DEAR MISS MANNERS: On a frequent basis, I’m told I look like a former television personality who got caught up on the wrong side of the #MeToo movement. This person is considered attractive by many, so I should be flattered. However, this person is several years older than I am, so it doesn’t necessarily make me feel great.
I realize people are trying to compliment me, but I really prefer not to hear I look like this person -- or any person, for that matter. Is there a tactful way to respond to someone when it happens next?
GENTLE READER: Comparing someone’s looks to anyone else’s rarely goes as intended. Much like witty observations about another’s name, it tends to fall flat, cause insult or has been heard 38,346 times before.
To discourage it, Miss Manners suggests that you say something to the effect of, “Oh, no! I’m sure no one wants to be associated with that person right now.” Or, “Oh, dear! I suppose I will have to up my skincare game.” Realizing that the intended flattery has failed should make people less inclined to press on -- or try it again on others.