Faceblindness

Jun 12, 2020

    1. I was talking to the friend who got me into bjds, and discovered that we're both mostly faceblind. I'm not entirely-- I can eventually learn to recognize people, but it takes a lot of hours of looking at their faces and memorizing accents and mannerisms-- tricks that don't work with dolls.

      I didn't initially consider when I started how much of an inconvenience this could be when looking at BJDs. I'll start to add one to my potential wishlist, only to realize it's already on there. I've had to have another friend identify sculpts for me, because there were several I couldn't tell apart.

      Any other faceblind folks on here? Does it interfere with any aspects of the hobby? Do you have particular ways of coping? I've gotten an extra head to try practicing faceups, but I'm anxious about trying.
       
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    2. That is tricky, I have a friend who has this too, I never considered this..
       
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    3. I don't know if i'd qualify as fully face-blind, but I do have problems recognizing people.

      I actually find dolls easier, because they don't change their expressions all the time.
       
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    4. I probably have it, though not confirmed by a doctor (since I didn't go there because of that. There's nothing one can do anyway) as well as my sister. It usually takes a long time for me to recognize people and I do it mostly not by face I think, because currently I don't have more problems recognizing people wearing masks than usual. It took me several months to recognize a tutor at university who I saw once every week for a few hours. That was until I noticed a mole on his face because of which I could tell him apart from other tutors :frownyblush:

      I was surprised how many people here on DoA say it's super important to fall in love with a sculpt. I found it strange since I like many sculpts and I'm often not good at telling the difference. There's an Instagram profile of someone with many dolls and they mostly look the same to me, except for the wigs and clothes.
      I don't really have a problem with that though because that's just how it is. It's not very different with people after all.
      What I do when comparing sculpts is looking very closely to the details. Does the eye have a peek, is more round, rotated or is it more "inside" or rather asian? The same goes for every other facial features like mouth, cheek, chin, nose, ear, eyebrow, headsize... I think many do that, but I wonder to what extent
       
      #4 Kinril, Jun 12, 2020
      Last edited: Jun 12, 2020
    5. Speaking as someone without faceblindness, the way a sculpt looks is important to me. But I tend to hyperfixate on small details, so even an identical sculpt, just with sleeping or half-closed eyes, or a slightly different faceup, looks extremely different to me.

      For someone who doesn't see many differences in sculpts, there are other aspects of the hobby that can be equally important (sometimes even more so?) than a sculpt.

      Styling a doll means there are tons of wig, eye, and clothing materials, styles, colors, etc. Do you like a post-apocalyptic grungey theme? Or maybe a kawaii cutesy theme with lots of pastel colors? If the sculpt isn't super memorable for you, you can focus on the things that make your more doll more unique and distinguishable to you. :)
       
    6. Haha, that's unthinkable for me. They really look the same to me :lol:

      That's true. Though I'm not good at all of that yet. I'm really into props though.
      Actually I often cover half of the face of my doll with a scarf. I don't know why, because I liked the sculpt. Even for my soon to come doll I planned to hide her face a bit. For example by wearing a jacket and pulling the hood a bit in front of her face. I didn't think about it until now.
       
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    7. I'm not face-blind, but I do have poor facial recognition. I tend to recognize people by their voices before I know their faces. For me, some doll companies have more distinctive faces than others. The more stylized/anime head sculpts don't usually interest me because they tend to all look very similar.
       
    8. This is really interesting to read, I'm glad I'm not alone!
      I keep falling in love with different sculpts, looking at the blank, and realizing I literally can't tell it apart from one I already have. Makes it tough to keep up interest!

      @Lillith That's interesting, that fixed expressions are easier for you! I guess that's true for me, but the lack of other mannerisms makes it much harder, so it balances out.

      I hadn't thought about it, @AirimirOfGondor , but eyes open/closed do make a difference in how I perceive a sculpt, when the same face has different options. Unfortunately I seem to prefer sculpts with very open eyes, so that won't help me out in practice!

      I've already learned that I can only change a wig or clothes at separate times, not at the same time, otherwise I don't recognize them anymore, oops. Luckily I don't have enough dolls to get them totally mixed up.
       
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    9. I am face blind. I have trouble even recognizing friends if they change their hairstyle, or usual type of clothing.

      I try to get my BJD faces to look very different from each other, that is really important to me, because if the faces are sort of similar I have trouble telling them apart. Facial expressions on dolls help a lot as well, nothing too exaggerated most of the time, but a hint of a smile or a pout of a lip can help me to distinguish my dolls. With my doll Chateau's Erica and Hugh, if one wasn't a boy and the other a girl, I couldn't tell them apart. I try not to do that.

      Sometimes when I am looking at dolls to possibly buy I will see something I like and add it on my wish list, but then after awhile I will notice I have a doll at home, that looks to me, like the same doll, even if it is a completely different company. Then I take it off the wish list, because I already have something like it. I feel other people might think I am crazy as they are two entirely different dolls, but if they look the same to me I don't want it. I try to avoid companies with 'same face' dolls. Even if other people can see vast differences in the 'same face' company dolls, I can't.

      I like my dolls to look unique for me, and it can be difficult when so many dolls look alike to me. I really like to see the blank faces, if the blank faces and raw bone structure look different to me then the other dolls that I have, I am happy.

      I think an advantage to this would be that I can see potential in many dolls to look a certain way, because If I can confuse one doll face with another, then I don't need to search for a second hand out of stock forever never to be sold again doll, when to me, there are a couple other dolls readily available, that look just like it!
       
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    10. @RabbidBunnies
      That "but this blank looks identical" wishlist issue is one I'm already struggling with. My Briar is a Mystic Kids Lawrence, and I keep adding sculpts to my "oh I like this" list, then realizing I can't tell the blank apart from his.

      You know, I hadn't even considered that as a benefit? But you're right! There's only a couple out of stock dolls that I look at wistfully, and they're usually genuinely unique (partial skull or otherwise 'damaged' face, snarling animalistic head sculpt, etc).
       
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    11. I've never been diagnosed with face blindness, but I am ALSO terrible at recognizing people. Once you take someone out of the setting I see them in most, with different clothing/makeup/hair/surroundings, I easily get lost.

      I also have a terrible time with word confabulation, even when it comes to names, too. Imagine working with someone for 2 years and struggling to say their name. :horror:

      I totally get what you mean with dolls, and that is a reason why I do not own too many Fairyland, Luts, Volks, or many of the dolls with cute chubby faces, small pointy noses, and big eyes. I think a big part of the problem is the photography makes everything look flatter, so the nuances of the sculpting don't come across that well. I know once I see some of the people I follow on Instagram get their dolls in, I like them much more (Fairyland's Maya is pretty cute, for example). I was just looking at Doll Leaves sculpts last month and thinking many looked similar, too.

      But hey, to be honest, it's your wishlist, and if you want a few sculpts that look similar, that's your prerogative, too! I want most of Lillycat's MSD sculpts, even if I think there's a few of them that look somewhat similar.
       
    12. *winces* I know that feeling, unfortunately.

      A lot of artists/companies seem to have a particular 'style' of face shape and nose and cheekbones that they default to, and I understand that they look like distinct siblings, maybe, to most people? The 'not wanting similar sculpts' is more that I don't want to like... buy spare heads to practice faceups, and get them mixed up. Because I absolutely would, and then I'd have to drag my poor housemate in and ask for help in identifying them! XD

      I'd never seen Maya before, she's gorgeous!
       
    13. Oh, I see what you mean! I try to keep a chart of what doll sculpts I own so I can reference it - if you do not have more than one head from the same company, something like that might work for you. Most companies at least have their company insignia on the caps (some have the sculpt name, too, even), so that could be the starting point, then your chart can help you identify the sculpt.

      You could also put a piece of paper with the company/sculpt name as an identifier in the head for your own records, too. You could tape/eye-tack/or pad it in place so it doesn't get lost.

      Maya is pretty cute... but I think the owner photos I've seen on Instagram are much nicer than company photos, too!
       
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    14. Ooooh, that's a really good point, I never thought about sticking something in the head. And if I laminated a card or something and stuck it in with eyetack, no risk of weird residue. Thank you very much for the idea @mephisto !
       
    15. My facial recognition is pretty bad. I couldn't recognize my own cousin with sunglasses on. I am legit the person who can't tell Clark Kent is Superman. At work, I sometimes try to sell things to people I already sold to because I can't remember faces easily, it's so embarrassing. :doh

      Dolls are easier to remember since they don't change expression/context as much, but there's definitely dolls I can't really tell apart and sometimes I realize I'm more in-love with the face-up style than the sculpt because the facial features wasn't what I was focusing on.

      I definitely have a harder time bonding with more anime-esque dolls. The majority of my crew is semi-realistic and faces that are kind of varied in sizes and expressions.
       
    16. This is an amazing idea!

      Not meaning to sound morbid or anything, but it would be a good idea to do this in general, if something happens unexpectedly to me, I don't think my family would know who the dolls are and be able to match them with their certificates. If their names were on little papers in their heads, it would not only keep it easy for me to tell them apart, but also for my family to know which doll it is.
       
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    17. @zekarmisama - same! I have a much harder time telling anime-type, extremely stylized, or chibi sculpts apart.

      @RabbidBunnies - Wow, I hadn't thought of that, and you're right, that's a really great idea for general recordkeeping. (Also a reminder that I need to update my will to specify disposition of them!)
       
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    18. I didn't know that there was sonething called face blindness. You learn something new everyday. I have always been good at recognising actors in a completely different role. You know the "I recognise him. Who is he? Where have I seen him before?" I usually get it right and my friends are like "I was sure it was him" when IMDB proves that it wasn't. l
      I could even tell Mary Kate and Ashley apart when they were younger.
      But if a friend takes off their glasses or colours their hair it takes me a moment to recognise them. I would probably walk past them in the street!
      I struggle with this too. Right now it seems I can't pronounce the name Elena correctly! No idea why not but my voice just seems to mess it up.
       
    19. That sounds like my housemate! She can recognize people she's seen once, and I sit there like "SORCERY!"
      I definitely take advantage of her skills.
       
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    20. I do not have faceblindness, but my wife has always wondered if she does. I've been in the hobby for over a decade and she often confuses my dolls with each other and can't really tell them apart. Hehe, we have contemplated if I really just have a specific preference for facial features. I'm sure I do. She does have a few favorites though, which she does recognize, and reading this I realized they are usually dolls that have a light colored wig. Most of my dolls have dark hair. Very interesting! I hadn't noticed that detail before.