How I am Different from Many Other Women

By Tobi Schwartz-Cassell

How a colorblind person sees the world
Click on the pencils above to see how a colorblind person sees the world. (With thanks for this GIF to

I am different because I am colorblind. Only one in 200 women are.

But that’s not all.

It’s a family thing, so my sister and cousin are, my nephew and son are, and our dad, grandfathers and some uncles were. Plus, as our family grows, I’m sure there will soon be many little colorblind kids running around at holiday dinners.

The most asked question when people find out: “What color is this?”


No, I’m just joking. My relatives and I are okay with it. We know it’s an amusing party game for those of you with normal color vision.

There are so many of us in our family, that when we get together, those who are colorblind outnumber those who are not. It’s kind of crazy, but if I had to choose between that and hemophilia—the genetic disorder that is passed down in the same way—well, you know which I’d choose.

My deficiency is something you can’t see when you look at me. Unless we meet up and I’m wearing something mismatched. So if that ever happens, you’ll understand why. Or if you tell me, “Look at that redhead in the green sweater,” and I stare back at you blankly, you’ll understand why.

But now there is help! And I’m not talking about the gazillion dollar glasses to correct colorblindness. I’m talking about free apps that anyone with a smartphone can access to help with makeup and clothing matching!



Their website says: “ShadeScout® is a cosmetics color search app that instantly finds makeup matching any color you see! Spot a color that you’d wear if it were a shade of lipstick or eyeshadow? Wish you knew which blush a celebrity is wearing in the latest issue of your favorite magazine? Capture the color with your mobile device, then see how it looks on you in real time with ShadeScout!”



Their website describes this app as “The Swiss Army Knife of style assistants.” It is a truly robust tool because besides helping people like me match up what’s in their closets, there are many other uses. Just one of them, according to their website: “At a glance you can see when items and outfits were last worn, what they cost, and how much value you’re getting from them.”


Too bad these things weren’t around when I was single. But then smartphones weren’t around when I was single. I am very grateful that my husband and daughter have normal color vision because they help me put my outfits together. But only when they’re home. So excuse me while I start downloading some apps…


Any other colorblind women out there? Please comment if you are, or if you have a funny story about a colorblind man or woman you know.


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