Friday, April 25, 2008

Family resemblances

    "Take a look at the following paintings. How alike are they? How can you tell--which clues help you determine similarity? Now, which of these girls are related? If only two of these young girls are related, how would you determine which two? Would they be the same ones that you thought looked very similar?" link



Would you be surprised to find out that 4 children are all siblings, their faces cut out from this painting?

The Marsham Children. 1787. Oil on canvas. Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Gemaldegalerie, Berlin, Germany.


There is an interesting article on "Kin recognition and the perceived facial similarity of children" here




Our friends Sarah and Ryan have 3 children. If I had not seen Sarah visibly pregnant with each of them I could have easily assumed that they had cloned the children from Ryan, without Sarah's involvement what so ever. Ryan definitely has the dominant genes in that relationship (and that's probably the only dominant area he gets!)

The same holds true for K and her 3 children. Even though Liam, "C" and "J" are all half-siblings, they are so similar in pictures that it is almost eerie.

My Mom and her brothers all look like my Grandfather.
My Dad looks like a slightly smaller version of his older brother.

I am surrounded by people who look like their family members. I however don't look like anyone I know.

  • Both of my parents are shorter then me, and have been since I was 12.
  • I have brown eyes in a family of blue eyed folks.
  • I tan, never burn when everyone around me is hiding in the shade or looking like a lobster coming out of the pot.


    One of the burning questions that I had growing up was "Who do I look like?" I would stare at strangers on the street looking for a resemblance. Friends who knew I was adopted would report back to me anytime they saw someone who looked like me, so that I could go check them out.

    Once I was in contact with Iris, I thought that all these questions would finally be answered. She was going to send me pictures of herself and Madelaine!! Except that when they arrived, I found out that I look nothing like either of them! Sure there were some basic similarities, straight brownish hair, over weight, same kind of nose, but nothing that I would not be able to find in common if I had pulled 10 random people off the street.

    So for now, I still wonder.

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