This App Matches Your Face to a Museum Portrait and Your Results May Vary

It's hard to take seriously all the wailing and teeth-gnashing of the baby boomers when they lament that millennials are a generation doomed by selfies. That's partly because we see our old relatives posting their own terrible driver-seat selfies all the time, but also because self portraits have been a staple of artistic expression for centuries. And the Google Arts & Culture app is a good reminder of that.

So, here's the gimmick: you take a photo, and the app finds artwork with subjects that, in theory, match the face in it. Strangely, it's all at once ridiculous and addictive, but what's more important is that it's shareable.

There are some big takeaways here, like how, for example, you shouldn't peg your self-worth to how attractive your historical portrait doppelganger is. Because—the second big lesson—beauty standards change, different artistic aesthetics get re-prioritized, and a lot of these faces look goofy as hell when they're completely divorced from the rest of the painting. It's like how everyone in Renoir paintings looks like a particularly unsexy potato.

Not all users have been able to make the app function properly. It's primarily a resource for learning about art and museums, and many people on social media are reporting that they can't even access this selfie feature.

And it's also inspired more unfounded pearl-clutching about how this is a generation drowning in self-obsession.

Despite what haters would have you believe, there's no wrong way to enjoy art. Just don't take it personally if you get paired with a Hieronymus Bosch nightmare-scape.