Recently, a number of sources have commented that some of the doppelganger photos I have posted on this blog are a bit of a stretch. I agree, and this lack of complete facial similarity can be attributed to a number of factors.
One is that some of the photos haven’t gone the mile in capturing how the given person typically looks. Another is that sometimes a person’s doppelganger-ness is less based on visual proximity than it is on their having an essence about them that evokes thoughts of someone else. Take my dog Mamie and Tom Arnold as an example. Mamie doesn’t look much like Tom Arnold, but when you spend time with her, you can’t help but think of Stanley Stupid.
A third explanation is that the Andean altitude is affecting the visual recognition part of my brain, as my Uncle Chris suggests.
No matter. My Peruvian friends like the doppelganger game and have even begun playing it themselves. Some of them have even tried to assign me a doppelganger. A woman I met in Tacna said she thought I looked like Harrison Ford, which my godmother also said the day I was born and my cousin Jessica said sometime later. Circle of life!
More common, however, is hearing that I look like “El Nàufrago,” or “Cast Away.” I realize this is based entirely on the girth of my beard rather than any resemblance I have to Tom Hanks. Still, it is fun to think that I could have been the Turner that got to ride with Hooch.
A couple days ago, I shaved off this mammoth of a beard. Some of the other teachers at Fe y Alegria, the high school where I teach, are now saying I look like Justin Bieber, which I see as a huge step in the right direction. Nevertheless, I’m not going to post a picture of Bieber on this blog. As flattered as I am, I simply don’t Belieb we look alike.