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Stereotypes of being a twin

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Sarah O’Connor
The Silhouette

Whenever my sister and I reveal ourselves to be twins, most are shocked, some are disbelieving, and some look at us like an oddity, their eyes flickering from me to my sister trying to find some similarity to mark us as twins.

The first question is whether we’re identical or fraternal, which I always think is a silly question because my sister and I look nothing alike. My sister and I are fraternal twins, and yes – fraternal twins can be of the same gender, it isn’t just boy-girl twins who are fraternal. I look like our father, she like our mother; she has darker hair and eyes I have lighter; she loves theatre and I love writing. We look like sisters but we don’t look like twins, or rather we don’t look like how society views twins: identical. But even with our differences it doesn’t stop people from trying to find an ounce of similarity between us, some proof that we are in fact twins.

It’s after this question that things start to go downhill and my sister and I start to become an oddity. The questions of telepathy, dominance, which one of us is the good and evil twin, and fantasies start rising. We got the cruel prospect of death brought to us by the children we went to school with who told us that if one of us died the other would follow.

I don’t blame people for asking; it’s what pop culture promises. Twins are people who dress alike, talk alike, think alike, finish one another’s sentences and are alike in every way. Pop culture promises a variety of stereotypes from the nice twins, the creepy twins, the long lost twin, the troublesome twins but in all these varieties theses twins are the same person. Twins aren’t supposed to have an identity out of being a twin.And it’s easier for my sister and I because we are fraternal. We look different, dress differently; we talk differently and think differently. Our names are not anagrams of one another’s; our name’s don’t rhyme or alliterate. Our parents, while proud to have twins, wanted to raise us as individuals, as two separate people.

I can’t imagine how hard it must be for identical twins to break the twin stereotype. With people so obsessed with the similarities they ignore the differences. Being different and unique is celebrated for every person unless you are a twin.

Being a twin is just having a sibling, in this case you’ve had your sibling since before birth. And just like any normal older or younger sibling you have your similarities and differences. You are two different people who like some of the same things and some different things and it’s the same with being a twin.

I am a twin. My sister and I are not the same in every way, we cannot read each other’s minds, we do not dress identically, and we are not a sexual fantasy (that’s just gross). We are siblings and like all other siblings we get along but sometimes we fight. But it doesn’t stop us from loving and protecting one another like families should.

And if you care, by popular opinion I am the evil twin.

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