Sunday, October 14, 2012


Inspired by Painting With Brains' recent post on doppelgangers, I thought I would join in on the commentary and reflect on a few personal look-alikes. I was especially inspired because this topic comes up a fair amount in my classroom.

Recently, a fifth grader found this picture in some magazine. He thought it looked so much like me that he cut it out and put it on the board, without permission mind you, but I thought it was funny, so I let him get away with it. And now every student ever has asked if it's me. Even though I tell them no, some really aren't so sure.

To add to their confusion, I keep this crazy cut-out of my face on hand:

During student teaching, when I taught my first lesson on self-portraits, I printed out that picture to illustrate how your eyes are actually right in the middle of your face. It was one of the best photos I had of myself to illustrate correct proportions, and that crazy smile was amusing. If they remembered nothing else, they'd remember Ms. Dudley's special smile... then sometime last year, when I was teaching a similar unit, I had my face on hand again. A student found it and displayed it on the board, and it lingered there long enough for students in all grades to start asking questions. Most commonly, "is that really you?" is asked, and students never quite believe my response no matter what I say. I usually tease them for a bit, telling them that it's my "evil twin" before telling them that yes, it's me, several years ago (2004) with short hair. But the quizzical looks and uncertainty usually continues. I now use the face to relay funny messages in speech bubbles, like "do your work!" or "I'm watching you!"

I AM watching you.

Also recently, another fifth grader said I looked like this Anthropologie model (can you tell we're doing a lot of collaging in fifth grade? and not always staying focused on careful looking? because we're looking at other, off-topic things?):

...but that guy doesn't look so much like Nate. 
For every positive comment / inadvertent compliment, there are the inadvertent insults, which I find tend to come up a lot during self-portrait demos. During student teaching I was told that my hair was grey, not to forget the dark circles under my eyes, etc. etc. Gotta love that honesty! I actually really love that innocence, though. I think they thought I looked like the above model because of my trademark red lipstick. Sometimes I get the "you're so beautiful!" and then I'll get, "Ms. Dudley, why are you wearing SO much lipstick?!?"


The thing I love about being compared to celebrities is... that it's not that likely that the comparison will be unfavorable. One thing that PWB noted was that celebrity comparisons come up more often when the doppelganger is having a surge of popularity. In high school, during Legally Blonde's heyday, I often got Reese Witherspoon. That comparison didn't resurface until I had a part-time gig as a ballroom dance studio receptionist during grad school. My boss looked an awful lot like Reese, and then people often thought we were sisters, so then once again I was Reese's look-alike.

In college, when Kill Bill was popular, I often got Uma comparisons. I actually think this (facial) comparison is more accurate than a Reese comparison.

And then during the past couple years, I've been told that I look like January (Kristen is her middle name... who knew?!) Jones, who played Betty Draper in Mad Men.

I'm super-flattered anytime someone compares me to these beautiful ladies.

The familial doppelganger is my maternal great-grandmother, Elsie Lily Bergman McGregor:

I just love her 1920s style here!

But growing up, my brother would never miss an opportunity to point out that I look(ed) like the chubby girl scout on the Trefoils box:

Note the girl standing behind the brownie, to the leftish. Yeah, childhood doppelganger.

And I was totally a girl scout.


  1. Thanks for the shout out! And if anyone ever told me that I looked even a tad like Uma Thurman, I'd marry them. Man, woman, I don't care. I'd marry them. I'm jealous of your looks.

    Also- gotta love the brutal honesty of the little ones!!

  2. I totally see the first one...she looks just like you! And Marielle did look a lot like Reese. Aren't you glad you're not really sisters?