Social Question

mattbrowne's avatar

Why do people spend time on finding their Facebook look alike celebrity?

Asked by mattbrowne (31588points) February 7th, 2010

There are a number of Celebrity Look Alike Generator applications available on the web to help you select your Celebrity look alike photo for Facebook look alike week or Doppleganger Week on Facebook as it is also known. See

Here’s another post about the phenomenon. A user wrote: “The origin of this trend is unclear, but expect to see it for a while. If you are wondering (like me) which celebrity you resemble (or wish to resemble!), then I would let you know about a cool web tool to help you find that. Head over to MyHeritage and through their fancy-schmancy advanced face recognition technology, you can upload a picture of yourself and get a set of celebrities that you bear resemblance to.

A quick note to warn you – the results are sometime amazing to something outright ridiculous. Anyway it is meant to be for fun only! So, make sure you filter out the insulting matches and choose only the worthy/decent ones if you decide to pitch in for Facebook Doppeganger Week! As for me, it was a disaster, so I am out of it.”

What do you think about this idea? Has it got the potential to further spread celebrity worship syndrome which is an obsessive-addictive disorder in which a person becomes overly involved with the details of a celebrity’s personal life?

From Wikipedia: Evidence indicates that celebrity worship is correlated with poor mental health.

Psychologists have indicated that though many people obsess over glamorous film, television, sport and pop stars, others have unlikely icons such as politicians or authors. The only common factor between them is that they are all figures in the public eye.

The intense-personal aspect of celebrity worship reflects intensive and compulsive feelings about the celebrity, akin to the obsessional tendencies of fans often referred to in the literature; for example “I share with my favorite celebrity a special bond that cannot be described in words” and “When something bad happens to my favorite celebrity I feel like it happened to me’”. This dimension is typified by uncontrollable behaviors and fantasies regarding scenarios involving their celebrities, such as “I have frequent thoughts about my favorite celebrity, even when I don’t want to” and “my favorite celebrity would immediately come to my rescue if I needed help”.

Any thoughts?

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13 Answers

ucme's avatar

Probably can be viewed as harmless fun. However I take your point on celebrity obsessed individuals who tend to take their adulation to the extreme. That is unhealthy shallow nonsense.

eponymoushipster's avatar

same reason people read books by smug authors: it’s a diversion.

holiwi's avatar

Vanity & boredom.

marinelife's avatar

Why do people spend time on any Facebook app? I find them really annoying cluttering up my thread with news of Farmville and smiles and surveys.

Trillian's avatar

@mattbrowne I do not subscribe to celebrity worship. It amazes me that people watch other people standing around with microphones and cameras waiting to speak with people on their way in to some stupid event. It amazes me still further that people will watch a group of other people who sit around picking apart and discussing what “celebrities” are wearing. This obsession with lists stuns me. As in:“Hollywood’s top fifty sexiest/hottest men/women/donkeys….” whatever.
The concept that actors, musicians, sports players or whatever are somehow more interesting or better than I am is ludicrous. I’m not the least bit interested in how many babies someone adopts, where they ate last night, or if they are going to divorce next week. Actors and people of that ilk are the entertainment. I pay them to make me laugh, or cry, or pound the crap out of each other on the football field. They are the hired help. One does not fuck the help. One certainly does not idolize the help.
I cannot explain this stupid desire to “look” like any celebrity, except to conclude once again that most of the American public lacks the capacity for critical thought.

mattbrowne's avatar

Okay, before I reply to your comments, here’s my own opinion. In most cases it’s probably harmless fun, especially for teenagers. Puberty is a time of searching and creating a healthy distance from your parents, becoming more and more independent. Which other adults impress teenagers? Well, when I was 14 I was impressed by soccer heroes and pop celebrities. When I turned 16 I knew for sure I would not pursue a career in sports or pop music. Eventually most teenagers find their own strengths and choose different paths of personal growth. If not, celebrity worship might become a problem. A 25-year-old adult who is still overly fascinated by media hype kind of celebrities is alarming. Unfortunately, there are more and more people lured into this slippery slope. Even people who are a lot older. The media make a lot of money with it.

There’s nothing wrong of course with 45-year-old folks trying out Celebrity Look Alike Generators, just for fun. It might be interesting to check out the quality of the pattern matching software.

FiRE_MaN's avatar

they are bored haha

mattbrowne's avatar

@Trillian – Thanks for your thoughtful answer. The real problem is ‘worship’. There’s nothing wrong with admiration of valuable achievements based on hard work and perseverance. Tom Hanks performance in Forrest Gump was brilliant. Same for Dustin Hoffman in Rainman or Julia Roberts in Erin Brockovich. But we should also admire brilliant scientists or inventors.

You absolutely right that we should not waste our time reading mind-numbing stories about their private lives or fashion tastes. I think celebrity worship syndrome is a serious problem and it’s getting worse. We should try to find the causes and develop strategies to deal with the phenomenon.

laureth's avatar

Now, if someone were to “worship” a celebrity (and it doesn’t have to be literal – just spend a lot of their time following, admiring, obsessed with, etc.) that might be a sign of something unbalanced and you’d be on to something.

However, I don’t think this is that. This is just some dumb theme going around Facebook that will last for a while and then give way to the next big thing, probably “find a picture of who you were in a past life” or “what animal are you”. Did you know that before the “what celebrity do you look like” theme, it was “retro week” where you were supposed to put up an old, out of date picture of yourself? That was given just as much energy and time as this week’s “celebrity” thing.

So why do they do it? To fit in. To go with the crowd. To engage in the culture, such as it is. Because there’s nothing better they see to do? Boredom.

hungryhungryhortence's avatar

I haven’t heard of this and I do check my facebook at least once a week, hmmn. It sounds fun to see what a computer program can find and contrast that with what we come up with in our minds. I’ll probably be heartbroken to find out I look nothing like Elizabeth Taylor, right.

Sophief's avatar

Because they have nothing better to do and they are bored.

mattbrowne's avatar

@laureth – My guess would be that only a minority of people is affected by celebrity worship syndrome. Not sure whether there any social studies on the subject.

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