On the misrepresentation of twins in pop culture

Wednesday, June 22, 2011 12:46 PM By Simon

I, gentle folk, am a twin. An identical twin, to be exact. Which means that, in The Womb, I was but a single fertilised egg that went rogue and split in two, thereby creating two seperate people who happen to have the same DNA. But if you asked the greater cultural area, we are Siamese in all but vital organs.

All my life, people have asked me if I've ever switched places with my sister to take a big test. The answer is no. Because this is fraud. Which is illegal. Also, it's stupid. Fucking stupid, in fact.

People always ask why we don't dress alike. Listen: most of the time, twins stop dressing alike the minute they develop personalities enough to pick their own clothes. Until then, parents are dressing you, and parents don't have time to be tailor dressing you. It's the same clothes with different colors. Most twins, by the time they're six, will be dressing differently.

People want to know if we're close. Sure we're close. As close as any other set of non-twin sisters are. There is no spiritual connection. There is no special twin language. There are no sympathy pains if one gets hurt.

People always ask if we're the exact opposites. One is a 'girly girl' and one is 'bookworm'. No. We have similar interests, and we have seperate interests. We do not inhabit the stereotypes sitcoms perpetuate.

People ask if we'd have a threesome. No. We're sisters. We're related. That's incest. What's wrong with you? That's fucking disgusting. Would you ever have sex with your brother? Fuck you. Go stand over there.

The summer Star Wars: Attack of the Clones came out, people threw shit at us at camp and screamed "The clones are coming! Get them!"

Thanks to such TV shows as Sister, Sister, The Suite Life of Zack and Cody, various teen sex comedies, and the Olsen twins (who are fraternal, thanks very fucking much), this is the shit I've got to deal with every day. We're two seperate people who happen to have the same birthday and have reasonable doubt in any DNA-based murder trial. Just because TV tells you we're inseperable dopplegangers doesn't mean we are.

Thank you for your time.


Marc Edward Heuck said...

My friends Vera and Barbara Ann Duffy have had enormous fun ripping apart these hoary cliches on twins. When they're not portraying tag team go-go girls/wrestlers The Poubelle Twins for the long-running Lucha Va Voom shows, they've made shorts lampooning the stereotype:



They also did a really fun live show where they shared from their childhood diaries, did parody sketches, and they even asked me to talk about the portrayals of twins in movies, where I discussed the tropes of "good/evil" twin, of actors playing them to show their supposed range, and other beaten premises.

Really, I think the two best portrayals of twins in movies are Andrew Bujalski's BEESWAX, which (if you can get past the mumblecore elements) shows them as just sisters with their own plans, and JACK'S BACK with James Spader, where one is ostensibly more well-liked than the other, but it's the "bad boy" that has to solve the crime.

June 22, 2011 at 1:56 PM
"Yojimbo_5" said...

Bwa-ha-ha! People have asked you if you'd do a threesome? Your response is worthy of getting another Lammy next year.

But, c'mon, the temptation to look someone in the eye and say "Hello, Danny" has been there, hasn't it?

June 24, 2011 at 8:59 AM
Anna said...

Haha great, yet again hilarious post.

I know this pair of twins that really make these stereotypes a reality in anyway possible, so basically everything in this post. They often wear matching outfits and try and trick people into thinking one is the other and such. TBF they are 12, so I'm guessing this will change.

June 27, 2011 at 12:04 AM
Simon said...

Marc Edward Heuck: I love your comments. I always feel like I learned something.

Yojimbo: They weren't even proper twins, I'll have you know. And we have neither the big hallway or the inclination towards blue velvet and bows to consider such nonsense. Good day, sir.

Anna: Twelve year olds are forgiven. The little rapscalians.

July 2, 2011 at 4:37 AM
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