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Living Loz
14th-Dec-2009 12:20 am
Loz Twirly Wirly
People who know my mother and then meet me almost always say this: "I could tell you were Linda's daughter, you look just like her!"

Sweet, yeah? Touching.

Only... we look nothing alike. None of our features correspond. Neither does our colouring. Where she has heavy-lidded eyes, I don't. Where she has a bump in her nose, I don't. Where she has longer, thinner lips, I have a pronounced cupid's bow and lower-lip pout. My ears stick out more than hers, my chin is stranger, my eyebrows follow a different line, my face a different overall shape. I have green eyes and chestnut brown hair, she's dark brown and auburn. Our skin colour is markedly different.

I'm not offended. I am not someone who has never wanted to become their parents, because I think my parents are awesome. But I am confused. Is it my expression? The way I carry myself? Is it merely our cheekbones? Or are people just blind? They want to see my mother in me and so they do.

One of these days, I'm going to ask, "We look alike? In which ways?" I'll try to be polite, as opposed to completely and utterly skeptical, but I'll expect a well-formed response.
13th-Dec-2009 02:40 pm (UTC)
My sister has very dark brown hair where mine is light brown. Her skin is paler than mine (she's been mistaken for Russian before). Her eyes are a classic hazel while mine are darker, and more green-grey with brown flecks usually these days (mine have always been a be chameleon-y, which makes their colour harder to pin down. Plus they're not a proper colour). She's 2" shorter than me (she's so pleased to have made it to 5 foot though!), and has a different build to mine - our legs are the same length, but one of us - and I can't remember who, but I think her - has shorter calves and longer thighs, so our knees are in a different place, then our shoulders are the same height (I have a long neck, and she has a round face while mine is long). She's slimmer than me. I have really thin lips; she has proper ones. Our eyes and noses are different shapes.

Objectively we look nothing alike!

But we share a lot of the same mannerisms, laugh in the same way at the same things, and somehow move different features into similar expressions. So people say we look alot alike. And we give them matching baffled looks and ask, in unison, "Really? We don't think so!"

One of her friends - and this was a few years ago, so the girl in question would have been 11 and still more than old enough to know better - said that if we were the same age, we could be TWINS.
13th-Dec-2009 02:56 pm (UTC)
Same vibe, I think. And - are your voices alike? People don't always pay attention to sound, but they react to it. My sisters and I all sound identical on the phone--even our dad could never tell us apart.
13th-Dec-2009 04:33 pm (UTC)

It's probably all about facial expressions. I don't look like my mother at all but we hear the same thing. It always mystified me until a couple of years ago when a family member posted a bunch of candid photos he'd taken at a family wedding. In this series of photos were ones of both my mother and I responding in a "oh really?" fashion to a tall story, photos of us both cracking up at my Uncle Ray's jokes and a couple of us both watching my young nephew dance with the bride. In each case, our facial expressions were exactly the same even on very different faces.
13th-Dec-2009 10:21 pm (UTC)
I had this experience with my mom all the time, and yeah, we looked nothing alike. And yet...the older I get, the more I realize that I DID look like her. I dressed like her (or at least like we shopped in the same stores), I stood and moved like her, I had the same body shape as her. We didn't look alike, but we did look like family, and people picked up on it.
13th-Dec-2009 10:47 pm (UTC)
I get mistaken for my mom on the phone all the time. Which is odd, because I don't think we sound that much alike at all. But then, I'm hearing myself from inside my head, so maybe I'm not the best judge. *g*

I agree with what others above me have said, too: it may be a facial expression/mannerism thing that people are responding to. And/or they're seeing similarities because they're searching for them.
13th-Dec-2009 11:00 pm (UTC)
It's probably just that you have similar facial expressions. People variously tell me I look like my mum or my dad. Clearly I must look like a combination of the two of them, but certain facial expressions will evoke one more clearly than the other. And children do tend to pull similar faces to their parents (eg. similar kind of pout when annoyed, or smirk when snarkily amused, etc).
14th-Dec-2009 01:04 am (UTC)
you could create a photo line-up and post it to see if we could pick your mom out from random strangers based on how much she looks like you. :-)
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