Facial blindness

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Heart100.jpg Health disclosure: This article contains in-depth discussion of Chris's physical and/or mental health. This page is not to be construed as a substitute for medical advice or a professional diagnosis. All diagnoses are either taken from outside documentation or based on amateur analysis.
Honestly, I didn't personally believe his face blindness was that severe until I experienced it myself. I met Chris IRL on two occasions, pretty closely together, and Chris looked me dead in the face and didn't recognize me. Shit was weird.
A Sonichu 7 comic panel; Chris mentioned having to train himself to remember his own facial features

Facial blindness, also known as Prosopagnosia, is a cognitive disorder that inhibits the ability to recognize familiar faces, sometimes including one's own. There are two types of facial blindness: "acquired" and "congenital". The cause of acquired facial blindness is damage to the fusiform gyrus and the surrounding areas. As the fusiform gyrus plays a key part in one's brain in recognizing faces against other complex objects, damage done to it can reduce a person's ability to tell faces apart. Meanwhile, congenital, or developed facial blindness, comes from a lack of socializing which prevents one from distinguishing facial features. This causes this form of facial blindness to be common amongst those affected with autism and social anxiety.[2][3]

Facial Blindness

Though no formal diagnose is known, it's fairly certain that Chris is unable to differentiate or remember faces. The earliest and most obvious example, is the troll persona Blanca Weiss. When Chris requested a photo to prove her legitimacy, the trolling group FCTC originally sent a picture showing Blanca as a fair-skinned white brunette, which was how they created her. As time went on, possibly on a whim, they had decided to change Blanca's identity, with the third photo onward portraying her as a tan-skinned Asian woman. Chris, unable to recall or recognize previous incarnations, kept believing Blanca was a true and honest sweetheart.

Another troll, LoveYouLongTime, who played the role of Emily Schifflet among several characters in Christory, realized that Chris could not recognize her face, as seen in the quote below.[4]

Generally speaking. I mean, I've been multiple different IRL people to Chris.

One of my roles he has hung out with quite a few times and this character came to be after a certain pickle incident which was maybe a few weeks later...? Aside from those, I've bumped into him around town.

He's never called out to me. Sometimes I'll say "hi" in passing to see if it'll illicit anything but he's pretty fucking clueless. Back when I first started I was so worried about him recognizing me places but now it doesn't phase me.

Marvin also stated that he met with Chris on two occasions close in time and that Chris did not recognize him the second time.[1]

Chris has difficulty with remembering his own facial features. This was mentioned in Sonichu 7 when he made a remark that he "had to train my brain to visually remember what I looked like from a mirror."[5]

Chris also believes that Liquid Chris has similar facial features to himself, which is why Liquid was able to impersonate him so convincingly.[6]

When William Elliott Waterman posted a photo of himself to Facebook in October 2013, Chris commented with, "not funny; why are you trying to look like me?"[7]

When 100MegaMeh shared a video of herself to Chris in May 2020, Chris asked, "Why does the person in that video have a face shape like Chris Chan?"

Voice Blindness

In the case of Emily, you may wonder why Chris had not recognized her voice when she was using these other identities. It is very possible that Chris not only suffers from facial blindness, but from voice blindness as well. This is known officially as Phonagnosia, the inability to recognize or differentiate voices, sometimes including one's own. This has occurred multiple times with Chris failing to notice the trolls playing the same roles over and over, especially when they are actively trolling and playing as the sweetheart. These cases include BlueSpike, who pretended to be both Julie and her brother Max, with Chris never catching on to the trick.[8] Lars is another example played by Alec Benson Leary. This condition could be attributed to Chris's tone deafness and possibly coupled with his inaccurate and fabricated self-image.

Chris's parents seem to suffer from voice blindness to some degree as well. In a memorable prank call, a troll calls Bob using a soundboard of Bob's own voice from a previous prank call. Bob never recognizes his voice and proceeds to hold a lengthy conversation with himself. He then passes the phone to Barbara, who does not recognize that the voice belongs to Bob either.

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