I’m just going to say what we’re all thinking: wax figures of celebrities are kind of cooked. While I can appreciate the talent and workmanship that goes into creating those waxy little bastards, there’s something about those glass eyes that give me the heebie-jeebies. But something I love about the whole wax figure thing is the discourse when they don’t entirely resemble their muse. This week alone we’ve had two celebs whose wax figures feel a bit off.
First cab off the rank was rapper Lil Wayne who wasn’t too jazzed when he saw the wax model in his likeness from the Hollywood Wax Museum in Tennessee. A pic of his model from the museum went viral across social media on Monday for being well… not quite right.
While the tattoos seem pretty legit, there’s something off about his face.
When Lil Wayne caught wind of the figure, he agreed with the internet’s analysis writing, “Sorry wax museum but dat shit ain’t me! You tried tho [sic] and I appreciate the effort.”
The next celeb to cop a subpar wax figure was Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson. His glorified candle could be found in the Grévin Museum in Paris but there was one big issue – the figure seriously lacked melanin.
Dwayne came across the figure after radio personality James Andre Jefferson Jr. made a video roasting it. The Rock reshared it, adding in the caption that he was going to have his team reach out to the museum so his figure could cop a much-needed update.
“For the record, I’m going to have my team reach out to our friends at Grevin Museum, in Paris France so we can work at ‘updating’ my wax figure here with some important details and improvements- starting with my skin colour,” he wrote.
“And next time I’m in Paris, I’ll stop in and have a drink with myself.”
The good news is, according to Page Six, the Grévin Museum made the necessary changes.
“A week ago, we unveiled the Dwayne Johnson waxwork and we got a surprise when we put him under the lights,” said Yves Delhommeau, the museum’s managing director in an Instagram video.
“His skin tone seemed too pale. And suddenly we realized, we might have got it wrong.”
Bless up! While these figures weren’t the best wax models we’ve seen, Dwayne and Lil Wayne were definitely good sports about it and the museum handled the whole thing beautifully.
As for why wax figures can be perceived as creepy, I reckon it falls under the uncanny valley principle.
Uncanny valley is a term that applies to things like robots, wax figures and CGI characters that have almost perfect human likeness – but not quite. The term originated in the 1970s from a Japanese roboticist Masahiro Mori who believed that the uncanny valley was the creeped out, heebie-jeebies we get when we look at something that resembles something almost human.
Since then, there’s been a bunch of studies into why we find almost human things creepy but scientists haven’t been able to find a definitive answer yet. However, a 2013 study did manage to find evidence supporting the relationship between “likeness and eeriness when manipulating facial proportions and realism”, per the psychology website Verywell Mind.
Anyway, regardless of why we find wax figures creepy, it’s a tough week to be a celebrity with a wax figure who also has the name “Wayne” in one way or another.