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-   -   Is it Possible To Disguise Yourself From A Person Who Knows You Well? (https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=875970)

shadowmyst87 05-22-2019 05:09 PM

Is it Possible To Disguise Yourself From A Person Who Knows You Well?
 
Does anyone think it's possible for one to disguise one's self so that a person, who knows you well, wouldn't recognize you during an interaction? And would it also be possible to have multiple interactions over a sustained period of time with this person without them ever knowing who you really are?

To answer this question, we need to address a few things.

"Someone who knows you well" is subjective. What would you consider someone knowing you well? Someone you've known for 6 months, years, etc. What if you stopped seeing this person for a few months, would they still be able to recognize you if you had a well enough disguise?

I realize that alot would be invovled in making this happen, you would have to change your voice, demeanor, gait, movement, etc to really pull something like this off.

But if you cant change your facial appearance, then all of that doesn't really matter. How effective would something like a facial prosthetic like a nose or a chin be in disguising yourself?

Think Mrs Doubtfire. That exact scenario, I realize it's a movie. But it describes exactly what I'm talking about.

Opinions?

Omar Little 05-22-2019 05:10 PM

Yes

begbert2 05-22-2019 05:11 PM

I have know knowledge on the subject, but I find myself really really hoping to hear from people with practical, first-hand experience as either fooler or fooled. With details!

Beckdawrek 05-22-2019 05:26 PM

God, how I wish that was possible. Mr.Wrekker knows or is related to everyone. They seek me out like a heat seeking missile, wherever I go. It's very awkward, for me.
IMO, you usually cannot.

KneadToKnow 05-22-2019 05:28 PM

For a subset of all possible solutions to this problem, Mythbusters found that full-head masks don't work up close.

shadowmyst87 05-22-2019 05:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by KneadToKnow (Post 21657423)
For a subset of all possible solutions to this problem, Mythbusters found that full-head masks don't work up close.

Right, they used those full on silicone masks. I'm talking more of using facial prosthetics instead.

SkyRangerRich 05-22-2019 05:46 PM

Yes.

This story always blows my mind. http://https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/jul/20/gayle-newland-jailed-for-tricking-female-friend-into-sex

shadowmyst87 05-22-2019 05:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Beckdawrek (Post 21657419)
IMO, you usually cannot.

Out of curiosity, why not?

Patch 05-22-2019 05:50 PM

In college I sat next to a guy with a ZZ Top style beard and long hair. One day I came in and there was a clean-shaven, short-haired guy sitting in the chair. I asked him who he was as I no idea and I figured my friend would be along shortly to sit in his usual spot.

How long I would have been confused if he didn't tell me I don't know, but he sure as hell wasn't recognizable anymore.

shadowmyst87 05-22-2019 05:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SkyRangerRich (Post 21657473)

That's wild. While it's pretty elaborate, there's one caveat,

"The jury heard that the complainant not only wore the blindfold during sex but also for at least 100 hours when the pair were just hanging out – going for drives, sunbathing and even “watching” films together."

Of course if you can't see the person's face, then you won't be able to recognize them. I don't know if this story really counts.

Ambivalid 05-22-2019 05:58 PM

My father, for basically my entire life, has had a moustache. Well about 30 years or so ago, upon finding out that he was going to be meeting up with his sister and BIL in DC, my father decided to have a little fun.

He shaved off his 'stache right before leaving for D.C. to meet them. He just had to pick me and my sister up from school and take us home first. In hindsight i believe he did this as a "practice run" of sorts, to see how shocking his new appearance was.

Well, it worked on us kids. My sister started fucking bawling and screaming and i refused to leave with this man claiming to be my dad. I dont think he was expecting it to work *so* well, because it took him the better part of 10 minutes to calm us down and convince us he was really Dad. He looked SO fucking weird and different!

Anyway, my father says the look on his sister's face was priceless when he met them in the D.C. restaurant. She was just staring a confused stare as he approached their table and when he got right up in front of them, she just continued to stare in awkward silence for at least a minute. Finally, "John??" "Is that John?" At that point my dad couldnt hold back any longer and just burst out laughing. He had lived so much of his life donning a big, bushy moustache that just about everyone who'd ever known him knew him that one way. So he fooled some of the closest people to him, simply by shaving his 'stache.

Musicat 05-22-2019 06:12 PM

I worked with a local guy on numerous occasions occasionally for 20 years, with frequent personal interactions, including personal interviews of and by him, and sharing committee membership. I would say we know each other pretty well.

A few months ago, I began to grow a beard for no reason. At a funeral for a mutual friend, he sat directly one row behind me for the entire event and watched me standing up behind the video camera the entire time. After it was over, he leaned over the pew and said, "You look familiar, but I don't know your name."

And his wife, who could be excused as I didn't see her as often, said she didn't know who I was, either.

So an unintentional disguise worked better than I planned. However, the age of both was 80-90, so maybe that was a factor.

thorny locust 05-22-2019 07:34 PM

I'm partly faceblind. If we're going primarily by faces, it's really easy to fool me.

Peter Morris 05-22-2019 08:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by thorny locust (Post 21657648)
I'm partly faceblind. If we're going primarily by faces, it's really easy to fool me.

Me too. There have been times where people I've known for a while have made a simple change like dyed their hair, or shaved off a beard, and I didn't recognize them.

don't mind me 05-22-2019 08:17 PM

Long ago, my aunt and her husband spotted her cousin across the room at a bar. The husband walked over, chit-chatted and asked her to dance. After a minute or two he asked, "You don't recognize me, do you?"

"No, you must not have been very good."

He walked her over to his waiting wife. Oops.

shadowmyst87 05-22-2019 08:31 PM

So it seems like it's entirely possible. But I wonder how doable it actually is to pull off.

Fear Itself 05-22-2019 08:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ambivalid (Post 21657496)
He had lived so much of his life donning a big, bushy moustache that just about everyone who'd ever known him knew him that one way. So he fooled some of the closest people to him, simply by shaving his 'stache.

I know someone like that. His moustache is so large and distinctive, I don't think I could recognize him without it. I once spotted him on TV in the crowd at a baseball game based on that moustache, which I confirmed by a phonecall to his daughter.

shadowmyst87 05-22-2019 11:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Fear Itself (Post 21657731)
I know someone like that. His moustache is so large and distinctive, I don't think I could recognize him without it. I once spotted him on TV in the crowd at a baseball game based on that moustache, which I confirmed by a phonecall to his daughter.

The person who I've been thinking of pulling this disguise prank on has only ever seen me with a trimmed beard for the last 5 months, never clean shaven. And 90% of the time wearing a hat since I've been experiencing male pattern baldness.

I wonder if shaving my beard entirely and having one of those realistic looking hair systems installed would be enough. Maybe perhaps throw in some fake eyeglasses and color changing contacts?. There's something about distinct characteristics of people that allow us to recognize ones we know. What is it for some of you? Eyes, mouth, nose? Somebody today told me that all they needed to hear was my voice to recognize me.

gkster 05-23-2019 01:22 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Patch (Post 21657479)
In college I sat next to a guy with a ZZ Top style beard and long hair. One day I came in and there was a clean-shaven, short-haired guy sitting in the chair. I asked him who he was as I no idea and I figured my friend would be along shortly to sit in his usual spot.

How long I would have been confused if he didn't tell me I don't know, but he sure as hell wasn't recognizable anymore.

I had a similar experience with a good friend in college. He had a heavy beard and mustache. We were supposed to meet in the library and I walked right by him because he'd shaved. I didn't recognize him at all--he said my name and then seeing my blank look told me who he was.

A friend was married to a man who was almost completely bald; after 6 years he decided to get a wig/hairpiece and went shopping for it with my friend's younger sister. They came home to a family dinner with him wearing the hairpiece and thought that they'd have some fun, so the younger sister introduced him as a friend of hers, giving him a fake name, and they sat down and ate. His wife and in-laws didn't recognize him for 15 minutes or so. In fact it wasn't his wife who spotted him; it was one of her brothers who realized who it was.

DorkVader 05-23-2019 01:32 AM

Sometimes you don't even have to wear a disguise or really change your appearance beyond clothes and context. Happened to me in the army enough, both ways. You spend everyday working with someone, eating next to each other, getting to know each others family through
stories, sometimes sharing a two man tent. First time you see each other in civilian clothes at the grocery store you exchange looks of puzzled and vague recognition

guizot 05-23-2019 02:35 AM

I used to go in disguise as a kind of art or pastime. In fact, I went to my high school graduation in disguise, as a "member of the community" -- a beach bum type, with long hair (wig), short mustache, sunglasses. (I made the mustache with this technique.) Only one person recognized me, but I'd let him know beforehand that I would be there in disguise. I sat next to my math teacher in the general public seating, and made a few wise-ass comments during the ceremony, in a deepened voice. Then, at the end, I said, "Yeah--I coulda been in there, too, but what the hell. You had a great class, Ms. ____________)," in my normal voice, she looked at me, and just started cracking up.

On another instance, I went to a cafe where I knew some friends would be, disguised as a "foreign scholar" type, and sat a table next to and directly facing them, hearing everything they said. They never recognized me. However, some of the same friends did recognize me once going by in the same disguise later, and they said (after thinking about it for a while ), that it was because they recognized how I walked.

So that was a big lesson for me in disguises -- it's not just how you look, but your mannerism, too, that can give you away.

Also, it has everything to do with context. If you're in disguise but in a context in which people never see you, they are much less likely to recognize. I lot of the ways in which we recognize people and objects is by way of the total context in which we have always known them. (ETA: IOW, kind of what DorkVader said about being out of uniform off base.)

TokyoBayer 05-23-2019 03:03 AM

I worked night security on campus while going to school. I would have interactions with people such as the cashiers at 7-11 but if I approached them when I wasn’t wearing a uniform they would often have a blank look.

Les Espaces Du Sommeil 05-23-2019 06:04 AM

French TV presenter Patrick Sébastien did just that in 1992, tricking several colleagues and famous people into believing that he was a particularly rude and/or clueless fan. Although he was already very famous at the time, had worked with some of them for years and was almost literally in their face, none recognized him.

Here's one of the reveals (at 2:15)

glee 05-23-2019 06:43 AM

I've had a beard, moustache and glasses for decades.

If I shaved, wore contacts and dyed my hair, I expect I could fool close friends.

shadowmyst87 05-23-2019 11:40 AM

I haven't had a full head of hair since I was 22. And my beard I just shaved off last week. This person that I'm trying to fool has never seen me without it. I don't know if I can disguise myself long enough to last several interactions over the course of a few weeks though.

Shoeless 05-23-2019 12:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ambivalid (Post 21657496)
My father, for basically my entire life, has had a moustache. Well about 30 years or so ago, upon finding out that he was going to be meeting up with his sister and BIL in DC, my father decided to have a little fun.

He shaved off his 'stache right before leaving for D.C. to meet them. He just had to pick me and my sister up from school and take us home first. In hindsight i believe he did this as a "practice run" of sorts, to see how shocking his new appearance was.

Well, it worked on us kids. My sister started fucking bawling and screaming and i refused to leave with this man claiming to be my dad. I dont think he was expecting it to work *so* well, because it took him the better part of 10 minutes to calm us down and convince us he was really Dad. He looked SO fucking weird and different!

Anyway, my father says the look on his sister's face was priceless when he met them in the D.C. restaurant. She was just staring a confused stare as he approached their table and when he got right up in front of them, she just continued to stare in awkward silence for at least a minute. Finally, "John??" "Is that John?" At that point my dad couldnt hold back any longer and just burst out laughing. He had lived so much of his life donning a big, bushy moustache that just about everyone who'd ever known him knew him that one way. So he fooled some of the closest people to him, simply by shaving his 'stache.

As a sort of counterpoint to this story: my brother had a moustache since before he was married. A few years ago he decided to shave it off. His younger daughter, who was in her early teens, told her older sister, who was about 19 or 20, "Dad shaved off his moustache!"

Older daughter replied, "Dad had a moustache?" :D

Noelq 05-23-2019 01:06 PM

Two anecdotes:

1. I go to a Renaissance Faire yearly, on consecutive weekends. I know, and am good friends with, some of the folks there. Once, I met a person I only know from Faire in the real world. As he was dressed normally, with no hat and speaking normally, I could not recognize a person I'd known for 20 years.

2. Our office had a "disco" themed holiday party. A guy I've worked with for 15 years, who is normally bald, wore a greaser wig with sideburns. Could NOT recognize him at all.


So yes, it can be quite, quite easy to disguise yourself.

CairoCarol 05-23-2019 02:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by shadowmyst87 (Post 21658557)
I haven't had a full head of hair since I was 22. And my beard I just shaved off last week. This person that I'm trying to fool has never seen me without it. I don't know if I can disguise myself long enough to last several interactions over the course of a few weeks though.

You want to fool someone about who you are for several weeks? Why? I don't know the circumstances, of course, and perhaps they are entirely innocent, but offhand I gotta say I'd most likely be pretty pissed off at someone if they did that to me.

As to the feasibility of it, though - think Andy Kaufman/Tony Clifton. Of course the Tony character was quite over-the-top (and played by more than one person), but there were definitely people who worked with Tony having no idea it was Andy.

shadowmyst87 05-23-2019 02:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CairoCarol (Post 21658969)
You want to fool someone about who you are for several weeks? Why? I don't know the circumstances, of course, and perhaps they are entirely innocent, but offhand I gotta say I'd most likely be pretty pissed off at someone if they did that to me.

As to the feasibility of it, though - think Andy Kaufman/Tony Clifton. Of course the Tony character was quite over-the-top (and played by more than one person), but there were definitely people who worked with Tony having no idea it was Andy.

It's a long story, hahaha. Yeah it's an innocent prank, no harm done.

shadowmyst87 05-23-2019 02:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Noelq (Post 21658773)
Two anecdotes:

1. I go to a Renaissance Faire yearly, on consecutive weekends. I know, and am good friends with, some of the folks there. Once, I met a person I only know from Faire in the real world. As he was dressed normally, with no hat and speaking normally, I could not recognize a person I'd known for 20 years.

2. Our office had a "disco" themed holiday party. A guy I've worked with for 15 years, who is normally bald, wore a greaser wig with sideburns. Could NOT recognize him at all.


So yes, it can be quite, quite easy to disguise yourself.

That's crazy, I would think it would take alot more to disguise yourself from someone that knows besides just wearing a wig.

I guess it depends on the person doing the recognizing and how aware they are? Did you get up close to him enough that you could see his face clearly?

carrps 05-23-2019 04:01 PM

Speaking of facial hair, I knew a guy at work ages ago who had a beard and mustache. One day he shaved just the beard. He said the next day in his office one of the ladies kept staring at him, and finally said: "Oh, I get it. You grew a mustache."

Going strictly by appearance, I think you could fool people. How I recognize people a lot, though, is by voice. Often, I've recognized an actor in a part by their voice...even though they were in heavy makeup or otherwise visually unrecognizable.

shadowmyst87 05-23-2019 07:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by carrps (Post 21659209)
Speaking of facial hair, I knew a guy at work ages ago who had a beard and mustache. One day he shaved just the beard. He said the next day in his office one of the ladies kept staring at him, and finally said: "Oh, I get it. You grew a mustache."

Going strictly by appearance, I think you could fool people. How I recognize people a lot, though, is by voice. Often, I've recognized an actor in a part by their voice...even though they were in heavy makeup or otherwise visually unrecognizable.

Going by just appearance alone, the problem with that is that people can remember faces. Atleast most can anyways. So if you really wanted to fool someone, you would have to alter your face in some way, there aren't too many options available for changing your face besides surgery. There's facial prosthetics such as foam latex noses, chins, etc. I don't know how believable they are, especially at close range.

But, if you shaved your all your facial hair off, put some hair on your head, wore some eye color changing contacts, threw on some fake eyeglasses and maybe used a facial prosthetic. You might be able to get away with it, notwithstanding changing your voice and overall mannerism.

The person I want to pull this prank on has only ever seen me with a full on trimmed mustache/beard. Never clean shaven, and usually wearing a hat because I'm rather self conscious about my advanced balding...

digs 05-24-2019 12:41 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by shadowmyst87 (Post 21659018)
It's a long story, hahaha. Yeah it's an innocent prank, no harm done.

A long story's fine. We ain't goin' anywhere.

shadowmyst87 05-24-2019 11:32 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by digs (Post 21659917)
A long story's fine. We ain't goin' anywhere.

This person that I've known for a few months likes to play practical jokes alot. Some of them are harsh. I really want to pull this off on him. He hasn't seen me in two months so that might be to my advantage.

RTFirefly 05-24-2019 12:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ambivalid (Post 21657496)
My father, for basically my entire life, has had a moustache. Well about 30 years or so ago, upon finding out that he was going to be meeting up with his sister and BIL in DC, my father decided to have a little fun.

He shaved off his 'stache right before leaving for D.C. to meet them. He just had to pick me and my sister up from school and take us home first. In hindsight i believe he did this as a "practice run" of sorts, to see how shocking his new appearance was.

Seven or eight years ago, I shaved off my full beard and moustache, which I'd had for 20 years, just to see what I looked like without them these days. (I let them grow back after about a month.)

Some people still recognized me immediately, and some walked right on by without a clue that it was me. Different people clearly key in on different parts of one's appearance.

Shodan 05-24-2019 12:13 PM

I think the hard part would be disguising your voice. Also changing your gait, which is how one can recognize people from a distance.

Good thing I don't have anything distinctive that allows people to recognize me.

Barkis is Willin' 05-24-2019 02:00 PM

I think I could pull it off. And yet, I'm biased enough to think someone I'm very close to (wife, parents, siblings) would not be able to fool me.

Quote:

Originally Posted by shadowmyst87 (Post 21657484)
"The jury heard that the complainant not only wore the blindfold during sex but also for at least 100 hours when the pair were just hanging out – going for drives, sunbathing and even “watching” films together."

Ok, this is just absurd. Let's watch a movie together. But, uhh, can you keep that blindfold on?

shadowmyst87 05-24-2019 05:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Barkis is Willin' (Post 21660878)
I think I could pull it off. And yet, I'm biased enough to think someone I'm very close to (wife, parents, siblings) would not be able to fool me.

How would you pull it off though, especially up close and during a conversation?

Quote:

Originally Posted by Shodan (Post 21660663)
I think the hard part would be disguising your voice. Also changing your gait, which is how one can recognize people from a distance.
ood thing I don't have anything distinctive that allows people to recognize me.

There's alot of techniques online for changing your voice, or at the very least altering it to a degree. But I still think the biggest factor is facial appearance, if you can't change that then nothing else really matters.


Quote:

Originally Posted by RTFirefly (Post 21660650)
Different people clearly key in on different parts of one's appearance.

Exactly. I wonder what features people hone in on when recognizing someone.

Hari Seldon 05-24-2019 09:12 PM

I haven't shaved in 54 years. If I shaved, added a hairpiece, and contacts, I suspect more than a few people I know would not recognize me. Especially people who last saw me when I weighed 80 pounds more (although that started changing 20 years ago).

I think my kids would be stunned, but I don't think I could fool them.

DinoR 05-24-2019 09:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by shadowmyst87 (Post 21657484)
Of course if you can't see the person's face, then you won't be able to recognize them. I don't know if this story really counts.

I have plenty of experience recognizing people by the combinations of body shape, voice, the way they move, etc despite it being so dark I couldn't see their face. It was called being in the Army. It's nowhere near perfect but you'd be surprised how much you give away to someone who knows you even without them being able to see your face clearly.

Moriarty 05-24-2019 09:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Shodan (Post 21660663)
Good thing I don't have anything distinctive that allows people to recognize me.

I like what you did there.

Sleel 05-24-2019 11:01 PM

Disguise yourself from a person who knows you well? Probably not. There’s not just appearance, but voice, stance, gait, mannerisms, etc. that would often give it away even with an otherwise foolproof disguise; and masks and such are not particularly convincing up close. If you can recognize someone from the sound of their footsteps, or as an earlier poster mentioned by the way they move and the sounds they make even at night when you can’t see any details, I think it would be really, really hard to convince someone who knows you at all well that you’re someone else entirely.

I’m shit with names*, but remember everything else about people well. I often remember people I’ve only met a couple of times well enough to recognize them months or in some cases years later. I pick up on changes in appearance almost immediately, and can recognize someone I know in a crowd from behind just by the way they walk.

But there are things like Billy Tipton hiding his birth sex from the people around him, and audience members being shocked at the reveal in this movie that make me think that maybe I’m the minority here.

Flipping genders is about the most comprehensive transformation a person can do, and one glance at a picture of Billy, and about 5 seconds after seeing Dil, I knew what apparently eluded some people for decades in one case, and over an hour in another. To me, it’s blindingly obvious once anyone is within spitting distance of puberty — no matter what they present and identify as — what sex body they got stuck in. I first saw Haruna Ai on a variety show panel with a bunch of other non-transgender guests, (they never made any mention of her status during the show) and it took me only a few seconds to confirm with my Japanese wife, “She used to be a dude, right?” She won the biggest transgender beauty contest in Thailand, and apparently has been presenting as female since she was a pre-teen, so it’s not like she’s unconvincing. I’ll treat anyone as whatever gender they prefer to present, but I recognize sex characteristics right away. IMO, you’ve got to be into Buck Angel territory before it would take more than a few seconds.

So, hellifIknow what most people can recognize about other people they know. Maybe a disguise I see through almost instantly would be totally convincing to a person’s friends and family. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

* To the point where I literally blanked on the name of a girl I’d been dating for a couple of weeks when I ran into a friend of mine and was socially obligated to introduce her to him. She forgave me … eventually.

shadowmyst87 05-25-2019 12:04 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sleel (Post 21661613)
Disguise yourself from a person who knows you well? Probably not. There’s not just appearance, but voice, stance, gait, mannerisms, etc. that would often give it away even with an otherwise foolproof disguise; and masks and such are not particularly convincing up close. If you can recognize someone from the sound of their footsteps, or as an earlier poster mentioned by the way they move and the sounds they make even at night when you can’t see any details, I think it would be really, really hard to convince someone who knows you at all well that you’re someone else entirely.

It's not impossible, it would just take alot of forethought and practice. Like I've mentioned before a few times, "a person who knows you well" is subjective. It might be alot more difficult to fool someone who's known you your entire life vs someone who's only known you for a few months. It also depends on the person doing the recognizing and how aware they are.

http://www.just-health.net/How-to-Ch...our-Voice.html

https://www.wikihow.com/Disguise-Yourself

https://thesecretyumiverse.wonderhow...ecret-0133488/

shadowmyst87 05-25-2019 12:09 AM

I also wouldn't bother with masks either. I would however consider a facial prosthetic like a nose or a chin, if it's done well and blended in and combined with a pair of glasses and eye color changing contacts, it could be very convincing. They also now makes realistic looking temporary tattoos that are of excellent quality and don't wash of easily. This definitely throw someone off who wouldn't be expecting someone they know to have a tattoo.

Consider this study that was done,

It takes very little to successfully disguise yourself

Melbourne 05-25-2019 04:39 AM

Lifts in your shoes to make you walk different and give you a different height. And "Potato" tattooed upside down on your arm to distract them.

Context is everything. Context and dishonesty. The two main points are context, dishonesty, and appearance...

You have difficulty recognizing people out of context. (But some people are very good at it anyway. And most people just believe what they are told: we don't expect lies. And we learn how to recognize people by their distinctive features: if you go to a very foreign country, you can expect to find that everybody looks the same to you. Personally, I look at noses: around here, there are a lot of different noses.

ZonexandScout 05-25-2019 08:50 AM

When I was younger, I worked for two years with a guy who had a GF who attended art school. She wore bulky clothes, had long straight hair, and a bit of acne. I saw her every day when she picked my friend up from work and we were often visiting at their apartment.

One year we had a Halloween party and I kept trying to make conversation with this woman who was wearing a Playboy bunny outfit. She had an absolutely incredible figure, great hair, and was wearing a small domino mask. Yup...it took someone else to mention that it was my co-worker's GF. She had styled her hair nicely and the domino covered quite a bit of her acne. Of course, I had no idea that she had that kind of figure, either. Those three changes made her totally unrecognizable to me. (Fortunately, I found out before I made a fool of myself.)

Rocketeer 05-25-2019 09:44 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Shodan (Post 21660663)
...Also changing your gait, which is how one can recognize people from a distance...

I remember reading that you should pit a pebble in your shoe (to disrupt your normal gait).

Paul in Qatar 05-25-2019 10:18 AM

Sit in a wheelchair, hang your head and make no eye contact. Few people will recognize you.

Johnny L.A. 05-25-2019 10:25 AM

A couple of weeks ago, I followed Mrs. L.A. to the Toyota dealer, where she was having a factory recall addressed. She got out of her car and was met by someone in the Service area. I walked up behind her. Later, she said that she hadn't recognised me. I've lost 70 pounds in the last year and a half. Even though she's seen my transformation, she seldom leaves the house. Apparently, she was unused to seeing me in unfamiliar surroundings; especially since I came from behind her and she'd first seen my out of the corner of her eye.

Mundane Super Hero 05-25-2019 11:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CairoCarol (Post 21658969)
You want to fool someone about who you are for several weeks? Why? I don't know the circumstances, of course, and perhaps they are entirely innocent, but offhand I gotta say I'd most likely be pretty pissed off at someone if they did that to me.


I'm sure its innocent... but... I had the same reaction. This seems a little bit over the line. If 'stalkerish' was a real word... yeah but it's not.

aceplace57 05-26-2019 12:34 AM

A disguise worked for Mrs Doubtfire.

I seriously doubt in the real word that guy could fool his ex-wife and kids for more than a few minutes.

shadowmyst87 05-26-2019 02:01 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mundane Super Hero (Post 21662998)
I'm sure its innocent... but... I had the same reaction. This seems a little bit over the line. If 'stalkerish' was a real word... yeah but it's not.

I think you're reading too much into it...


Quote:

Originally Posted by aceplace57 (Post 21663059)
A disguise worked for Mrs Doubtfire.

I seriously doubt in the real word that guy could fool his ex-wife and kids for more than a few minutes.

Keep in mind though, he had a full on mask that was surprisingly realistic. He also changed his entire persona from his voice down to his walk. But, it was a movie afterall.

Nava 05-26-2019 03:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by shadowmyst87 (Post 21657456)
Right, they used those full on silicone masks. I'm talking more of using facial prosthetics instead.

Not even: clothing, accesories, demeanor and even location can make a world of difference. Back when I was in college (ChemE), my friends and I discovered that, despite the four of us going together pretty much everywhere and looking quite distinctive as a pack, just by:
* switching our lab-ready clothes for fashionable ones,
* wearing contacts or our newest glasses rather than the biggest ones we had,
* putting on a very-moderate amount of makeup,
* and doing our hair (not even needing to go to the hairdresser),
a surprising amount of our male classmates didn't recognize us until we walked straight up to them and said "hi, guys!" (*4).

I once was greeted at the train station by this super-tall guy who was there with his tiny wife and two boys. The guy was wearing that year's Barça's second uniform, whose main area was highlighter yellow. I answered "uhm... hi?" "You've got no idea who I am :D" "I'll willingly admit I don't" "From work" ":confused:...:dubious:...:dubious:.... OOOOH! You're the programmer who always leaves his phone behind! You cheat! Every time I see you you're wearing all grey and slinked down under your desk! I didn't even know you were this tall."
His wife was laughing sooo hard at my signed description of the way he draped himself over the chair and under the desk.

Mundane Super Hero 05-26-2019 10:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by shadowmyst87 (Post 21663121)
I think you're reading too much into it...



Quote:

Originally Posted by shadowmyst87 (Post 21660579)
This person that I've known for a few months likes to play practical jokes alot. Some of them are harsh.



Fine point well taken. I have no insight into people who would think this is fun.

shadowmyst87 05-27-2019 12:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nava (Post 21663846)
Not even: clothing, accesories, demeanor and even location can make a world of difference. Back when I was in college (ChemE), my friends and I discovered that, despite the four of us going together pretty much everywhere and looking quite distinctive as a pack, just by:
* switching our lab-ready clothes for fashionable ones,
* wearing contacts or our newest glasses rather than the biggest ones we had,
* putting on a very-moderate amount of makeup,
* and doing our hair (not even needing to go to the hairdresser),
a surprising amount of our male classmates didn't recognize us until we walked straight up to them and said "hi, guys!" (*4).

I once was greeted at the train station by this super-tall guy who was there with his tiny wife and two boys. The guy was wearing that year's Barça's second uniform, whose main area was highlighter yellow. I answered "uhm... hi?" "You've got no idea who I am :D" "I'll willingly admit I don't" "From work" ":confused:...:dubious:...:dubious:.... OOOOH! You're the programmer who always leaves his phone behind! You cheat! Every time I see you you're wearing all grey and slinked down under your desk! I didn't even know you were this tall."
His wife was laughing sooo hard at my signed description of the way he draped himself over the chair and under the desk.


Very interesting that it didn't take much to not be recognized. I was always under the impression that distinct facial features such as a nose or a chin would make anybody recognizable.

Sleel 05-27-2019 09:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by shadowmyst87 (Post 21661691)

From the end of that article:

Quote:

About our intrepid Daily Planet reporter, however: Apparently participants who knew the subjects were less likely to be fooled, so she's not quite off the hook.
From the linked study abstract:

Quote:

There was no improvement in identification performance when participants were told that the faces might be in disguise. However, people who personally knew the photographed models were often able to see through the disguises.
(Emphasis mine).

It might be relatively easy to disguise yourself from strangers, but people who know you are much less likely to be fooled.

shadowmyst87 05-27-2019 09:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sleel (Post 21665685)
From the end of that article:



From the linked study abstract:

(Emphasis mine).

It might be relatively easy to disguise yourself from strangers, but people who know you are much less likely to be fooled.

Depends on the definition of what you mean when you say someone that knows you well. Also depends on how convincing the disguise is.

From that article that you linked that I found interesting,

"Dr Noyes emphasised: “Our models used inexpensive simple disguises and there were no make-up artists involved. If people want to, it’s very easy to change their appearance.”


“Even simple disguise reduces accuracy of human face recognition. Next, we will test how computer face recognition algorithms fare on the same tasks” said Dr Noyes."

And these were just simple disguises. Imagine what the results would've been if they went the extra mile and put more effort in disguising.

Novelty Bobble 05-28-2019 08:07 AM

one data point on this.

Walking down an unfamiliar town street just the other day my wife and I ran into her sister, pretty much literally. She was waving at us and we were looking behind us to see who she was waving at. Neither of us recognised her.
Her hair was down and the wind was blowing it into an unfamiliar style and we weren't expecting to see her in that place either.

Now I'm fairly face-blind but my wife isn't and if her sister hadn't made herself known we'd have walked right past her, no great amount of disguise needed.

mixdenny 05-29-2019 01:16 AM

My first wife fooled me. Many years ago she got it into her head that I preferred blondes (she was brunette). She mentioned it a few times fairly pointedly. We went to a party and I can't remember why but we drove separately. The party was a large group of friends and I knew almost everyone. But sitting at a nearby table was a blonde women I was really taken with. I kept glancing at her as she talked with another friend. She was really intriguing and I think I stared a bit too much. After about 15 minutes she walked over to me and said, "Well, what do you think"? It was my wife in blonde wig and sexy clothes borrowed from her sister. Until she spoke I was oddly attracted but did not recognize her.

Dennis

JKellyMap 05-29-2019 06:48 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SkyRangerRich (Post 21657473)

That’s right out of Being John Malkovich! (Sorry for the hijack).

Noel Prosequi 05-30-2019 03:59 AM

I am sure it can be done well enough to fool a casual inspection. Nothing is likely to survive very close examination where the observer is on guard to detect deception.

I am bald and clean-shaven. I went to the party of an old mate who had been a clubbie - surf-life saving clubs are a thing in Australia, and a significant culture surrounds them. Guys who used to be into the culture often still have the old surfie appearance. So I got some good theatrical facial hair and a wig and gave myself a blonde porn star "tache and a mullet hairdo. Walked past good mates and said hello, and got lots of thin unsure responses that obviously meant they did not recognise me. When I actively engaged them for long enough to look at me, I could see the recognition switch on after a little while, but I wasn't actively trying to fool them, just letting them figure it out. I think I could have strung it out a bit longer if I actively tried to fool them with an accent, a deceptive back story or the like. Eventually they would have picked it, but I think that if I had moved around like party guests do, there might have been some who didn't catch on. Body shape, unconscious mannerisms that are hard to hide, etc would eventually clue them in. But this was not officially fancy dress - I just did it for shits and giggles. If it had been fancy dress and other guests were alert to deception for that reason, I would have been rumbled very quickly.

El DeLuxo 05-30-2019 10:17 AM

Once upon a really long time ago when I lived in Oakland, my then partner (who was somewhat older than me and had worn his hair long and his beard shaggy for all the time I'd known him) decided for reasons of his own to cut it short and shave it down.

Without telling me about it.

I walked in the house that afternoon and there was a square looking middle-aged fart with short combed down hair, big sideburns, and one of those 1970s macho man 'staches standing in the middle of our living room. Wearing a blue suit jacket and slacks, no less.

I said "Do you have a warrant, motherfucker?"

He cracked up laughing like an asshole, then I realized who the laughing asshole was.

Seriously. I left an old hippie dude in the morning and came home to a plain clothes Oakland cop* that afternoon. If he had walked past me on the street, I'd've had not the foggiest that it was my boyfriend of several years.

So, based on my personal experience, you could fool someone that way, at least in the short term.


*Not really, but he was the very spit of one. I really expected to see a badge and a gun within the next couple of seconds.

shadowmyst87 05-31-2019 01:46 AM

I think whether you can fool someone with a disguise depends on alot of different factors. One mainly being the person your disguising yourself from and how much attention they pay to detail. How aware they are, etc.

You also have to consider how long said person has known you for. If it's somebody you've known for years and years it would probably be more difficult.

How elaborate your disguise is also matters alot. Along with your mannerisms, voice, etc. There's more to it besides just how you look.

I have a personal example myself to share. I shaved my beard off recently and showed up at my daughter's kindergarten class to pick her up. I was wearing a pair of sunglasses and a hat. My daughter's teacher had no idea who I was since she's always seen me with a beard. I had to take my sunglasses off for her to recognize me.

So I would say yes, it can be done. Just depends on the individual you're trying to fool.

GargoyleWB 05-31-2019 10:32 AM

I had a circle of friends who would often have various themed parties. One party was a cross-dressing theme and I had a friend do me up in makeup, dress, wig, etc. I went out for drinks afterward staying in costume and spied other friends at a table and we joined them. No one recognized me and just thought I was somebody's friend of a friend. It took me removing my hat, wig, lowering my voice to normal, and slowly saying "It's me! Gargoyle!" before recognition dawned.

Another time at Halloween, simply dressing as Gilligan made me totally unrecognizable solely due to the wig.

My theory is that I have rather bland distinctive features, with no obvious uniqueness to fixate on, so if I'm not seen as 'total package' me then it can be hard to suss out me as an individual.

shadowmyst87 06-01-2019 12:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by GargoyleWB (Post 21673128)
My theory is that I have rather bland distinctive features, with no obvious uniqueness to fixate on, so if I'm not seen as 'total package' me then it can be hard to suss out me as an individual.

Not having any distinctive features definitely aids in that situation.

Mr Shine 06-01-2019 01:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by shadowmyst87 (Post 21657385)

I realize that alot would be invovled in making this happen

Quote:

Originally Posted by shadowmyst87 (Post 21659054)
That's crazy, I would think it would take alot more to disguise yourself from someone that knows besides just wearing a wig.

Quote:

Originally Posted by shadowmyst87 (Post 21660579)
This person that I've known for a few months likes to play practical jokes alot.

Quote:

Originally Posted by shadowmyst87 (Post 21661199)
How would you pull it off though, especially up close and during a conversation?



There's alot of techniques online for changing your voice, or at the very least altering it to a degree.


Quote:

Originally Posted by shadowmyst87 (Post 21661684)
It's not impossible, it would just take alot of forethought and practice. Like I've mentioned before a few times, "a person who knows you well" is subjective. It might be alot more difficult to fool someone who's known you your entire life vs someone who's only known you for a few months.

Quote:

Originally Posted by shadowmyst87 (Post 21672656)
I think whether you can fool someone with a disguise depends on alot of different factors.
How elaborate your disguise is also matters alot.


What is this "alot"?

https://knowyourmeme.com/memes/the-alot

shadowmyst87 06-01-2019 04:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr Shine (Post 21675163)

I'm sure you can find a meme thread on here somewhere, or start your own.

Mr Shine 06-01-2019 06:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by shadowmyst87 (Post 21675401)
I'm sure you can find a meme thread on here somewhere, or start your own.

Why would I want to do that? Your posts cried out for that one specific link and I provided it. You're welcome.

shadowmyst87 06-01-2019 06:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr Shine (Post 21675590)
Why would I want to do that? Your posts cried out for that one specific link and I provided it. You're welcome.

Oh I don't know...maybe because I'd like to stay on topic perhaps? If you go back, you can click that big button up top that says, "Post New Thread". You're welcome.

shadowmyst87 06-01-2019 07:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Noel Prosequi (Post 21670493)
I am sure it can be done well enough to fool a casual inspection. Nothing is likely to survive very close examination where the observer is on guard to detect deception.

Right, if somebody has their guard up and is aware that someone is trying to disguise themselves then I'm sure it would be much more difficult.

kopek 06-02-2019 11:24 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by shadowmyst87 (Post 21657385)
Does anyone think it's possible for one to disguise one's self so that a person, who knows you well, wouldn't recognize you during an interaction? And would it also be possible to have multiple interactions over a sustained period of time with this person without them ever knowing who you really are?

Simply: yes. But it helps if you are out of the context they usually see you in and you are surprising them. I do living-history events. A cousin I have known since she was born, and see often throughout the year, happened to be visiting Williamsburg at the same time I was doing a program there. She had never seen me "in character" and we talked for almost 30 minutes before I started to drop clues so she would catch on. And I've done the same thing with countless friends and coworkers over the years. Get away from your usual region and situation and I think you could almost fool a parent let alone anyone else.

Ann Hedonia 06-02-2019 05:19 PM

Something that surprised me recently:

I went to my niece’s college graduation. My family was seating in the stadium, pretty high up. We where watching the hundreds of graduates file in at the beginning of the ceremony, trying to see if we could spot her. We couldn’t see any faces,we were facing the stage. Just the backs of a bunch of people dressed alike, although we could see the hairstyles. We had no idea where she was going to be sitting and whether she’d be near the beginning or end of the processional.

And a few times we were like “is that her?”, “maybe” “I think that’s her” “No”........

But when she actually appeared, it was so blindingly obvious that it was a little bit astounding. We had absolutely no doubt. The back of her hair, height, posture and gait made her as recognizable as she would’ve been if she was standing right in front of me. So much so that it got us discussing how good humans are at recognition based on small cues. So I think it would be really hard to disguise yourself from someone that knew you well.

TimeWinder 06-02-2019 05:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by shadowmyst87 (Post 21663121)
I think you're reading too much into it...

Maybe, but also count me among the people who think this would be really creepy, the sort of thing I'd end a friendship over if it went on for more than a few minutes. Doing this for weeks? Yeah, that's not "prank," that's "mentally disturbed stalker."

In the first or second season of Face-Off (the makeup/effects competition show, not the Travolta movie), there was a challenge to do exactly this (albeit for a relatively brief interaction -- the disguised person had to sell their spouse/significant other/parent something in a shop without being recognized, including actually speaking to and in some cases touching them. All the contestants managed it, although in a couple of cases there was suspicion that the other person might have recognized them and played along.

shadowmyst87 06-02-2019 11:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TimeWinder (Post 21676871)
Maybe, but also count me among the people who think this would be really creepy, the sort of thing I'd end a friendship over if it went on for more than a few minutes. Doing this for weeks? Yeah, that's not "prank," that's "mentally disturbed stalker."

You're entitled to your opinion. I've already explained it once.

shadowmyst87 06-02-2019 11:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ann Hedonia (Post 21676856)
The back of her hair, height, posture and gait made her as recognizable as she would’ve been if she was standing right in front of me.

Well besides the height, things like gait and posture would have to be changed to try and disguise yourself then. I still maintain that actual appearance would be the most difficult thing to change. Like I've said before, there really isn't much you can do to change your face.

TimeWinder 06-03-2019 06:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by shadowmyst87 (Post 21677232)
You're entitled to your opinion. I've already explained it once.

And you to yours. But when basically everyone other than yourself disagrees with your position, it's sometimes wise to take the free advice.

shadowmyst87 06-03-2019 08:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TimeWinder (Post 21678795)
And you to yours. But when basically everyone other than yourself disagrees with your position, it's sometimes wise to take the free advice.

Two people is not everyone.

TaoPilot 06-10-2019 08:28 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by shadowmyst87 (Post 21663121)
Keep in mind though, he had a full on mask that was surprisingly realistic. He also changed his entire persona from his voice down to his walk. But, it was a movie afterall.

Also keep in mind that this would be easier for someone with the improvisational skills of Robin Williams.

shadowmyst87 06-10-2019 07:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TaoPilot (Post 21689927)
Also keep in mind that this would be easier for someone with the improvisational skills of Robin Williams.

Exactly, it also helped that the movie was unrealistic. The prosthetic face mask that he was wearing is usually only meant for a one time wear.


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