flattered or insulted?

November 16, 2009

I recently met a woman who looked exactly like Kate Winslet. Rather than go to the banister, spread my arms and shout “I’m king of the world!” I just waited until late in the conversation and said “I’m sure you get this all the time, but you look exactly like Kate Winslet.”

Sure, that doesn’t exactly make me a great conversationalist, or even mean you’re interested right this second.

But here’s my point–at what point does telling someone they resemble someone famous stop being a compliment and start being simply interesting? And by interesting I probably mean insulting. You know. Like I probably wouldn’t tell you your baby looks like Telly Savalas.

On the other hand, yesterday in church I sat behind a family with a baby, probably ten months old, who looks EXACTLY  like Stewie, from the Family Guy. The resemblance was so striking I half expected this baby to start berating me with an English accent.

So, do I tell them “Hey–your baby is the spitting image of Stewie. You know, Stewie? From the Family Guy?”

I mean, if someone told me that my baby looked like Stewie, I’d think that was cool. But I’m not sure Kim would think it was cool.

But it IS cool. Isn’t it?


28 Responses to “flattered or insulted?”

  1. bikemike Says:

    i tell most people with babies that their little ones look like hairless monkeys that fell from a tree and so i’m probably not the one to ask.

    i’m thinking if the one you saw looked like Stewie then those people should consider themselves lucky i wasn’t around.

    you’re just too nice…hmmm, maybe i should try that.

  2. VA Biker Says:

    So, how did the would-be Winslet doppelgänger take your comment?

    • dug Says:

      she just smiled and said “yes, i do get that a lot.”

      would it be possible to get offended by that comparison? i mean, assuming you’re not a supermodel already?

      • VA Biker Says:

        No, I don’t think it would be possible for a woman to be offended by the comparison, but I’ve heard a woman state that she didn’t care for the way Winslet looks. Maybe it was envy? I personally think she looks great.

      • Michele Says:

        But did she look like the skinny Kate Winslet or the WOMAN she is Kate Winslet? You might want to take that into consideration.

        I was told I look like Winona Ryder one day – And no I was no at the store.

  3. mark Says:

    I wouldn’t be flattered by comparisons with Winslet, Savalas, or Stewie.

  4. Anonymous Says:

    It’s definitely cool

  5. linfin Says:

    It’s best to be nice, because otherwise an uncool mom with no sense of humor might rip your face off or something. They are so darn sensitive about their babies.

  6. Eric Says:

    It’s not cool to them.

    • dug Says:

      to them? them being the parents of the stewie baby? how do you know? what i know is, if my baby looked like stewie, not only would i already know it, not only would i think it was cool, i would have family guy on season pass on tivo. with the hallowed “save until i delete” status.

  7. Turt99 Says:

    I am a father of twin boys. They are not identical but since they are twins, which means they are brothers, they SURPRIZINGLY look very similar. It is NOT cool to me when someone points this out. It does not help a conversation.

    Yes they are twins, No they are not Identical, Yes they do look a like, Ha Ha Double Trouble *ORIGINAL*!

    Remember this is your first incounter and its something that is new to you. The other party is probably aware of the situation.

  8. Minette Says:

    People are constantly telling me that I resemble Meryl Streep. It doesn’t matter if they follow it up with, “Deer Hunter Meryl!” or “French Lieutenant’s Woman Meryl!”…it stopped being a good thing right around Sophie’s Choice.

  9. mtb w Says:

    Occasionally I get told I look like Christian Slater or Kevin Bacon (although as they get older, I get it less and less – I guess I look more like they did in their movies 5-10 years ago and while they were much more popular). I used to take it as a compliment since it only came from women. I guess whether its a compliment depends on who you are being compared to and the manner the compliment is made. But the Stewie comparison – who wouldn’t be pleased? That is just awesome! (as long as it was made to a baby and not some 40 year old bald guy!)

  10. Geoff Says:

    I get told I look like Vincent D’Onofrio on a fairly regular basis. I’m not sure how I feel about it. It is often followed up with, “But not the Full Metal Jacket version of D’Onofrio — the Law & Order version!”

  11. stevebpt Says:

    Stewie look a like is not a compliment. He may sound cool but he is decidedly ugly and certainly rude!

  12. evilreview Says:

    i go out of my way to increase my stanley tucci lookalike status.

  13. JB Says:

    To look like Savalas, Kojak=cool.
    savalas, Maggott= creepy

  14. Nate Kingdon Says:

    I saw the same baby. Thought he looked like someone but I couldnt pin it. As soon as I read Stewie, I literally laughed out loud and called my wife! That would have been funny if he berated you.

  15. Ventura Says:

    Thanks for not telling my infant daughter that she looks like Telly Savalas. That always makes her cry.

    I used to occasionally hear that I looked like Patrick Swayze, but I haven’t since he died.

    • dug Says:

      dang it, wracking my brain, WHO do i know that looks like patrick swayze? roadhouse swayze? dirty dancing swayze? or, um, late swayze.

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