As the story is told, the woman was travelling alone in Iceland on a tour bus. At a rest stop, she "freshened up" and changed her clothes in the restroom, and when she returned, no one recognized her.
When the bus arrived at its destination, word spread through the group that someone was missing, and before too long a search party was formed, which included the woman who was supposed to be missing. They searched FOR HOURS before someone finally made the connection.
After I stopped giggling to myself, I wondered, how could this woman's perception of herself be so out of whack that she didn't even recognize the description that the search party was using? Why didn't she make the connection?
I'm not sure. I see my defining characteristics as being my hair (too curly), my nose (like a hockey player's), and my weight (too heavy.) But someone else might overlook those flaws and see something else entirely. A real hockey player, for instance, might look at my nose and think it's perfectly normal.
We all see the world with our own biases intact, and as they say, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I don't know whether a stranger's perception of me would be at all in line with my own. But I do know that if I'm ever on a tour bus I'm going to make a point of introducing myself to more than one person, just in case.
P.S. What about you? Do you think you would be able to pick yourself out of a line-up, based on other people's descriptions of you? I'd love to hear in the comments.