White Girls All Look the Same: A Quick Primer in Differentiating Hollywood's Young Brunettes

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White Girls All Look the Same: A Quick Primer in Differentiating Hollywood's Young Brunettes

By Dustin Rowles | Seriously Random Lists | September 25, 2012 | Comments ()


There's a certain type that's become kind of omnipresent in Hollywood at the moment. I'm not sure exactly how to describe them except to say that they're brunettes of a certain body type who all look they'd play opposite Michael Cera in a quirky romantic comedy (and some have!) You also have to understand that many among our readership are older, they haven't seen ALL the shows and ALL the movies, and they have a hard time telling these young ladies apart. I'm here to help.

So, here's a quick primer, which you may refer to whenever you see a young brunette on your television or movie screen. You may want to put on your bifocals before tackling this post.

Alia Shawkat. You know her best from "Arrested Development." She plays Maeby, who should not be confused for Ann/Egg. You'll still see her occasionally as a minor character in quirky indie flicks, like Ruby Sparks. She's the one with freckles.


Aubrey Plaza. Aubrey plans April on Parks and Recreation. She's the dour gothy version of this type. Also, very funny.


Ellen Page. Page, of course, is the prototype. You know her from Juno. She also played the Exposition in Inception. She doesn't do a lot these days, having been supplanted by most of the other women on this list. Page is the classy one.


Mae Whitman. Mae is the one who played Ann/Egg on "Arrested Development," not to be confused with Ann on Parks and Recreation, who is not played by Aubrey Plaza, but rather, Rashida Jones, who doesn't look like the women on this post, although she does have freckles, like Alia Shawkat. Mae is now on "Parenthood" and sometimes she wears really big glasses, which kind of freak me out.


Alessandra Torresani. This might be a little confusing for you because Alessandra also played Ann/Egg on "Arrested Development," but just one time. You may know her better from "Caprica," although she'll also be on "American Horror Story: Asylum" next month, so try and remember the face.


Anna Kendrick. Kendrick is kind of Ellen Page 2.0. She's adorable (also from Maine!). She was in Up in the Air and one of my all time favorite movies, Rocket Science. Younger people probably know her best from her minor role in the Twilight films. That's a shame.


Ashley Greene. This also might be confusing because Greene was also in the Twilight series, as well as Pan Am, with Christina Ricci, who is kind of the older version of Aubrey Plaza's goth hipster, minus the hipster. She'll be in a movie next year called CBGB, about the famous NYC nightclub. She looks a little like Anna Kendrick crossed with Kristen Bell.


Vanessa Hudgens. She's the Disney version of this character type. She was in the High School Musical movies and in last year's Sucker Punch, in which she tried to shed her Disney image, which didn't work because no one saw Sucker Punch.


Emily Browning. Also in Sucker Punch, although she was a blonde in that. She's usually a brunette, however, which is how you'd recognize her from The Uninvited She's also going to be the lead in Catherine Hardwicke's (Twilight) next film, Plush.


Sarah Hyland. She's the one from "Modern Family." She's younger than most of the women here, and fortunately, not a good enough actress to be in feature films, so you likely won't have to see her in other places, although she's apparently in an upcoming movie called Gay Dude with Nick Offerman, who stars with Aubrey Plaza on "Parks and Recreation," who should not be confused for Hyland. Not that you would now that we've come this far.

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  • Only half of these girls are associated with Michael Cera in some way.

  • Erica

    Ashley Greene is so unremarkable, no matter how many times I google image her face, I cannot remember what she looks like, let alone differentiate her from these girls.

  • Pentadactyl

    Rocket Science was a terrible movie.

  • Idle Primate

    ellen page was the only one i had ever heard of, and i find her distinctly irritating.

    it seems to be a list of sitcom people, so if you aren't that audience demographic. . .

    i would say something about the correlation between people who watch a lot of sitcoms and people who don't have basic facial recognition skills, but i know many of these sitcoms are pajiban sacred cows, so i will refrain

  • Ash

    i've watched enough arrested development and Parks and Rec to recognise those girls anywhere. anna kendrick gets points for 50/50. the rest of the twilight cast* can burn in vampire hell.

    *except mike dexter

  • intheyear2000

    I will legitimately never be able to tell the difference between Alia Shawkat and Mae Whitman. I thought before that they *might* be 2 different people, but this is the first time I have an official confirmation and it's making me upset. I mean, honestly, when I saw Ann in AD, I just thought it was hair/makeup on the same actress as Maeby.
    It's like when I discovered Luke/Harry Treadaway (Luke was the white guy in Attack the Block) are twins. I'd seen them both in stuff, thinking it was just one guy and it really made my head hurt to find out that there are two of them.

  • AudioSuede

    You're white boy posts are usually so confusingly similar, it makes the variety here a little disappointing. Who mixes up Alia Shawkat (who else has those freckles?!) with Emily Browning?

  • blacksred

    And Sarah Hyland favors Mila Kunis

  • alwaysanswerb

    That Torresani is a now brunette "type" is hilarious, as she grew up blonde, and to me is one of the most obvious meant-to-be-blonde people I've ever met. But I suppose it's also true that if she had stayed blonde, she'd be called a typical blonde. The NERVE of being conventionally pretty!

  • AM

    Oh, and I really truly thought Mae Whitman was Alison Lohman. http://www.filmbug.com/db/1640...

  • AM

    Let's not forget that Aubrey Plaza starred in the AMAZING Safety Not Guaranteed. I take every chance I get to pimp this movie.

  • PDamian

    Oh, Jeebus, yes. Yes yes yes. That movie was fantastic, and she was wonderful. As far as I'm concerned, there's Aubrey Plaza, and there's all the rest (although Anna Kendrick is also wonderful).

  • TheOriginalMRod

    "...many among our readership are older..." Was that a prod at the geriatric pajibans???? Come on! everyone knows that 40 is the new 20!

  • alannaofdoom

    Anna Kendrick completists can also see her in "CAMP," which is - well, I was going to say, "more awesome than it has a right to be," but then I changed my mind. CAMP is exactly as awesome as it has a right to be, and that is remarkably awesome.

  • Three_nineteen

    The musical numbers in CAMP are definitely awesome.

  • I love CAMP! I thought I was the only person that had seen it. :)
    ...and Anna is the only one of those kids I've seen in anything else. :(

  • Renton

    Anna Kendrick looks like Tom Cruise to me.

  • AngelenoEwok

    It's the nose; I have the same kind of nose. I late high school/early college, people started saying things like, "Oh, don't get a nose job, you don't need one!" and I would sit, there, taken aback, thinking, "Well, I wasn't planning on it, but NOW..."

  • googergieger

    Page also did that one new game from the people that did Heavy Rain. Two Souls or some thing. Anyways, this marks the first time she has ever done something I've had the slightest interest in.

  • Fabius_Maximus

    What about Hard Candy?

    The game's called Beyond: Two Souls, by the way.

  • googergieger

    I remember someone telling me Hard Candy reminded them of Audition which I loved. I'm still wondering why they reminded him of each other. Didn't hate the movie but like most of her work I found it a bit forgetful.

    Beyond: Two Souls eh? That sounds dangerously close to my poltergeist themed porno, Between: Two Souls. I doubt they have much in common though. Really mine is just two people doing each other throw a pillow case.

  • pcloadletter


  • Ellen Page has three new movies coming out over the next year. I doubt she's disappeared or been usurped. She's just choosing to do serious films, aka really pretentious indies.

  • I seriously thought Anne Kendrick and Ashley Greene were the same person.

  • K11Win

    They do have a resemblance though Ashley's about 10x prettier.

  • Shall we have a debate in song?

  • DominaNefret

    I don't think Alia or Emily look anything like the rest of these girls.
    I also think there are three separate types here, not one.
    The Aubrey, Ellen, Mae; the Anna, Ashleigh; and the Vanessa, Sarah.
    Alessandra on the other hand looks generic enough that she just looks like all of them.

  • TheOtherOne

    No Zooey Deschanel / Katy Perry comparisons?

    Katy Perry is the cheap plastic blow up doll version of Zooey Deschanel.

  • My niece made me watch the Katy Perry movie approximately 8 million times over the weekend when we had a sleepover. So, DON'T TALK SHIT ABOUT HER. SHE HAS FEELINGS... and stuff.
    ...I may have been brainwashed

  • lowercase_ryan

    With all due respect, I just don't care.

  • BWeaves


    None can hold a candle to Audrey Hepburn.

  • liam

    While I appreciate your Arrested Development fandom half these people haven't had a decent roll in years

  • Mrcreosote

    And with that comment the anorexia/body image/baked goods discussion took over the thread.

  • Miss Laaw-yuhr

    Ohhh, baked goods! Too bad comment threads don't come with tea sandwiches and scones.

  • e jerry powell

    Do we really need all of these? I think two would suffice, now that Anne Hathaway has aged out.

  • Even Stevens

    Aged out?? She's 29!

  • DeistBrawler

    I think Dustin was going for something like this and missed the mark a bit.

  • AngelenoEwok

    I'm still convinced that at least two of those women are secretly the same person.

  • Blake

    Where is Alison Pill? If any one is a double for Ellen Page its her.Seriously though if you can't differentiate between the ladies on this list then you obviously don't know what hot (and talented in most cases) is.

    I had no idea Alessandra Torresani was going to be in AHS:A. Hopefully they make a brunette and not the blonde.

  • Mavler

    And both are Canadian. Pill is mostly blond though. I've only seen her with dark hair in Goon. Oh, and as a ginger in Scott Pilgrim.

  • L.O.V.E.

    I'm confused. I find them all attractive, but none of them look alike to me.

    Ok, Maebe and Ellen. No, I mean maybe Mae and Ellen. Wait, which one was in Arrested Development? So, they all were? Oh, just three of them?

    Ok, I understand now.

  • L.O.V.E.

    Damnit. This whole time I thought I had a thing for Mae Whitman, and it turns out I might of had a thing for Allesandra Torresoni instead. Or both. Which one is this?

  • Quatermain

    I think a few of those might actually be Michael Cera.

  • zeke_the_pig

    Oh dear god I hope not. Imagine the awkardness levels if he was attracted to himself and afraid to act on it at first but then realised that he might not necessarily be himself so it might kind of be ok. That would require some very lucid narration.

  • Strand

    "One letter, titled "If you weren't myself," was particularly incriminating"

  • I'm pretty sure Opie's up to the task, though.

  • The Other Agent Johnson

    Well played, Quatermain. Well played.

  • causaubonc

    thank you for clearing all of this up. i feel that i can now finally meet my maker with peace in my heart.

    although, i tend to group many of these young women differently - Ellen Page, Emily Browning and Mae Whitman, along with Allison Pill to me fit in to a different mold. And Vanessa Hudgens along with Sarah Hyland and possibly Selena Gomez, to me at least, are vying to be Mila Kunis 2.0.

  • Tinkerville

    Anna Kendrick is adorable and hilarious and Ellen Page is one of those people that I'm constantly rooting for even though I rarely like the movies they're in. Mae Whitman gets points for being in Scott Pilgrim. The rest could probably fade away tomorrow and I wouldn't bat an eye.

  • Kell-O

    Mae Whitman also provided Katara's voice in the Avatar: The Last Airbender cartoons (not that movie abomination.) For that I will forever have a special place in my heart for her.

  • I did not know that. *heart grows a size*

  • Tinkerville

    YES. That completely slipped my mind but since that's one of my favorite series of all time, I'm amending my previous statement to say that Mae Whitman = waterbending badass.

  • Abbey Road

    I'm sorry, clever post and all, but in what universe do Mae Whitman and Ellen Page have the same "certain body type"?

  • DominaNefret

    They are the same height, and do have very similar frame shapes. Mae is just heavier. If she lost weight, or Ellen gained weight, they would look almost identical.
    Body type isn't just, or even mostly about weight. Most of it is about height, frame, and proportion.

  • Slim

    Mae Whitman should not lose any more weight. She has thinned out more than necessary, in my opinion, probably because of some dumbass internet comments or evil tv executive. I know you are not saying she should - I'm just saying that she is thinner than she was a couple of years ago and probably is the same size as Ellen Page now. She just has a rounder face.

  • chanohack

    Yes, lovely Mae has what I believe is called deceptiface. Those who suffer from this form of deceptiface have a face that is round and a little pudgy, leading some to believe that her body is ALSO round and a little pudgy, when in fact it is not. (At first I typed, "when in FACE it is not," which is funny.) See also: deceptiboob (Christina Hendricks) and deceptibutt (Jennifer Lopez).

  • JenVegas

    She'll be in a movie next year called CBGB, about the famous NYC nightclub????!! Nooooooooooooo thank you. Nothing against her, EVERYTHING against the movie.

  • logan

    so stealing jokes from "Two Broke Girls" huh?

  • Up-voted. I knew someone else here would recognize it besides me.

  • TheOtherOne

    "Stealing" or recognizing would imply that the commentor watches "Two Broke Girls". I don't think any pajiba reader wants to admit that. And really Dennings should be on this list except for her "talents"...

  • And that's hilarious, because they used the joke about the brown-haired ingenues all looking alike three, four times in last night's episode! And here it is here! And I'm sure they've had it planned for weeks. What a coincidence!

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