This picture was taken on the day that Angel declared to be blue/Smurf day. In case you can't tell us apart: Angel, Me, Rebekah, Mom, Anna, Sarah, MaryGrace, Dad. I have one brother and one more sister, not pictured.
We never knew till we moved to Malaysia that it was hard to tell white people apart because they look so much the same, but this is a phenomenon we've been experiencing for the last 9 years, and it doesn't look likely to change now.
The problem seems to be that not only do the members of our family look so much alike that we're often mistaken for one another, but we also get mistaken for completely different Caucasian families in our area. This has led to many a funny story. For a time, there were 3 tall, skinny, brown-haired white men living in our general location, one being my Dad, and two others being not even remotely related to me, and these three men were often mistaken for one another. Occasionally, I'd be at the mall with my friends, and they'd say, "Hey, Rachel, there's your dad." I'd look, and say, "Umm, no, that's not."
The confusion seems to have become stronger and not weaker as the years have gone by. When we first moved here, we were all growing up and were completely different sizes, so that made it easier to tell us apart. Now that we're older, there are currently 4 of us sisters in the approximately 5'5"-5'7" height range, with slim figures, pale skin, and dark brown wavy/curly hair. Not only are there 4 of us, there's our Mom, who could be described similarly. During my few weeks here, I've already been greeted by several people who seemed fairly convinced that I was my sister Lizzy, who currently lives in Israel. And I'm pretty sure that the older lady who exclaimed in shock over how skinny I've gotten might have thought I was my Mom.
Our friends, neighbors, and the aunties and uncles we interact with at market and at shops around town know our family. They never give us any reason to doubt their affection for us, though sometimes we wonder why it's so hard to remember who is who. Then again, I do recognize that we give them a bit of a challenge: A family of 9, with six daughters, a whole lot of names to memorize, and we probably do look a little more alike than the average family. (Funny, everyone always knew exactly who Isaac was.)
I just got my family started watching Downton Abbey, and I was shocked at the results. My 16 year old sister Anna insisted that she couldn't tell most of the characters apart for the majority of the first season. To her, (And Downton fans will understand how crazy this is), Lord Grantham looked just like Carson, William and Matthew were completely indistinguishable from each other, and Lady Mary, Lady Sybil, and Cora could have been triplets. And this is the same girl who can keep all the dozens of characters in the Korean dramas that she watches straight.
Either it's all in what you're used to looking at (Do Malaysians find it hard to tell us apart because there are fewer Caucasians here and do Caucasian Americans find it harder to tell Chinese people apart because they don't see that many of them on a regular basis?).....or else my family bears exceptional resemblance to one another.