photo in an effort to redeem myself. This time it was better (but completely ridiculous). I had most in common with Scarlett Johansson (sp).
After running everyone in my family, I became convinced that this software is flawed, at best.
One point in its favor... I ran a picture of my friend's Shitzu, and it found no matches.

At 11:21 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I seriously think that you look like Kiefer Sutherland. I have always thought so.

At 2:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Since the mid-80's til today I've been told I look like Princess Sarah Ferguson (a.k.a. Fergie).

In the 90's when I wore suits, London Fog trench coat, & sported a short-bob haircut I got Gillian Anderson (Scully on X-Files).

Recently and very often, I get Julianne Moore. Of the three women mentioned, I believe I most resemble Fergie.

The database celebrity face finder said I look like Sharon Tate. Hmmm. Weird! Fun, but weird. Thanks for posting this.

At 11:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Remember all those years that you told me I was adopted? (I know, you were just following the preferred sibling torture techniques.) Well, this software proves once and for all that we're blood related. Since I agree that you do indeed look like Wilma Randolph, I think there might be something someone isn't telling us. Because I apparently look 54% like Janet Jackson!

Your REAL sister,

At 5:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well...if you put your picture back on there (I copied and pasted) can zoom in on your face a little and you look 42% like Pierce Brosnan. That's the good part. But you never told us that they matched you up with John Edwards! Ha Ha!!!

PS. I would've kept that a secret too!!! But saying that you look like Viggo Mortensen is a compliment I think.


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