Attention: doppelgänger week is over.
So here’s to the end of seeing a greasy, rippling Zac Efron, three ecstatic, giggling Anne Hathaways, and a dunk-faced Trevor Ariza cluttering your Facebook news feed.
For those that have lived underneath a technologically primitive rock for the past fortnight, doppelgänger week is a hot Internet movement encouraging others to post a celebrity look-alike as their profile picture.
“Oh my god! One time, when I was drunk outside a club, someone TOTALLY told me I looked like Rachel McAdams!”
Key word: drunk.
One can only wonder how such a movement started: a caffeine-deprived intern at Google images plotting a boost in site hits hoping that his revolutionary new-media idea gets him a permanent job. Perhaps it was a socially awkward Germanophile scheming in a sticky basement to make “doppelgänger” a buzz word on the interwebs.
Isn’t seeing your doppelgänger a bad thing?
According to Wikipedia and superstitious grandmothers everywhere, seeing one’s look-a-like is a harbinger of death.
The most unnerving part of this whole trend, however, is its promotion of self-delusion. People already labor over which pictures to set as their profile default; after all, it’s this one image that completely and totally defines the Facebook user, social status and personal mission in life. Facebook standards include the daredevil-skydiving shot, the studying-abroad-in-Europe snapshot, the here’s-me-playing-my-sport, dancing on stage, singing in a musical and the time-treasured drinking-out–of-red-cups picture. They are perfect, pretentious moments of the image each individual wants to project.
Crafting a perfectly calculated image of oneself shouldn’t involve strangers. There’s already a sense of fakery around your present profile pictures: No one posts profile pictures of herself without makeup, or showing their gut.
You, in your profile picture, don’t look like you do in class with unwashed hair and sweatpants.
You probably look more like a Hapsburg than Pierce Brosnan.
The veneration of celebrity — no matter how dumb or evil the persona — has infected us so deeply as a society that we are willing to embrace a famous person’s face and personality as our own. It just seems like the modern equivalent of eating the corpses of our enemies to absorb their characteristics.
Will this phenomenon happen again? There’s no way of telling in the wake of the trend. It’s safe to say that the week has nothing on other week-long events, like Discovery Channel’s Shark Week. Although, if someone threw in some shark cage, chum-covered elements to their copyright-violating pictures, it would make things far more interesting.
Say goodbye, folks: Part ways with that glittering, smiling shot and prepare yourselves for, well, yourself. One can’t live every week like it’s doppelgänger week.
One can only hope that its mass trend of claiming another’s face as your own won’t inspire hundreds of major and minor celebrities to sue hapless Facebook users everywhere. Poor celebrities: Everyone wants their bodies. Literally.
A pouty Jessica Alba simply can’t testify at 800 different civil cases to reclaim her identity.
Well, she could hire some look-alikes to do it for her.
Clare Sayas is a junior majoring in public relations.