A person says to you, “You look just like…” or “Do you know you look just like…” and you give a small smile and say, “Yes, I have been told that before,” or “Really?” or “I’ve never been told that.”
I am convinced that telling someone he or she looks like someone else—usually someone famous—while not an outright insult is definitely not a compliment.
I knew a guy who thought I looked like Regis Philbin. Okay, first time he said that (which was the first time we met in 1990 in Las Vegas) I gave the traditional reply, “I’ve never been told that.”
He was unrelenting. At blackjack tables he’d ask other players, dealers, pit crew, “Hey, doesn’t he look just like Regis Philbin?” There were a variety of answers from such people. But my wife, the Beautiful AP insisted, “No, he doesn’t. He looks like himself.” (Now that is a good wife!)
You know who he looked like? A less-handsome Robert Redford. But I never told him this. I allowed him to be his own less-handsome self.
Even though Regis Philbin and Robert Redford were good-looking men in their prime, here is what is “bad” about saying such things: the person is always put in second place. “You look just like…” The primary person in the look-alike comparison is the star to whom you are being compared. Who wants to come in second—or in this case, last?
I was just at a restaurant in Cape May, New Jersey and the waiter looked just like a young Arnold Schwarzenegger. I didn’t tell him that because in the comparison, Schwarzenegger is top dog; the waiter isn’t. The waiter looks like him. Schwarzenegger doesn’t look like the waiter. No one would say, “Arnold Schwarzenegger looks just like you!” In fact, if you met Arnold you wouldn’t say, “You look just like this waiter in Cape May, New Jersey.”
So that person whom you are so eager to say looks just like someone else should be spared the comparison. That person, as my wife says, only looks just like himself.
Are there people who look just like other people? Hell, yeah. Should you tell them this? Hell, no!
There may even be times when someone looks like a non-celebrity that you know. Should you tell this to him or her? Again, no.
Keep in mind, all look people like themselves…even if they don’t.
Frank Scoblete’s latest books are I Am a Dice Controller: Inside the World of Advantage-Play Craps, Confessions of a Wayward Catholic and I Am a Card Counter: Inside the World of Advantage-Play Blackjack. Available from Amazon.com, Kindle, Barnes and Noble, and at bookstores.