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Last night, Erik and I went to River Gods for a nice dinner and to see Chris spin for his Tourfilter DJ night. We sat with some friends of his, one of whom was a pretty Brazilian woman. She and I made a little small talk and at one point she she said, "Has anyone ever told you that you look like Gwyneth Paltrow?"

I wonder why these statements so often start with "Has anyone ever told you that..." It's an interesting convention and I wonder how it got started.

This was, to my recollection, the first time that anyone has ever likened me to Ms. Paltrow, but I am often told by new acquaintances that I "look just like" someone else, usually someone they know personally, and only occasionally a celebrity. My theory is that all blondes look alike. Especially when the hair is long. There's just something about that shiny silky yellowness that impresses itself on a person's brain.

Generally, I don't like being compared to other people. It makes me feel a little, I don't know... oddly furious. I suppose I like to think of myself as incomparable. "No, I look nothing like your friend Mandy!! You are completely mistaken," I might be screaming behind my polite and only slightly disdainful smile.

I used to get Diane Keaton a lot when i was in college, because of her characters in Manhattan and Annie Hall. That's less of a blonde thing than a small-town gal in the big city stereotype.

When I was in High School I was often told that I was a perfect double for Lauralee Bell, who played the character Christine aka "Cricket" on The Young and the Restless. Cricket was supposed to be a model, but I never thought she was really very pretty, so I bristled at the comparison. After hearing this from so many strangers at the mall (the woman at Great Cuts who trimmed my hair, the salesgirl at Claire's who sold me my bangles), I would watch The Young and the Restless and try harder to think Cricket was pretty, but all I really managed was to feel sort of irked.

My favorite celebrity look-alike and the only one that hasn't in some way annoyed me, is Gerda Wegener, which I got from Kai. She makes the exception to the rule, because I can identify with her and admire her. I think she's someone I would have liked to party with and I think she's hot. Something about the obscurity of her fame and her quirkiness make her a palatable doppelganger. I've used a picture of her as an avatar on online communities so much that I sometimes forget that it isn't actually a picture of me. I'm not even sure she was blonde, so she also has the merit of not falling into the all blondes look alike paradigm.

So, to illustrate this post, here are pictures of me at my most airbrushed and glamourous (my high school senior picture) and all the celebrities anyone has ever told me I look like, as best I can remember.

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