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Old 10-17-2010, 09:06 PM   #1
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Default I remember you..

This weekend my husband and I tried a new restaurant and the owner and several of the employees recognized me from a large event I recently attended. My exchange with these people was extremely brief and over 500 people were in attendance. I know they remembered me because of how fat and maybe how tall I am. I stand out and I am not sure how I feel about that at times. I can never go incognito which can be a pain at times, other times I like that I am not so easily forgotten.

Do you experience this and how do you feel about it?

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Old 10-18-2010, 01:15 AM   #2
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I'm super memorable and I really like it I figure its not like I have aspirations to being an assassin or anything so I'm perfectly fine with standing out in people's minds - and most times what they say to me, how they remember me is really positive.
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Old 10-18-2010, 07:53 AM   #3
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People always remember me. I get under their skin and leave a lasting impression. It's usually positive and I'm accustomed to it, but it can be unnerving when someone I only saw or spoke with for thirty seconds remembers me ten years later and gushes like we're old friends. I'm simultaneously touched and spooked by the same reaction over and over again. I'm also told I overwhelm people in person--the whole package of me can be larger than life. That part makes me uncomfortable because I like to stand out but I'd like the option of blending in and I don't really have that option. It's not me. I'm not complaining really. I know I'm very blessed. But sometimes it can overwhelm me too.
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Old 10-18-2010, 07:56 AM   #4
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For me its a love hate type of thing. I love standing out in peoples minds because that means that I have made some sort of an impact on them. I am loud and gregarious and friendly and love to help people so the fact people remember me means that I have had some success in being recognized for being just who I am.
The only time I hate it is when I run into someone from high school who rushes up to me and says "Ruuuuttthhh how are you? Its been such a long time and you look just the same, how are you and what are you doing?" and I have no idea who they are( we had about 400 people in our graduating class). Either that or they are someone that wouldn't have given me the time of day or were a friend in grade or junior high school who suddenly couldn't acknowledge my presence in high school. I felt invisible in high school and for people to treat me like a long lost friend is something that angers me because even though I ran the schools store, canteens, made banners and displays and helped the cheerleaders with their routines for special events I was not good enough to go to the parties or even be acknowledged in the hallways-unless they wanted something from me. I suppose I should look at it as a compliment that they remember me, but save a few people who have evolved and grown that I have reconnected with, I just see them as phoney's who want to compare lives to ensure they are still superior. I stay open to see but more often than not am disappointed by the fact that so many people at our age (40's) are still living with that high school mentality.
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Old 10-18-2010, 05:19 PM   #5
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I have a scar on my face and a misshapen nose so people usually remember my face, if not my name, whether I'm fat or not fat. As yet, I still haven't figured out how I really feel about this. With over 500 students on my counseling case load, I know they don't all remember my name. I'm sure when they're talking about their school counselor with their friends and their friends ask them who their counselor is (there's 6 of us at my school), many of my students say, "the lady with the scar on her face," or "the lady with the weird nose," because they remember a physical feature more easily than they remember my name. I'm sure some of them identify me as "the fat one" to their friends, too, since I'm the only fat counselor at my school. (I don't really take any of it too seriously, though, since Dr. Radakovic is "the mean one," Ms. Kim is "the Asian one," and Mr. Jackson is just Mr. Jackson, the one black guy on staff who all the kids know.)

I also periodically get mistaken for somebody's sister or a friend of a friend. Last year, I was shopping in Fashion Bug and I asked the sales assistant for a dressing room. While she was unlocking it, she asked me if I was "Maria's sister." When I told her no, she said I reminded her a lot of her friend's sister. I've also had random people tell me that I remind them of an acquaintance they met through another friend. I find these things interesting to hear because I'd love to meet these women that I remind other people of and see if I think they have any resemblance to me... or see what other people think I *really* look like when comparing me to someone else.
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Old 10-18-2010, 06:23 PM   #6
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I get the "I remember you" but it's because of my personality when I'm out and about. Mainly I get it by musicians, though Wonder whyyy....

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Old 10-18-2010, 06:50 PM   #7
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I totally am with you on this - and experience it all the time (I figure it has to do with my fatness, but I also have a very strong personality and tend to make an impression, so it's truly probably a combination of both). I don't really mind it, except sometimes I feel bad when someone remembers me well, and I seriously cannot even remember meeting him/her. Makes me feel like a douche.
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Old 10-18-2010, 11:21 PM   #8
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Actually, Carla and Beth's posts reminded me of a guy, an ex-musician, who remembered me from a past meeting and I couldn't remember him at all.

My 20 year high school reunion was 3 years ago. There was a Facebook page dedicated to the reunion. While I really didn't have a good time in high school, I figured it was time to leave the past in the past and go to the reunion. I signed up on the Facebook page, and within a few days, was contacted by a guy I went to high school with who I couldn't remember to save my life. We were never dated or were friends in high school, just very casual acquaintances. I think we had a few classes together, and maybe 3 brief conversations during all 4 years of high school. A few years later in college, I was doing the DJ thing on Saturday nights and I interviewed a local band. One of the band members was the guy I'd gone to high school with.

I remembered none of this until the guy reminded me through our messages on Facebook. I even had to look him up in my high school yearbook because I couldn't remember the guy's face. Once I saw his face, I remembered him... as a completely non-memorable guy who never made an impression on me in high school. But apparently I'd made an impression on him. After our Facebook contact, we talked on the phone a few times and he went on forever about the college radio interview, almost as if it had just happened yesterday and he was still reliving the memory.

It became apparent that he was interested in me, and through our conversations, I also discovered the guy was independently wealthy. Apparently his grandfather had been a popular pulp fiction writer in the '60s and '70s, under a pseudonym, and the guy had inherited all his wealth. In addition, another relative on his father's side was some bigwig in local oil, so he'd inherited a lot of that wealth, too. He was apparently wealthy enough that he didn't need to work, lived in a ritzy area of our hometown, owned 4 or 5 very expensive sports cars... and he was interested in dating me.

Our conversations also revealed that the guy had also dealt with major depression off and on in his life, had a lot of other family issues, had lost most of his friends due to his behavior, and had no interest in driving one of his many expensive sports cars to LA to visit me. He claimed he was afraid of the wear and tear of freeway driving on his 'babies,' but I suspected it was just that he was a lazy sod and hadn't left our hometown in years. He seemed too entrenched in his ways and, despite his extreme wealth, had some serious personal issues that didn't suggest he'd be healthy relationship material.

But it was interesting to discover that he remembered me a lot better than I remembered him from our high school years and brief contact in college, so I obviously made an impression on him when I didn't even know I was making one. I'd never had that happen before, so I guess I never thought it was possible. And to think, I could have possibly been an independently wealthy woman myself! If only he'd been a healthier guy.
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Old 10-19-2010, 10:22 AM   #9
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I have rather the opposite experience... First, perhaps it's my giant Midwestern mellon head, but people are ALWAYS saying that my face and/or my demeanor remind them of a cousin/friend/neighbor/classmate. This has always happened to me and is really strange.

But what has happened to me a number of times, too, is that I become a stand in for every fat chick with long hair. And so, in my office, I have been taken for a few of the other women who work here. And not, say, from a distance, down the hall but rather, after a full hour-long meeting. Haha. And what's crazy is that you realize how much some people gloss over our personalities and topics of discussion and how much they just fall back on 'that fat one with the long hair' (which is, sadly, a direct quote). We're interchangeable! Anyway, that jackass died not too long after he said it, and while I'm sorry that death came for him, he was a thorn in my side and I admit things were easier with him gone.

So beware!
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Old 10-20-2010, 06:16 AM   #10
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I have rather the opposite experience... First, perhaps it's my giant Midwestern mellon head, but people are ALWAYS saying that my face and/or my demeanor remind them of a cousin/friend/neighbor/classmate. This has always happened to me and is really strange.

But what has happened to me a number of times, too, is that I become a stand in for every fat chick with long hair. And so, in my office, I have been taken for a few of the other women who work here. And not, say, from a distance, down the hall but rather, after a full hour-long meeting. Haha. And what's crazy is that you realize how much some people gloss over our personalities and topics of discussion and how much they just fall back on 'that fat one with the long hair' (which is, sadly, a direct quote). We're interchangeable! Anyway, that jackass died not too long after he said it, and while I'm sorry that death came for him, he was a thorn in my side and I admit things were easier with him gone.

So beware!
Heh. Yeah, I have to admit, I think a lot of the times people tell me I remind them of someone they know is because there's a lot of short-ish, fat brunette women with bobs and little, pointy black shoes in LA and they all kind of think we're the same person.
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Old 10-20-2010, 06:47 PM   #11
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But what has happened to me a number of times, too, is that I become a stand in for every fat chick with long hair. And so, in my office, I have been taken for a few of the other women who work here. And not, say, from a distance, down the hall but rather, after a full hour-long meeting. Haha. And what's crazy is that you realize how much some people gloss over our personalities and topics of discussion and how much they just fall back on 'that fat one with the long hair' (which is, sadly, a direct quote). We're interchangeable!
This happens to me all the time and it pisses me off. One of my close friends is about 75 pounds smaller than me (but still fat), about my height & has the same color hair as me more or less and people mix us up ALL the time. My friend Steph works with this kid Josh who I've talked to at least a dozen times, maybe more, we even worked together for a few weeks when I was training at her McDonalds AND we've partied together on at least two occasions and for the life of him, he can not tell me & this other girl apart. It makes me so mad. I can't even tell you how many times people have asked us if we're sisters when we're together. The same thing used to happen to me with another girl I was friends with in high school too. My close friend & I both worked at the same McDonalds for awhile and people would confuse us (no nametags) and also confused both of with another girl that works there, Dana. Me = Alyssa = Dana. It was so frustrating .. especially for Dana I think because she worked there for like, a year before me or Alyssa showed up. & now it happens with me and our new assistant manager at the grocery store I work at now. The other day I was leaning over to get something and the old assistant manager came up behind me and was like hey, do you think I should order more frozen chicken legs? And I was like umm, I don't know? Why are you asking me? And she was like well you're going to have to do this stuff on your own soon so you should be able to make these decisions.. and then it dawned on me that she thought I was Christine so I turned around and I was like um Diana.. and she was like OMG I'M SO SORRY! But really, I was like SERIOUSLY. I realize I was turned around but this girl is like 6 inches shorter than me.. but she saw fat & brown hair and assumed it was Christine. blah.

For me, it's like people either tend to remember me really well or they totally forget that I exist. I think it has to do with my anxiety because my normal personality is to be really outgoing and friendly, and if I'm feeling okay that's how I am and then people remember me.. but if I'm feeling anxious I tend to be a little more reserved and I don't stand out as much I guess.
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Old 10-20-2010, 07:41 PM   #12
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This thread reminds me of the one guy at my main place of employment who didn't remember me after we had met at a holiday work gathering and then talked as we waited on the platform for the subway for a longer than pleasant period of time. It was odd and off-putting because everyone remembers me, and believe me, there aren't any other fat folks in my department, male or female, so to be forgotten was odd in so many ways. To be honest, I was offended-I mean, I remembered him, and there really isn't much memorable about him, except he kinda sorta looks like a non-red head Eric Stoltz-but it was probably good to have that experience.

I think that is one reason I am so bad with remembering names-I never have to, since people always remember me, so I don't take on any extra burden of trying to remember names and faces in order to interact with others on an ongoing basis.
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Old 10-24-2010, 07:37 PM   #13
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Yes, I can very much relate.

In person, I tend to find myself in this context often. Whether I like it or not. I've always stood out, although I am not a loud person with a desire to be an extreme attention whore, especially just for the sake of it. I've come across people years later who remembered who I was from back in elementary school, high school, or other places and time periods because I've stood out.

I think, when I analyze this and look back and what I've been told over the years, it's because of my personality and "presence." When I do speak, I tend to be direct, very expressive, and thoughtful, and I've been told my voice is very distinctive, so that's something people also remember. I also love creating fun atmospheres for others in interesting ways, so when I make friends with others or if I am in their company often, I'm very much a big kid at heart who got lost and made a home in Wonderland and wants to share that adventure and spirit with others.

At my last job, I was known as the the "candy girl" because I'd almost always bring in buckets of candies into daily meetings or have a big drawer fulls of sweets. I liked when people enjoyed themselves and were happy during meetings, and to me candy livens up a group and makes people relax and have fun.

I'd buy a lot of candy from a discount membership I had online with a candy company and from various markets. I'd even buy candy related to the changing of the seasons or current holidays. People would come to my desk out of curiosity or to browse around my desk to observe stuff. I would also keep a lot of collectibles on my desk and truly make the desk area my own in style and personality. I do this anywhere I go because it makes me feel comfortable and feel like myself. As a Cancer, I like to put my own mark on most things and my surroundings and make them sort of a "home" away from home.

I wear a lot of signature jewelry, unique perfumes (that tend to smell like desserts or other favorable smells), and dress in interesting colors. So that often catches peoples' attentions. A lot of people recognize me by the perfume Pink Sugar and also for chocolate-scented lip glosses I often wear.

Now, all of these and more are good things and I don't mind others remembering me for this stuff or standing out as I enjoy being true to myself and who doesn't want to be remembered for good things about him/herself, but I've also always stood out because of others labeling me as "weird," "unusual," "standoffish," "detached" or any other related synonym that could be taken as negative. At this age, I am fine with that, being the odd one out in most situations because it's something I can't really help.

I think a lot of the time, what people remember about you can say more about THEM than it says about you...if you really think about it.

I've been told one of the first impressions others often have of me is that I am very reserved and quiet...and even conservative (which I am not). Some have even mislabeled me as "intimidating" or "unfriendly," although I consider myself friendly with good manners. I like to observe situations and people first and then when I am comfortable, the inner core comes through and that's when I often get told, "wow you are different than I thought!" "I didn't think you were this open, you seemed conservative when I first met you," or "I thought you were shy!" or "you are very down to earth, I thought you were snobby at first!"

I have come to see that these impressions come about because I take time to open up to people, to really let them in, and I often enjoy the company of myself when others want me to be a part of a group or to interact with them. Some people might take offense to that or misinterpret these traits in negative ways without really knowing me...thinking this means I'm better than them, I don't like them, or something is strange about me...

When I do let others in, I cherish those connections if I find them trustworthy and genuine and I do tend to be remembered. I accept it all at this point.

I just make sure I am not remembered for being an asshole or someone who treats others like shit. Now THOSE are impressions I'd care about leaving with others.
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Old 10-25-2010, 12:06 AM   #14
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I think a lot of the time, what people remember about you can say more about THEM than it says about you...if you really think about it.
QFT. Your whole post had great insight, but that snippet from what you said is so so so right on. Well said.
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Old 10-25-2010, 02:10 AM   #15
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People seem to remember my hair, my unique name, my esoteric interests and style, my glasses, and my (sometimes annoyingly) perky personality. Some people associate me with corsetry and period costume, Disneyland (especially the Haunted Mansion), or Emma. I also get the "I totally remember you, because you're hot" from guys, which makes me giggle and preen like an idiot. I don't think I've ever been the Memorable Fat Lady (TM), though, probably because I was remarkably large for only a relatively short period of my life.

Over the last few years I've been remembered as the girl with the Bettie bangs, hairflowers, and interesting clothing. One woman I see on a fairly regular basis kept calling me "Carrie Bradshaw" because she couldn't forget my wardrobe, even if she didn't know my name. I thought that was cute.
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Old 10-25-2010, 02:19 AM   #16
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I got an "I remember you" this weekend at a bar I went to. Funny, because I don't remember ever meeting the guy, have only been to that bar once before because an artist I liked was performing, and would have remembered him. Apparently, though, I briefly talked to him once when out with my ex, and my ex used to say quite a bit about me (but the guy didn't say what).

This kind of made me angry. I thought the guy was good looking, and had seen his profile many times on a dating site (but never messaged... didn't sound like he'd be interested) and he made no mention of recognizing me from there (which I actually get A LOT of... smalllll town and all ) so I was really confused and upset.

And the way he brought it up, too, was really was pissed me off. There was some kind of arrogant swagger coming off him, cocky swagger actually, when he spoke of having met me before. It totally disgusted me.

Ahem... and whattayaknow... the dude who said this to me was a musician.
I'm kind of sick of the fake "groupie" label that's been placed on me.
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Old 10-25-2010, 03:19 AM   #17
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Oh my gosh. I know what you guys are talking about.

My personality is out there, as is...but because I'm fat I totally get noticed. I was studying in the Undergraduate Library one day, and this stranger came up to me and started asking me if I had been studying for chemistry and if I had the labs ready and stuff........he went on for a good 5 minutes before I realized...I don't know him LOL

I looked at him and said, "excuse me....but I took chemistry last semester. I'm studying my Microbiology and working on a paper...I've no clue who you are." He immediately realized his error...and found the other fat girl sitting next to me, a few tables down, who apparently was his study partner. She looked nothing like me...just fat. lol
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Old 10-25-2010, 01:15 PM   #18
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that makes me wonder ... perhaps some people don't really LOOK at fat people. I mean, there are groups of people that some of us avoid looking at for a variety of reasons. perhaps we were told it wasn't polite to stare, and so now, we look past them or over them. And perhaps we are a group like that to other people out there? Or maybe we all remember strangers by their most noticeable (to us) feature and for some people that's fat. You show me 2 brown poodles and I won't be able to tell them apart, but I bet a 3rd brown poodle could!
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Old 10-25-2010, 01:21 PM   #19
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that makes me wonder ... perhaps some people don't really LOOK at fat people. I mean, there are groups of people that some of us avoid looking at for a variety of reasons. perhaps we were told it wasn't polite to stare, and so now, we look past them or over them. And perhaps we are a group like that to other people out there? Or maybe we all remember strangers by their most noticeable (to us) feature and for some people that's fat. You show me 2 brown poodles and I won't be able to tell them apart, but I bet a 3rd brown poodle could!
I think that goes along with CandyCoatedClown's statement that what people remember (or don't remember) about us says more about them than about us. People who have issues with fatness may not really LOOK at them. Lots of people, because of fear/guilt/whatever, don't really LOOK at homeless people. It's about the issues and hangups of the look-er.
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Old 10-25-2010, 06:24 PM   #20
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that makes me wonder ... perhaps some people don't really LOOK at fat people.
I don't think it's just fat people, Jes ... I think most people don't really look at other people. I think we glance at someone, zero in on one or two memorable features, and form a sort of fuzzy concept of that person. If we see someone that more-or-less matches that fuzzy concept, we tell ourselves, "Hey! It's Lucinda!" and we go say, "Hi, Lucinda!" ... to Peggy.
One guy who knew all about this was Willie "the Actor" Sutton, arguably America's greatest bank robber. Before he robbed a bank, Willie would alter his appearance with a huge, fake mustache or an enormous, fake wart on his nose ... and when the police questioned the bank tellers afterwards, all they ever remembered was the mustache or the wart, which Willie had by then removed and thrown away.
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Old 10-26-2010, 09:32 AM   #21
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I think it would be really interesting to have someone do a study on this, as it relates to fatness.

And then how does this work with the OP's experience of having everyone remember her?
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Old 10-26-2010, 02:22 PM   #22
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.

And then how does this work with the OP's experience of having everyone remember her?
I don't know for sure, but my guess would be that a lot of people are indulging in wishful thinking.
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Old 10-27-2010, 11:25 AM   #23
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""I don't know for sure, but my guess would be that a lot of people are indulging in wishful thinking. ""

So my experience is wishful thinking? Wow.
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Old 10-27-2010, 11:27 AM   #24
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""I don't know for sure, but my guess would be that a lot of people are indulging in wishful thinking. ""

So my experience is wishful thinking? Wow.
Dr. Feelgood is a class act. He can chime in for himself, but I think he means that the people who remember you might be indulging in wishful thinking in terms of wanting your sexy bod. But he would put it in a more classy way.
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Old 10-28-2010, 01:47 PM   #25
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that makes me wonder ... perhaps some people don't really LOOK at fat people. I mean, there are groups of people that some of us avoid looking at for a variety of reasons. perhaps we were told it wasn't polite to stare, and so now, we look past them or over them. And perhaps we are a group like that to other people out there? Or maybe we all remember strangers by their most noticeable (to us) feature and for some people that's fat. You show me 2 brown poodles and I won't be able to tell them apart, but I bet a 3rd brown poodle could!
People in general don't see little details of what they look at, unless it's very important to them. People tend to process by "pattern recognition." If part of their pattern matching routine for someone is "fat," they can get thrown off by someone who fits the general pattern (female, fat, X color hair), but is NOT actually the person they wanted.

Far more information reaches our brain than can be processed, so the brain falls back on short cuts. Pattern recognition and matching is one of those cognitive short cuts.
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