The bond between siblings is one of the closest anyone can have—but the bond between twins may be even stronger.
Even for twins who aren’t identical, there is often a kind of mind-meld that happens where the two can finish each others’ sentences. Though we’re typically used to twins looking either identical or very similar, there are sometimes striking differences as a result of genetic variations.
That was the case for two remarkable twins living in Gloucester, England.
Lucy and Maria Aylmer are two 20-year-old sororal twins who look strikingly different from one another.
Lucy has pale skin and straight red hair while her sister Maria has darker skin and dark, curly hair. These sisters’ unique look is a result of their parents’ heritage. The Aylmer Twins’ mother Donna is half Jamaican and half white, while their father Vince is entirely white. The twins also have three other siblings named George, Chynna and Jordan, all of whom have a blended skin color.
Though the twins have a close bond, their outward differences did lead to some discomfort throughout their life.
According to Maria, she was initially a little jealous of Lucy’s straight hair.
Still, Lucy said that she was the one who was made fun of the most when the two were growing up. “[Other kids] thought I was adopted,” she says. “They would call me a ghost.” Still, the two have grown up and developed their own personalities and identities. Maria says she’s very outgoing and social whereas Lucy is somewhat more withdrawn. Similarly, Lucy prefers more casual attire while Maria doesn’t mind getting dressed up.
Regardless of their differences, Lucy and Maria are as close as they’ve ever been.
According to news reports, the genetic variation between Lucy and Maria is a “million to one” shot.
Above all, though the Aylmer sisters are just two normal young adults living their lives. The difference between Lucy and Maria is ultimately a superficial one, and their relationship shows just how random and meaningless some of the differences between us actually are. According to Lucy, the pair are proud to be stand at their unique intersection of racial identities:
“Maria loves telling people at college that she has a white twin—and I’m very proud of having a black twin.”
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