Thursday, November 12, 2009


Yesterday I was at Rite Aid getting an assortment of random things I realized I needed once I actually arrived. It was supposed to be just trash bags, but then I saw Maybelline was having a buy one get one free sale and, well, you know the end of that story! When I finally made my way to the checkout counter the guy took an extra long look at me before asking what he assumed was a rhetorical question. “You know who you look like, right?” Of course this is said as if the answer is obvious. But as any person of color will tell you, the answer could be any number of celebrities that have a little color to them. For some reason, non-black folks just don’t have the best judgment when it comes to who black folks might look like.

So today I decided to not even take a guess and just have him tell me who I look like. I would hate to be wrong and make the guy feel like I had no clue as to who my universal twin was... because he was so positive. Obviously I look like Jada Pinkett Smith. Obviously. I just shook my head and smiled as if I hear that every day. It’s really only as often as I hear any other brown-skinned starlet, save a few who happen to be a little more frequent. So I figured I would ask your esteemed opinion. Do I look like I could be Will’s wife?

In the past few years, I’ve also been hearing Alicia Keyes an awful lot. I don’t quite see it…not really. But I figured I would get your opinion on that as well. I chose a black/white pic of myself because let’s be honest, I have a far better tan that she does.

And the one I really do get more than any other is Holly Robinson-Peete. If I had to say I resembled anyone at all, I would probably pick her. And if I do end up resembling her even more in the next 10 or 15 years, that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

I’ve actually heard this all the way back from 21 jumpstreet days, which gives it a little more credence. But I don’t know, maybe it’s because I copied her hairstyle when I was younger.

So what do you think? Any of these people? Someone else? Let me hear your thoughts, no matter what your ethnicity.


Anna at D16 said...

I don't think the "You know who you look like, right?" thing is necessarily related to ethnicity. I'm a white girl with dark hair and bangs, and for years I've been told I look like every other white girl who has ever had dark hair and bangs - Bettie Page, Uma Thurman in Pulp Fiction, Louise Brooks, Lily Allen, Janeane Garofalo, etc. (Usually prefaced by, "You probably get this all the time, but...")

Obviously these women look nothing like each other (and I don't like anything like any of them!), but I still get these comments all the time. A good friend of mine is about a foot shorter than me and Mexican, but since we have the same haircut, we constantly get asked if we're sisters (!) when we're out together.

In the photos you've posted here, I can see facial similarities between you and all three of these women. That's due to editing and juxtaposition, though, and I know that in person, people's faces read very differently. I imagine in reality you just look like yourself!

Personally, I can't imagine ever approaching a stranger and telling them who I think they look like. I've been on the receiving end of that situation too many times, and it never makes me feel anything other than self-conscious and uncomfortable.

Brianna said... are right. i think i just find that people who aren't my ethnicity are usually waaaay more broad and come up with people i'd never resemble in a million years. but yes, a lot of times a similar haircut will do it!

Daniel said...

Ms. Glenn,
Well, I can certainly tell the difference; easily. It’s called Practice, lol.
You look nothing like Jade Pinkett or Alicia Keyes. They aren’t my standards of beauty anyway.
Now Holly Robinson, wow. Yes, all the way back to 21 Jump Street. She IS beautiful.
But you don’t look like her either.

You already know who I thought you looked like. You even agreed. Henceforth, I knows what I’m talkin’ ‘bout.

Now, which is prettier, Tianna Madison or Holly Robinson; hummmmm ….

Anonymous said...

The real question is could you be Will Smith's wife? Better yet, sweet thing could you be my wife?
If I were not a single man in a country with a bountiful crop of delicious women I could answer that for you.
Only God really knows the answer.

anonymousnupe said...

Maya?! Is that you?! LOL!

Brianna said...

oh yea...I get Maya too. But my sister gets her more.

Bianca said...


Oh my word! You posted a back-in-the-day photo. I'm seriously laughing... because you TOTALLY look like Holly Robison pre-Peete!

See, you can blog everyday!

Diandra Ann said...

That is hilarious! I think you are gorgeous. Stunning. Beautiful! All on your own! I dont see the first two, but the last one I do see some resemblance... especially with that hairstyle! Awesome!

I used to get Rachel Ray all the time... the funny thing is I get people telling me I look like people that AREN'T white... even though I am... so that's always interesting :)

I like your regularly scheduled blogs! Keep it up!

Chandler said...

Here is your look alike:

A guy can always wish!

AmandaEbokosia.COM said...

I believe you're beautiful Brianna :D. I see some facial features but nothing that makes me feel, " You look like____________".

You're your own.


Marissa B said...

My vote would be for Holly as well, just the much younger and prettier version. I always get Eva Mendez, other than skin color we do not have anything else remotely in common, of course to my disappointment.

...Jerome said...

I vote for picture 2, 4, 6, and 8 to be most like you.

You shouldn't buy trash bags at Rite Aid as you are paying double. Go to Costco and buy in bulk and save a lot.

When you say "any person of color can tell you",.... which is the color of the person who knows this? Purple? Pink? Or are you saying you're a racist and ONLY "black" people know and experience this?

"non-black folks just don’t have the best judgment when it comes to who black folks might look like"........ would you be a "non-white"? Can we put this as part of your bio in the next track meet program under your name? But then again, your half white, so I don't get your whole "I'm black" thing with you? Do you hate your mom or something? Obama uses the same stik so maybe its the cool thing to do these days? I'm black, not white or even partially white! Go give your mom a kiss and tell her you love her and your half white and proud of it!

"I chose a black/white pic of myself because let’s be honest, I have a far better tan that she does" do? No you don't! Who told you this?

This is why you are still single because you have identity issues within yourself and racial issues with light, dark, white, black, .......

I wonder what planet you live on!

...Jerome said...

Maybe I'm wrong about you? Maybe it is the track & field community which is RACIST?

And to be socially accepted in your profession, on a day to day basis, you have to be black, put aside your white heritage, be socially acceptable?

Is Track & Field RACIST?

I think I got the heart of this!

Be Black or be banned and shunned in track & field!

Shame on Track & Field USA!!!!

---my criticism of you is withdrawn! my apologies!

jujusa said...

u blog everyday nowadays!! lol
that's nice u r the best blogger u know!!!
u r Holly Robinson?? lol
u r the same it's amazing =)

#2 Fan said...

The picture of you in the black dress under Mrs.Robinson Pete is beautifully elegant :-) I see you both being fraternal twins lol. I'm liking the posts keep'em coming...

brit brat said...

oh wow...let me just keep it all to myself!!

side note: yes I do get Mya more

Dexter said...

First - @Jerome: I don't know where you were going with your ramblings but I don't think Bri gave you permission to define what ethnicity she chooses to identify with. She made a general statement that sounded stereotypical to YOU because, "it's a Black thang, you wouldn't understand".

Oops, sorry...that's a something that us "non-white" people say.

Sorry Bri - thought maybe someone should defend your honor just in case Jerome was impugning it.

Anyway....the picture of you reminded me of Terry Lynn Ellis from En Vogue (but that's only because I had a mad crush on her back in the day!)

No matter WHO people think you look like, you're still beautiful!

dust said...

I need to see some more pictures from your childhood before i can give my honest opinion.

LaLa said...

Definitely Holly! That's funny. People say my little sis looks like Gabrielle Reese and some people ask me if she's half asian because of her almond shaped eyes. And when I say no they always ask (stupidly) "Are you sure??!"

@Jerome, spazz much?

melanie said...

lol. sometimes i think people just find it easier to say you look like someone famous than to say they think you're pretty. because i get beyonce more than anyone--a welcomed switch from cosby kid raven symone--and lord knows he didn't bless me quite as much as the queen of pop! but hey, i'll take it. then of course its been vanessa williams, halle berry, mya when i pierced my nose, alicia when i wore long braids and when my hair's out, hillary from fresh prince. sometimes it's just something to say. i don't look anything like those women but we have similar tones, i guess, and it often seems that's enough. go fig. once i got natalie portman, though. and not "you look like her" but this chick freaked out and thought i WAS her. NATALIE PORTMAN. wild.
anyway, as for the bianca to YOUR jaz, you know it's officer hoffs. you know it.