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What does my celebrity Facebook look-a-like say about me?
According to Facebook profile pictures, I’m now friends with David Boreanaz, Kerri Russell, and a pre-nose job Ashlee Simpson, because finding a celebrity who looks like you and posting it as your profile picture is the New Thing on the social networking site. For some reason. Probably because people are bored at work. Or at home. Or just with life in general.
I refused to play along for a while, convincing myself that Facebook is for a photo of you, not a confusing picture of a celebrity in your place. I see enough celebrities during my daily internet perusal – I don’t need them smiling at me, secretly trying to steal my identity while I’m messaging my friends. I can represent myself, thanks. But part of my reluctance to join in has also been because I know that the celebrity I most resemble isn’t a cool one. In fact, he’s barely a celebrity at all. He’s this guy:
As you can see, his name is Ryan Malcolm. He’s a singer – the image above is of his latest CD. He’s also the very first winner of Canadian Idol, a spin-off of the Pop Idol/American Idol franchise. But unlike say, Kelly Clarkson or Will Young, Ryan Malcolm quickly vanished from the music scene and is, unfortunately for him, slightly relegated to the annals of Canadian pop culture trivia.
But what should that matter? Well, it doesn’t, really. The more I thought of it, the more I was convinced to replace my photo – if for no other reason than nostalgia. But a more interesting question still stands: why do it at all? It’s not a new phenomenon on the site – for a long time a popular application required you to upload a photo of yourself so that the program could generate a list of celebs that you most resembled. It often had inaccurate results, but the motivation was similar to this newest craze.
And while I realize that it’s mostly just a bit of fun, and the photos people have posted reflect that (the “Ashlee Simpson” on my list, for instance, is a guy), deep down, our attachment to celebrities is stronger than we probably realize, obviously. But at least they exist for most of us in a separate part of our lives, relegated to TV or magazines. That this extends often to a secluded, somewhat personal, aspect of our online lives is slightly annoying, if predictable. But replacing your own picture with that of a celeb is sort of like adding a celebrity head shot to a personal photo album. It’s just kind of weird.
So, I’ll be Ryan Malcolm for a day, or rather he’ll be me. But that’s enough.