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Miss Manners: People keep telling me I look like an unattractive actor

Dear Miss Manners: I would like to point out something that happens quite frequently to me, and to other people I have seen, with hurtful results.

I was often told by family members and acquaintances that I bore a striking resemblance to a famous actor. Unfortunately, this is an actor who is not known for being handsome, but rather odd-looking and decidedly unattractive. No one ever stopped to think that this was boorish and thoughtless. Eventually, I drastically changed my hairstyle and grew facial hair in an attempt to change my appearance.

Now, the remarks I get from total strangers — most recently waitstaff at an upscale eatery — are that I bear a striking resemblance to another very famous film personality . . . again, someone known for being odd-looking and unattractive.

In the past, I have only mentioned to people that they bore a resemblance to a famous person when the celebrity in question was generally acknowledged as physically attractive — and also that the person I was complimenting needed a self-esteem boost. I would never tell anyone that they resembled someone who was widely known for their lack of physical attributes.

When it (still) happens, I just laugh and say, “Yes, that’s not the first time I’ve heard that,” but I don’t feel like laughing. How can the hurtfulness of such a social indiscretion not be obvious to the maker?

Ever heard the phrase, “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder”?

Your friends may find the actors you resemble to be handsome — and the celebrities to whom you have compared other friends, maybe not so much.

How about, instead, we all stop making comparisons and commenting on people’s looks altogether? It only gets one in trouble. Unless someone would like to assert that Miss Manners resembles Olympe de Gouges. In which case, she graciously accepts the compliment.

Go look it up.

Dear Miss Manners: I have a colleague who continues to forget my name and who I am, especially when we are in a large group situation. At a conference, he will say to me, “I don’t think we’ve met; who are you?” — even though we’ve met several times before.

Not wanting to be rude, I respond, “I’m sorry, my name is …” to his smug face. Other colleagues have warned me that he uses this ploy on them, as well, for his self-amusement and to appear superior. It’s as if to say, “You didn’t leave much of an impression on me the last time we met.”

I know Miss Manners disapproves of responding to rudeness with rudeness, but does she have any suggestion on how to handle this situation?

Since he clearly enjoys amusement, Miss Manners suggests that you indulge him: “Oh Kevin, you trickster. It’s me, Pradeep. The one whose office is right next to yours?” Then add, to the others nearby, “I just hope he doesn’t pull that with our clients, or we’ll all be in trouble!”

New Miss Manners columns are posted Monday through Saturday on You can send questions to Miss Manners at her website, You can also follow her @RealMissManners.

©2022, by Judith Martin