Full House was a stupid, cute television program. It was not funny, but it was wholesome, with good family values and nary a swear word in sight. It also introduced generations of horny teenage boys to the Olsen twins. Mary Kate and Ashley both played the daughter, Michelle, and as they grew, their following grew…..waiting until the day they turned 18. But I digress, I am here today to talk about parents who dress their twins alike. Whenever you saw a photo or interview with the younger Olsen twins (the ones of the 1990s), they were always dressed alike (or, if not alike, similarly). This gave validity to any parent who ever had twins and decided to purchase 1 outfit twice and take away the individuality of each of their children with one swipe of the credit card.
As a teacher for 18 years, I have had quite a few sets of twins as students (and even a couple of sets of triplets), and just because they look alike doesn’t mean they are the same. Every twin has their own distinct personality and their own distinct persona. They are individual people. Just because they have the same DNA as another person doesn’t mean they aren’t their own person, outright. So, why treat them as one entity?!?
Taking away their right to look different from one another totally validates anyone who thinks they are identical to each other. I remember when the Olsen twins got older they issued a press release asking people to stop calling them “the Olsen Twins” and start calling them “Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen.” Maybe they should have fought a little more against being dressed identically when they were younger! I can only imagine the stress of always being associated with another individual who looks identical to you, but then to be made to look even MORE like that person on purpose is degrading.
I won’t argue the point that some twins LIKE to dress alike. It asserts the rarity of being part of a matched set. It also gives them extra attention when they walk into a room or go out on the street. Identical twins are said to have a hidden bond that other siblings don’t have. I guess it’s just a product of sharing the same DNA. But to dress them alike BEFORE they are able to make the choice is taking away their identity and treating them like a constant pair. In doing my research for this blog, I read an article by Nancy Segal, called Entwined Lives. In it, she says “researchers do acknowledge that the early years are an incredibly crucial time in the development of a child’s cognitive skills and dressing twins alike obscures a child’s sense of self identity even at a very young age.” I agree. When you dress twins alike, it just identifies that person as the brother of another person, or the sister of another person, not as their own individual being.
Not only does it scar the child for life, it just looks so stupid. I know people think it’s cute and “oh how special that you have twins that look alike,” but it’s really not. It’s just another way for parents to be lazy and not have to pick out different outfits for your kids. Why buy 2 of the same outfit, though? If you buy only 1 of 2 different outfits, you’ve now bought 2 changes of clothes for your kids instead of only 1. How economical!! You’re going to need to save that money because you just had 2 babies at once!
People, please stop dressing your twins alike. Only do it if they’re old enough to choose and they choose to be dressed alike. Otherwise you’re doing them more harm than good!