Monday 23 October 2017


I was coming off the tube yesterday and saw a pair of twin women. They were in their late forties and were identical. And I mean identical in every way. Their hair was cut in the same exact pixie cut and dyed purple (yes, purple). They were dressed exactly the same down to their jeans, rolled up a few inches, the same jumper, jacket, vest, and Velcro sandals. In essence, there was not anything that distinguished one from the other aside from the fact that they were not the same person.

Same, same, same.

It of course made me ponder. As a society, the majority of us are constantly trying to individualize ourselves, stick out, be different, be seen and appreciated for who we are as individuals. And yet, admittedly, some of us are very content to be the same, we fear different, we seek out that sartorial uniform that says safe, I’m falling the rules, so to speak, so leave me be. And in fact, there are those, like these identical twins, that actually crave to be exactly the same down to our Velcro sandals, like this buys us some sort of invisibility.

I’m not a twin, so I don’t get the twin dynamic or psyche. My mom was a twin, but they were fraternal, so visually they were very different. I know they definitely had a bond that went extremely deep, but they were very different in many ways and proud of these differences. But the identical twin bond is a bit of a mystery to many; their compulsion to not individuate themselves, to want to dress the same way, and be seen, the same way is something we non-twins just do not understand.

Some twins have reportedly said they like to confuse people. They have described it as some sort of game where the more they stir a reaction or fool people into thinking they’re interchangeable, the more they enjoy it. Others say it’s a celebration of being twins, being members of this special club where you have been one since the womb. After so many years as an identical twin, perhaps you begin to see yourselves exactly as others do, an exact reflection of your twin. And without them, it’s as if you don’t exist (And yet you do, you do!! See the conundrum here).

I’m one of five sisters, and to be honest, while I was extremely close to the sister 13 months above me growing up, I knew from an early age I wanted to be different, express my individuality and embrace my differences – whatever they may be. Sure from time to time my mom dressed us the same way, but I couldn’t imagine doing this as adults. On the contrary, there have been times we have bought the same item with the caveat that we can only wear it in our respective countries!

Next time, I’m compelled to stop these sisters in black and simply ask why? Why match down to your sandals when you can be different. Then again, take a look around; I suppose ‘same’ has always been comfortable, safe, easy. We understand safe (esp. as fear the sh*t out of different), it says, I know you. I am one of you. We are in this together. 

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