Traditionally held during the first week of February, Doppelganger Week is a time when social media platform users choose to display profile photos of well-known celebrities, whom they believe that they resemble. This playful social medial “game” began in 2010, when a man, Bob Patel, invented it in response to teasing that he closely resembled Magnum P.I. star and movie actor, Tom Selleck.
During Doppelganger Week, all users of Facebook and other social networking websites (Twitter is another example) are encouraged to participate, in order to add a lighthearted spirit to their social networking interactions. However, Doppelganger Week has caused some legal issues, as posting profile photographs that depict other actual persons is believed to be a violation of Facebook’s service terms.
Facebook’s Terms of Service make it clear that you may not post content that infringes on another person’s rights or violates the law. Posting a photo of a celebrity Doppelganger may put you in this category. However, most celebrities are quite tolerant of Doppelganger Week, probably because it is quite harmless and provides celebrities who are chosen as Doppelgangers with free publicity and exposure. To date, no celebrity has filed a complaint with Facebook, in order to have their image removed during Doppelganger Week.
Despite worries that posting the photos of well-known personages is not appropriate, Doppelganger Week continues to rise in popularity.
Doppelganger Week Applications
Many website applications and mobile phone applications allow users to match their own profile photographs with those of Hollywood’s best and brightest. This type of facial recognition software factors in coloring, bone structure and facial contours, matching the non-famous with their celebrity lookalikes. In this manner, it takes mere seconds to find a doppelganger that may be used during Doppelganger Week.
While critics of Doppelganger Week criticize the inherent narcissism of those who compare themselves to the most beautiful or handsome celebrities (many “Megan Fox” and “Brad Pitt” lookalikes inevitably appear), such criticisms don’t really matter much to those who choose to participate in Doppelganger Week. Instead, they enjoy debating the similarities (or lack thereof) that may be found between them and famous people.
Doppelganger Week inspires plenty of social commentary, both positive and negative, and there is great likelihood that the popularity of this Internet “meme” will continue unabated in the future.
Doppelganger Week Schedules
In 2010, Doppelganger Week was held from January 31st to February 6. In 2011, the event ran from January 30th to February 5th. In 2012, Doppelganger Week happened from January 29th to February 1st. This year (2013), the event will begin on February 3rd and end on February 9th. In 2014, the event is scheduled to start on February 2nd and end on February 8th. In 2015, the proposed date of Doppelganger Week is February 1st to February 7th. For 2016, the event will run from January 31st to February 6th. In 2017, the event will start on January 29th and end on February 4th. In 2018, the Internet game will begin on February 4th and end on February 10th. In 2019, proposed dates are February 3rd to February 9th. The final scheduled year for Doppelganger Week is 2020, when the event will run from February 2nd to February 8th.
Doppelganger Week allows average people to embrace their inner celebrities. Since our culture prizes fame and beauty, it’s possible that Doppelganger Week fulfills a need. Psychologically, relating to celebrities allows some people to feel more important or worthy. After all, if they look like celebrities, then they may feel that they have the same desirability and charisma as those famous people that they look like.
In this manner, Doppelganger Week may give men, women and teens access to a quick jolt of self-esteem. While many resemblances posted during Doppelganger Week are questionable, or even laughable, it’s really all in good fun. Occasionally, there will be incredibly close matches.
In the future, facial recognition software may become even more sophisticated, allowing for even better matches. However, many who do resemble celebrities already know exactly who their closest matches are. People who look like stars typically receive a lot of comments or remarks which reinforce the similarities between their appearances and those of their lookalike stars. That’s why people who do look a lot like famous celebs know exactly whose photo to post during Doppelganger Week.