Twin Show Down!!

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I saw a post earlier today about these twins who are both serving as District Court Judges and pretty much have a lot more in common, from the ages of their children, to marrying their hubby’s two months apart. I discovered another blogger (not sure if she wants me to mention her or not) who is also a twin. I am also a twin!

I’m challenging all Twins to post their twin pics! Please do this on your own blog and link to this page so I can see them. The Twin Show-Down starts now!!!

*Clears throat: if I’m the only one who participates than me and my twin will just have to suck up all the attention 🙂 But no, seriously, I wanna see your twin!*

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MSN Reports: “These twins can teach us a lot about racial identity”

As many of you already know, I also happen to be a twin. So naturally, I was drawn to this story. Racial identity also happens to be the central theme of the short story series (Stella Trilogy) I’m writing, each part surrounding a person’s search for identity, knit together by the same blood. Book #1: Between Slavery & Freedom is available now on Amazon, B&N, Kobo, Lulu, iBookstore, etch. In the meantime, check out this article.

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© Provided by Vox.com Lucy and Maria Aylmer as children (YouTube)

MSN News Article:

“There’s a set of biracial twins in the UK who are turning heads because one is black and the other is white.” That’s how the New York Post introduced a profile of Lucy and Maria Aylmer, 18-year-olds whose father identifies as white and whose mother is “half-Jamaican” (and, we’re to assume, thinks of herself as black).

It’s just the most recent story of fraternal twins born with such dramatic variations in complexion they’re seen by many — and even see themselves  — as members of two different racial groups.

Each of these situations and their accompanying striking images, is a reminder of how fluid and subjective the racial categories we’re all familiar with are.

What “black and white twins” can teach us about race: it’s not real

Lucy and Maria’s story, and all the other sensational tales in the ” Black and White Twins: born a minute apart” vein are actually just overblown reports on siblings who, because of normal genetic variations that show up in more striking ways in their cases, have different complexions.

But they’re fascinating because they highlight just how flimsy and open to interpretation the racial categories we use in the US and around the world are.

Even the Post’s description of the Aylmer twins is clumsy, asserting that they’re each “biracial,” but stating in the very same sentence that one is white and the other is black.

And the fact that the two, despite having the same parents,  see themselves as belonging to two different racial groups ( “I am white and Maria is black,” Lucy told the Post) proves that there’s a lot more than biology or heritage informing racial identity.

It’s a reminder that the racial categories we use are fickle, flexible, open to interpretation, and have just as many exceptions as they do rules when it comes to their criteria for membership— that’s why they have been described as “not real,” meaning:

  • They’re not based on facts that people can even begin to agree on. (If we can’t even get a consensus that people with the same parents are the same race, where does that leave us?)
  • They’re not permanent. (If Lucy decides one day, like many other people with similar backgrounds, that her Jamaican mother is black and therefore, so is she, who’s to stop her?)
  • They’re not scientific. (There’s no blood test or medical assessment that will provide a “white” result for Lucy and a “black” one for Maria.)
  • They’re not consistent (Other twins with the same respective looks and identical parentage as these twins, might both choose to call themselves black or biracial.)

“Not real” doesn’t mean not important

Of course, none of this changes the fact that the concept of race is hugely important in our lives, in the United States, in the UK where the twins live, and around the world.

There’s no question that the way people categorize Lucy and Maria, and the way they think of themselves, will affect their lives.

That’s because, even though race is highly subjective, racism and discrimination based on what people believe about race are very real. The racial categories to which we’re assigned, based on how we look to others or how we identify, can determine real-life experiences, inspire hate, drive political outcomes, and make the difference between life and death.

But it’s still  important to remember that these consequences are a result of human-created racial categories that are based on shaky reasoning and shady motivations. This makes the borders of the various groups impossible to pin down — as the “black and white” twins demonstrate — and renders modern debates about how particular people should identify, futile.”

Commonly Asked Questions about Twins

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Yea, you guessed it, I’m a twin. The following questions have followed me around my whole life, and on behalf of twins everywhere, I present the following commonly, sometimes annoyingly, asked questions:

“Yall twins?”

We are obviously twins. But I must say I’m guilty of this myself. Though being a twin, when I see other twins I ask the same questions other people ask me. Hmmm, wonder if that breaks some kind of twin rule.

“Who the oldest?”

Is this a trick question? But since you asked, I came out first.

“By how many minutes?”

Five whole minutes and I’m the big sister, yay me

“Yall fraternal or identical?”

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This is a good question actually. A lot of people get confused between the two. Identical twins look well, identical, but this doesn’t determine whether or not they’re identical. A general stereotype about identical twins is that they are clones. They act alike, look alike, and are expected to be “identical.” However, the term identical twins actually describe how we form in the womb, not what we look like. Also known as monozygotic, identical twins are twins who developed from one egg that splits and forms two embryos. Fraternal, or dizygotic, twins develop from two eggs, each fertilized by separate sperm cells. (This is why fraternal twins sometimes look nothing alike) Dizygotic twins share about 50% of their genetic traits, the same as any other siblings born at different times. With that said, my sister and I are identical twins.

“Who’s the mean one?”

You know, being a twin doesn’t mean that we share personalities. In some ways we do, but we’re not half of one thing and another half of another thing. There’s not one who’s wholly mean and another who’s wholly nice. We both still have our own individual character traits.

“If I hit you, will she feel it?”

I don’t know, if I hit you, will you feel it?

Some interesting facts about identical twins:

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• The causes of monozygotic twinning are generally unknown and unidentified. No one really knows why an egg splits; according to the “professionals” it’s a malfunction of the normal development process. I beg to differ, there is nothing abnormal about us. We’re awesome. 🙂

• There’s no hereditary trait that influences a predisposition to having identical twins. Contrary to popular belief identical twins do not run in families, although there are families with a high incidence of identical twins.

• Identical twins represent about a third of all twins. fraternal twins are twice as common as identical.

• Birth rate statistics for identical twinning have remained stable over the years, despite the overall increase in twins and multiples since the late 1980’s. The odds of having identical twins are about 3 in 1,000, whereas the birthrate for all twins is about 32.2 in 1,000.

• Identical twinning is not generally influenced by fertility-enhancing treatments like drugs or in vitro, although identical twins have been produced in pregnancies that were the result of such treatments.

• Birth rates for identical twins are consistent across populations; it is the same regardless of race, geography or mate

 

“What’s the most fun thing about being a twin?”

People are fascinated by us.