With their dark, wavy hair and slim frames, celebrity friends Victoria Beckham and Eva Longoria could pass for sisters.
And, according to scientists, their striking similarity could explain how they became close in the first place.
A study has found that we are more likely to approach strangers with whom we share a physical resemblance – as is the case with Miss Longoria and Mrs Beckham, who became firm friends after the former Spice Girl moved to Los Angeles with her husband David.
Reseachers from Wilfrid Laurier University in Ontario, Canada, made the discovery after asking 356 students – who did not already know each other – to attend a series of lectures in small rooms, forcing them to sit next to someone.
The results, published in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin journal, showed that students who wore glasses were more likely to sit together, as were those who had similar length or colour hair, the same colour eyes, or similar body proportions.
n a second test, a female student carried out three-minute interviews with 72 female students.
Those who had the same colour eyes as the interviewer sat closer to her, as did those with similar hair colour and length and a similar body shape.
Finally, researchers presented the students with eight pictures of people who differed in terms of sex, race, hair and whether they wore glasses.
After asking whom they would rather sit next to, the participants once again gravitated towards people who most resembled themselves.
Consultant psychologist Ingrid Collins said: ‘If we look in the mirror we see a familiar image, so someone who looks like you can remind you of yourself, of your family.
‘You can feel as if you know them a lot better than you do and it gives you a sense of familiarity.’
Mrs Beckham, 38, and Miss Longoria, 37, were regularly pictured together watching Mr Beckham when he played for their local ‘soccer’ side, LA Galaxy.
To further cement their friendship, the Beckhams made former Desperate Housewives star Miss Longoria the godmother to their daughter Harper.
Other celebrity lookalike friends include blonde broadcasters Holly Willoughby and Fearne Cotton, who have been inseparable since they met working for BBC children’s television 12 years ago.
Similarly, slim socialite Paris Hilton and the equally petite Nicole Richie, co-stars of reality show The Simple Life, are close friends who look like they could be family.