Common Mistake or (Racist?)

I am constantly, and I do mean CONSTANTLY, mistaking one of these actresses for the other.  In fact, I dare you to provide me with their names before the page break.  See if you can.

If you thought either one was Vanessa Williams, you can stop reading right here.  You’ve proved my point.  You see this blog is not only about how I can’t keep the two women pictured above straight, it’s also about proving something to Jessica.  She contends that it is very, very easy to tell the two women apart, and that I must be the only one who can’t.  She says that she watched the woman on the left for years on E.R. (And yet didn’t know her name), and that the woman is much older than the woman on the right (which is true).  However, I think these women look ENOUGH alike to mistake one for the other and to mistake one or both for Vanessa Williams.

The girl on the left is actress Michael Michele.  The girl on the right is actress Tawny Cypress, Rutgers Alum and Chick who some dude I met banged.  Tawny was on Heroes, Michael was on E.R, House MD last week, and has been in a lot more shit.  No matter what I’m watching I always think that this Michael Michele chick is the chick from Heroes.

Am I alone on this?  Let me know in the comments?  Can you see where I would confuse the two?  Or am I in fact a racist who can’t tell multiracial women apart?  Because Jess contends that if they were white I could.


~ by chrismcdevitt on November 8, 2007.

30 Responses to “Common Mistake or (Racist?)”

  1. The mix up is understandable. You are no racist. Although I just noticed that you said the girl on the right is in Heroes, and it’s the girl on the left. I think you need to worry less about whether or not you’re a racist and more about your rights and lefts.

  2. That wasn’t a joke. That was a total accident. I CANNOT tell these chicks apart.

  3. I can totally tell those two apart. You sir, are a racist.

  4. You are obviously racist. Look at their faces, hell even their collarbones!


  5. these girls look totally differently.

  6. It’s sooo easy to tell the actresses apart, and Vanessa Williams is distinctly different from both of them. I dont know if you are racist, maybe just one of the oblivious guys that are dumbed in the “noticing differences” department. In psychology we have a term for this, it’s called “change blindness.”

  7. Please note that Squeakerz and Stephanie both have IP addresses from Jessica’s college and have obviously been recruited by her to tell me I’m wrong.

  8. Looks like two different pictures of the same chick to me.

  9. Maybe the reason you can’t tell them apart is that you have a penis. People don’t notice things when they have one of those.

  10. i think they both look alike and i thought they were both vanessa williams. if you really want to break it down the one has a bigger nose (now who’s the racist?), but at first glance, same gal to me.

  11. they look exactly alike.

  12. Dear Ninjaliscious,
    The colarbones are irrelevant due to the drastic difference in position and lighting. The picture on the right is primarily lit by a flash (like a few expensive reporter flashes) and the one of the left is primarily sunlight. The angle of the camera flashes will deepen the collarbones to cause them to be more defined and have the person look skinnier. This is a pretty common tactic in portrait and studio photography. The photo on the left is lit by the sun, and as you know above the subject providing a more even lighting around the collarbone and combined with the fact that the photographer strobed his flash to soften the what should be harsh shadows also serves to even the toning on the collarbones causing them to look less deep set.

    The structure of the cheeks and nose are similar enough that without scrutinizing the picture they look like the same person however the eye shape and chin (maybe) seem different.

    Without having spent much time seeing them in different clothing, poses and weights (because no one stays the same weight forever) then you may have enough prior knowledge to tell them apart.

    It’s not that you’re racist it’s that you’re not familiar with Michael Michele. And neither am I. They both look very, very similar.

  13. I dont know where racism as an issue even came up, but I actually also didn’t realize that I was looking at two different photos, until the tags on them came up with two different names, and no one can blame a person for recognizing the younger, and i guess if you look at the photo longer, cuter one, in place of the older.

  14. Dear B-Diddly,
    You sir, are a nerd.


  15. Nah, your not racist, i couldn’t tell them apart either. I think it is more of a looking at a first glance thing, that and name recognition. If you know the name well, and know their body of work I think it would be easier to tell them apart, but just glancing at these two photos I couldn’t tell them apart. Not until I took a closer second look. You’re def not racist, I’ve seen some racist stuff in my life and this wouldn’t even be in the same book.

  16. C-money – you are spot on. Though the last post was very enlightening….I can’t tell them apart either. Frankly, I thought they were both Vanessa Williams too – and I live in Willingboro. Tell Jess she’s wrong, and keep quizzing her on the two, dig up some more photos and make her identify them 20 times in a row, guaranteed she gets them wrong.

  17. I will willingly take that test!

  18. You’re inability to differentiate multiracial women has nothing in common with your racism.

  19. wow. you are so backwards. the woman on the right is michael michelle, and the lady on the lft is tawny. wow. research your writings.

  20. Research capitalization before you go knocking others, you stupid whore.

  21. No you are not racist and please dont throw in a picture of Vanessa Williams because then you and I will be very confused. Then lets not get mixed up with names when they say Vanessa Williams do they mean the one that was the former Mrs. America or the one that played in new jack City LOL I think they all are related and if you could get a sneek peak they would all show up at a Family Reunion LOLOLOLOL Hey and lets thrown in Alicia Keyes and check out those similarities. LOLOL

  22. I am going to throw this one in for some banter: Michael Michele’s real last name is Williams. Is she related to Vanessa Williams? I don’t know the answer to this. And yes, I agree, they all look similar. The nature of photography is what makes it hard to tell them apart. If you met them all in person and saw them side by side you might see their differences. It is normal human nature to recognize similarities and familiarize people. It doesn’t make you racist, or even male. It just makes you human. The fact that you have sparked such a response to your question shows that it is a really good one. They say that we each have a double out there somewhere. I think these girls all fall in to that category. Take a look at a picture of Brigette Bardot from the 60’s and a picture of Claudia Schiffer. If it weren’t for the generation gap they might look like the same person.

  23. racist? no. i stumbled across this thread trying to figure out if michael michele was related to vanessa williams. though the women in the two pictures dontclook like the same person to me… they look related. thecmain thing to remember is that perceptions differ. also… a racist wouldnt care. lastly a racist is one who discriminates against other races and illtreats them. tell your detractors that they should not use words they dont understand 😉

  24. well these two women look nothing alike but michael michele does look like vanessa williams. I had to look it up because my grandma was sure it was vanessa williams…and michael’s bitrh name was michael michele williams…its a really big coincidence because apparentlythe women arent related at all

  25. I googled Tawny Cypress and while there is a a slight resemblance in the above pic to Michael Michelle they look nothing alike. The only similarity is their coloring in terms of eyes, complexion, and both have brown hair. Tawny has really full lips and her face is much longer, while Michael has thinner lips, a completely different bone structure and square shaped face.I also think Michael Michelle is prettier but that’s just my opinion. I think it’s kind of odd that you can’t tell them apart especially if you’ve seen more than one pic of both. Tawny looks like a lighter skinned version of actress Gina Torres, the lips , hair, everything. Weird

  26. It’s an acceptable mistake to mix-up people. That doesn’t make anyone a horrible person. Personally, I thought Ashley Madekwe (Revenge) and Autumn Reeser (Last Resort) were the same person and I’m no racist!

  27. Funny I happened to be watching Hereos for the 1st time over the weekend. I thought Tawny was Michael at one point.

    At the time remembering Michael in NY Undercover & an episode of SVU I knew this likely was not Michael in Hereos. While watching the episode there were times Tawny looked nothing like Michael confirming to me they were two separate actresses.

    I did however wonder if they were related & if their resemblance to one another has ever been noted (leading me here) & since people had commented years after your initial post I decided to comment as well.

    There is a picture or two of Vanessa & Michael where I could understand them being mistaken for one another (based on their pose, hairstyle, smile) when comparing these particular pics.

    Although I may confuse Tawny for Michael I highly doubt I would ever confuse Vanessa with either of them or even think they were related. I also understand how people think none of them look alike. On another note at times Tawny upon 1st glance looks like Alicia Keys to me

    Everyones attention to detail is different. That being said you are not racist soley based on the fact you think all 3 of them look alike.

  28. I’m watching The Blacklist right now & thought Tawny was Gina Torres! Her hair is styled completely different & she looks like Gina did in Serenity & Xena.

  29. I csn see a resemblance as both are beautiful and talented women just as Vsnessa Williams.

  30. Don’t worry. When I first saw these pictures, I thought they were the same person. Also, they both remind me of Vanessa Williams.

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