Black and White Twins Will Have Great Story to Tell

black and white cookieI'm not a twin, and I don't have twins, so I can't speak with any authority on the subject, but I've always wondered what it's like for twins who don't really resemble each other. It just seems like at a certain point, you'd get pretty tired of hearing, "Really, you're twins? You look nothing alike!"

So I can only imagine how annoying the endless comments would get if you and your twin appeared to be completely different races.


It happens a lot more often than you might think. Last year, a set of twins -- one white baby, one black -- was born to an interracial couple in Scotland, who promptly nicknamed the infants "Salt & Pepper."

And 18 years ago, another set of black and white twins, James and Daniel Kelly, was born to a British interracial couple, Alyson and Errol Kelly.

But here's the really interesting thing about James and Daniel, in my opinion: Their personalities are even more of a contrast than their skin colors.

James, the darker-skinned twin, apparently does well in school and has lots of friends, while his brother Daniel isn't quite so academically inclined and is more of an introvert.

Oh, and James is gay, but Daniel is straight.

Now, this is fascinating to me on about a billion different levels, most of them having to do with genetics and nature vs. nurture and how people really are "born this way." Still, I think what intrigues me the most is the question of whether or not twins have an easier time forming completely separate identities when they don't look like the same person.

Like I said before, I'm not a twin and I don't have twins and thusly (DISCLAIMER!) anything I say about twins is pure conjecture. It's just that I have known several sets of identical -- like, identical -- twins, and they all seemed to go through some identity-related struggles. Either the twin with the stronger personality sort of ran the show, or both twins were afraid to try activities without each other, that kind of thing.

So I'm wondering: Are twins who are born looking completely different from each other actually better off in the long run? James and Daniel Kelly certainly haven't had any trouble carving out individual identities for themselves.

Are you a twin or a parent of twins? What do you think?


Image via Lori L. Stalteri/Flickr

Read More >