“My” celebrity collage…

by Yule Heibel on August 30, 2006

Lately, in every photo, I look like …well, some sort of really tired person, which hasn’t done a heck of a lot to make me feel better (or less tired). It’s this blasted thing called middle age, I guess, and I’m beginning to gather that all the droning hype that you’re not getting older, you’re getting better is just that: hype, designed to effect a mass-hypnosis of us baby-boomers. Like this:

Repeat after me: you are sleepy, and your eyes are getting heavier, and you will believe every single bit of drivel I will tell you. You will not notice that your face is falling to the floor, having abandoned itself utterly and completely to gravity. You will be an airhead, so that the vacuum created in the space between your ears has the effect of sucking all that sagging flesh back onto what remains of your cheekbones, proboscis, and skull…

Gee, is that too harsh? Bwahaha, but there’s always Web 2.0 revenge, isn’t there? For example, check out My Heritage, a seemingly cool and useful site designed for genealogy buffs. They offer a fun option where you upload a photo, run it through a face recognition program, and have it come up with a “celebrity collage” of supposed matches. I say “supposed,” because I sure as heck can’t believe who I’m supposed to resemble. (See below.) My husband got Al Pacino and Ehud Olmert as matches. The program refused to recognise my daughter’s face, but my son’s photo matched with male pin-up types I’ve never heard of, and with Raquel Welch. Hey ho.

So here’s my collage… followed by one based on a different photo of yours truly. It just keeps getting better, don’t it? Ah, the hypnosis is kicking in, I feel all warm and fuzzy already… Oh, but wait: I have to add a third collage, undoubtedly the best of the lot. This time I get a 72% match with …Bing Crosby!! Wheee! Wheee? What am I thinking??


maria August 31, 2006 at 3:38 pm

wow… quite a collage and what company! But Bing Cosby? As Seinfeld would have said, “what’s up with that?”

When I come back from my Yoga retreat, I’ll give this a try too.

Rob Randall August 31, 2006 at 4:15 pm

It would appear the rather crude algorithm puts more weight to the direction your face is pointing. I suspect if you merely reversed your image you’d get a completely different set of “celebrities”. And the pool of potential matches is rather shallow. I think it would be more interesting to add things like old daguerrotypes of condemned inmates to the mix.

Bing Crosby?!

You should try again with your glasses on.

yulelog August 31, 2006 at 4:33 pm

With my glasses on?? Surely you’re joking, Rob, or is it the case that you want to see me matched to Groucho Marx? (Or Dame Edna…?) You’re absolutely right about the direction/ face tilt. In a slightly older/ earlier photo, I got matched to Sharon Stone and Simone de Beauvoir, if you can fathom that… Yikes.

Maria, please do try it — let me know what it turns up, too! Hint for users: you do have to register on the site (free and painless, but god knows what happens to your pictures, which get archived… ack!), and when you click on “celebrity collage,” make sure you re-click on that again before starting or uploading a photo, otherwise you just get the “face recognition demo.”

Well, can’t sit here and chat all day: I must get back to pumping the air out of my head to keep that vacuum going…

yulelog August 31, 2006 at 4:43 pm

PS: Re including old daguerrotypes and portraits of inmates — I just had a great idea. How about Theodore Gericault’s Portraits of the Insane?

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