Wait, Should I Be Angry?

Last week, I was laughing at Shawn being so annoyed… some of his perky young sophomore students, when leaving his classroom, saw me hanging around, waiting for him to finish up so I could give him back his tape machine.

These girls stopped and went, “Oooh!”
I said, “What?”
“You is handsome man!” they said. One of them expanded upon this: “You look is like the Justin Timberlake!” she said, and winked, giving me the thumbs-up.

Now, when I tell the story, I claim that I replied with a wicked tone, “And you look like Janet Jackson, baby, come on over here…” But of course, I didn’t say that. I’m not quite quick-witted enough to think of that on the spot, and to be frank I’d forgotten all about that silly scandal.

But today, I realized, I don’t know what this guy actually looks like. So I thought I’d have a look, and I image-googled his name. Now, guys, I am fairly certain that I’m looking younger and thinner since India, but I don’t think I look like this:


As a matter of fact, I am somewhat glad I don’t look like this punk kid. The thought crosses my mind whether I should be angry to be compared to this lad. I think he looks a mite ridiculous, to be honest, a bit to self-satisfied and probably obnoxious. Don’t you think?

For comparison, here’s a pic of me with an Indian groupie who loves Dabang Band.

indny006 277.jpg

(Okay, she’s not really a groupie. Just some married lady who asked her husband whether it was okay to have a pic shot with me, I suppose for the novelty value or something. I said it was okay as long as he took a pic on my camera as well. Nice young couple.)

Okay, in the final analysis, I won’t be angry at Shawn’s students. They’re nice kids. But I guess it’s just funny what people think of as a compliment…

4 thoughts on “Wait, Should I Be Angry?

  1. Ok, I have to confess some incredulity. If you didn’t already know the picture was of Justin Timberlake, and if he didn’t have the product-placement thing going on, would you really be offended? :-) Are you put off by his looks or by his looks in the context of the composition of the photo?

  2. Damn, Marvin, make life hard for me, then! Hahaha.

    Actually, it’s a good question, and I’d respond by saying that I think my reaction was more in response to a winde number of the pics that came up when I googled “Justin Timberlake” under the images search function. (I just posted the one that had less weird light effects and which had odious product-placement.) The kid seems a little too smug, a little too convinced of his coolness. It’s the personality (or version of it conveyed by the images I’ve seen) that irk me.

    I prefer cool people in their 30s, those who are certain people are cool because of themselves, potbelly or no. This kid, I don’t know… in a lot of his pictures he looks like he is not effortlessly himself. He seems to be trying hard. And perhaps I’m always a little susipcious of that, perhaps, I may even ask myself, I am suspicious of that in myself. Do those freshmen girls think I look like a rockstar because of my goatee? My leather jacket? If I wore a kurta and dress pants what would they say? “You look like Nehru!” (Not that this would be an insult…) I have to wonder, though, what it is that makes one “cool”.

    But it was a good question, and I had to think to answer it. Thanks for the prod.

  3. Ok, if we’re talking about Timberlake’s pop-cult persona, and not that picture itself, then your original post makes more sense. Looking at that particular photo, though, I couldn’t help thinking, “Jeez, what’s to complain about?” :-)

  4. Well, it’s not like I actually LOOK like him, you know. :) It’s the comparisons that irk me. Though it is a step up from being compared to Shrek…

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