Facial Recognition Issues In Live-Action Properties

Hello, I hope that this message finds you well. I was thinking about an issue that I have and wanted to see if anyone had any advice or similar issues.
I have faceblindness and that sometimes makes it difficult for me to distinguish between live-action portrayals of characters. Animation? No problem, especially because the medium tends to have specific styles.
It just interferes with my comprehension, most recently when I watched the new episode of Stargirl and kept mixing up the villainous characters. Does anyone have any experience with this? Have a good day and stay safe!


I’ve heard of this before. Does remembering the sound of a characters voice help distinguish them? I imagine it would otherwise be hard to tell characters apart when they are not in their signature outfit.


Sometimes. Years of watching Saturday Night Live has actually helped me, but I still mix up some of the new members.


I don’t have a clinical condition as far as I know, but I also have trouble sometimes telling people apart, or even recognising them when they change hair/makeup. On two separate occasions, I had a student shave his head and another cut off her dreds, and I thought they were in the wrong class. It has led to moments like in Supergirl when Reign’s identity was revealed, and I was like, “Who is that? Is that Lena? Are we supposed to know who that is?” (Too many skinny women with long hair on that show, I guess? :man_shrugging:)

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When I saw the recent Charlie’s Angels movie, I kept confusing the main trio when they went into various disguises.

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I only have a very limited knowledge of face blindness, so excuse my ignorance on the subject matter. If you don’t mind answering a question for me (obviously you don’t have to, I totally respect that), do the different costumes of characters help or make any difference? Do they need to be different colors?

Sorry if that’s rude, I definitely don’t intend to come across that way. And if it is, I’ll be sure to delete the comment. I’m just interested in learning more about this from a first hand source. :slight_smile:

It’s okay, you’re fine. That can help, especially if it’s a color that a character usually wears. My issues with distinguishing also sometimes “flare up”, for lack of a better phrase, depending on how stressed out or tired I am. I remember getting permission to stay up to watch Steve Carell’s last episode of The Office and confusing the characters in the tag sequence.

Sometimes, if I know that I’m likely to confuse characters, I turn on the audio description on Netflix. After the disastrous experience at Charlie’s Angels, I now use my movie theater’s captioning system. You can attach a little device to your seat. It’s helped me, so I think I made the right choice. Also, to be fair to Charlie’s Angels, in hindsight, I was getting sick, so that made me panicky and confused. The next day was…unpleasant.