Is Twin Privilege a thing?

twin privilege

/twin ˈpriv(ə)lij/

1. Advantages gained by being a twin

There are two things in life for which we are never truly prepared: twins.

Josh billings

You’ve heard of white privilege. You’ve heard of male privilege. You may have even heard of rich privilege. But have you ever heard of twin privilege? There’s a 99.9% chance you haven’t. It’s definitely not a known term. But yet every week, we have someone tell us that they “wish they were a twin.” In their minds, being a twin is “so cool.” People are always asking what its like to be a twin. Growing up we always said it was like being any other kid. That twins and singular kids virtually lived with no difference. But while that’s mostly true, there are a few advantages we’ve noticed that simply come with being twins that look alike. Just a little dash of liveliness we’ve gotten used to.

So what are the advantages? People, particularly strangers, are a lot more likely to start a conversation with you and be generally nicer. There’s something that people just find “cute” about twins. Their ‘Are you two twins” question is almost always accompanied by an “aww.” It’s usually kinda funny but we’ve grown to enjoy the genuine interchanges over the years. You get a lot of random smiles when people realize how similar you look. On occasion we’ll even get stares and audible whispers. They’re usually a tad more awkward though. This stranger appeal spans across various age ranges. In elementary, middle, and high school, we’ve had multiple friendships start from that question. Granted the conversation will turn to something more interesting and we actually have to be engaging communicators for the conversation to go anywhere but still. There seems to always be that one kid who “always wanted to be friends with twins.”

Rather understandably, you’re also more likely to be remembered. In some peoples head, there’s “two” of you, so they’re that much more likely to remember you. Anything that is even remotely out of the ordinary is something that a lot of people will remember. They almost never remember our exact names but they remember our faces. They may even combine our names or only remember one of them which are two disadvantages to being twins but that’s just human nature after all.

As if you haven’t noticed being twins gives you a leg up in the media industry. Especially on YouTube, people enjoy watching twins hang out with one another and have funny moments. Think Tia and Tamera, Cole and Dylan Sprouse, or Mary Kate and Ashley. Or Ethan and Grayson Dolan (Aka the Dolan twins), Niki and Gabi, or Brooklyn and Bailey. This list goes on with the Martinez Twins, the Merrell Twins, Lucas and Marcus (Aka the Dobre Twins), the Bella twins, and the Mcclure twins. Only about three in 100 births result in twins yet there seems to be a ratio imbalance on the media platform. Many wonder how it would be to grow up with a sibling who shares your exact age so these famous YouTube duos allow curious watchers to have a glimpse of the life. I remember one time the tv series, Teen Wolf had a casting call for a pair of twins and literally only twins could audition. Twins can audition for “singular” and twin roles but individual borns can only audition for singular roles. We don’t think “individual borns” is an actual term but its the best we got.

This all being said means that a sibling to twins unfortunately receives an unfair amount of attention. We say this on behalf of our older brother who has gotten repeatedly overlooked growing up. Of course like any child he’s received spoiling, love, and care but when confronted with strangers or friends of our parents , the fact that our parents even have a son sometimes gets forgotten. Our mom has told us that whenever she sees twins and a separate sibling, she makes an effort to make sure the extra child feels included. She said that too often when we were all little, people would fawn over the pair of twins and disregard our brother who was only a toddler at the time. Even now people will sometimes ask our mom “how the twins are doing,” instead of how are all her kids doing. This can also be substituted with “how are the girls doing,” which may mean that siblings of the same gender aren’t as easily overlooked. We don’t know– we’re just guessing.

So the general fascination that accompanies people’s realization that we’re twins is what makes being twins so fun. It’s hard to be rude or not follow up with a conversation when you’ve stopped short and opened your mouth in surprise. While twin privilege isn’t actually acknowledged or backed with proof from all twins, we can say that in our experience, there does seem to be a slight dash of privilege. Very slight but just enough to leave an impression on us . It’s also humored our friends and family. Being a twin definitely has its downfalls as well though so we’re definitely not trying to brag or act like we’re better than anyone else. I’m sure there are some who could up with a pretty solid argument that being born individually brings more privilege than sharing your birth. We welcome a lively debate! We hope you enjoyed the article and don’t forget to check out some of our other blog posts!

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