Mythbusters: All Chinese People Look the Same

Originally posted in the now retired “Keeping up With the Joneses”

Be honest (no one will know) – have you ever said something like, “All Chinese people look alike”?

Now be honest again.  How many Chinese friends do you have?  Wait – Don’t count them unless you know their name (without looking at their nametag) AND they know yours.  Don’t worry this is not another guilt trip or an effort to shame you into being more globally alert.  Living in China, however, has given us the opportunity to get the inside scoop on real live Chinese people.  What I’m about to share is sensitive and may not be suitable for everyone.  Are you ready?  Are you sitting down? Chinese people are  . . . people.

It’s true.  You can check Wikipedia.  

We have absolutely fallen in love with so many of our new friends.  We have also learned that you can’t apply a lone characteristic to an entire nation full of people whether it be how they look, how they act, how they think or what their agenda is.  People are vastly and beautifully different and yet somehow all very much the same.  

So here are some pictures to bust the myth once and for all.  Chinese people do NOT all look the same and if you look closely you even get a taste of their unique personalities.  These are from our first year in China and feature some of my favorite and funnest students.  And friends.


  1. This is called “other race effect”. True story: I had an Asian supervisor (Vietnamese) and he went to another facility for a few weeks. In the mean time, I had to work outside all day for 2 weeks straight in the summer. Since I tan rather easily, I got a bunch of color. So, I got a nice real curly perm. When that Asian supervisor came back, he failed to recognize me, since I looked enough like everyone else in the place, who are mostly African American. A black coworker mentioned it’s common knowledge among blacks that whites think blacks look alike. Me and the permanently black coworker got a good laugh out of this situation.

    So, the “other race effect” works all the way around. It’s like being “face blind” in the case of people of a race other than your own. i.e. Chinese people if you are white or black, or black people as seen by a Vietnamese person – as I found out the hard way.

  2. All Asians do look alike. ITS IMPOSSIBLE to say all black people look alike. We come in very dar, dark, brown, light skin, and white. As a matter of fact all other races look alike too.

  3. They are all pictures of the same person..


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