Believe it Or Not
Lucy and Maria Aylmer are about as close as twin sisters can be. However, nobody seemed to believe that they were twins or even sisters because of how different they looked.
The one person who was even more shocked was their mother, Donna. She could only imagine the hardships her twin girls would have to face, the constant scrutiny and judgment for being different.
Black And White
‘No one ever believed that we are twins because of the one noticeable difference being that I am white and Maria is black’, says Lucy. Even when we dress like twins, we still don’t look like sisters to people. This stigma followed the girls throughout most of their teenage years.
It got to a point where people would even ask them to produce their birth certificate as proof that they were twins. The constant investigation and praying made it heartbreaking for the twins to navigate life.
Happy Born Day
The twins were born in January 1997, and nothing could have prepared their parents for what happened next. When the midwife handed the babies to their mother, she was beyond shocked.
The first thing she noticed was their different skin colors. She was happy that the twins were healthy. However, the fear factor was still very prominent. She imagined the stares and explaining she would do.
Different Sides But Similar
Lucy was born with fair skin, freckles, red hair, and blue eyes. In contrast, Maria has caramel skin, black curls, and dark brown eyes.
The girl’s distinct features could be traced back to their racially different parents. History reminds us that people with Afro-Caribbean heritage often have some European DNA, dating back to the slave trade.
The twins are the youngest of five siblings, and it was not hard for them to notice how different they were from them. Lucy says, ‘she noticed that they were at opposite ends of the spectrum, and they are all somewhere in between each other’.
As balanced as the family was, Lucy couldn’t help but notice how different they were and how she did not blend in with her siblings.
Playing Twin Tricks
The joys of having an identical twin are the tricks some twins enjoy playing on people. However, that was not the case with Lucy and Maria because no one believed they were twins or sisters. There was no way they could fool anyone or play any identity swapping tricks or games.
They knew they were twins, but the world made it harder for them to live out this truth; people constantly nitpicked their differences and reminded them on a daily how different they were.
The twin sisters are called dizygotic or fraternal twins. The outcome is a biological phenomenon that occurs when two different eggs are fertilized by two different sperm at the same time.
Meaning that these types of twins are regular siblings that happened to be born simultaneously, explaining the girl’s different looks. However, the twins were still a rare occurrence in the medical field.
Lucy and Maria’s mother Donna is half-Jamaican, and their father Vince is white. Together they managed to produce one white and black twin. Maria and Lucy’s case is a ‘one in a million’ chance of happening.
However, their mother carries genes for both white and black skin, and by chance, Lucy inherited genes for white skin, and Maria inherited the genes for black skin; basically, it was a gamble of genes, the dice could have fallen on either side.
To Lucy, most twins look like two peas in a pod, but they couldn’t look more different even if they tried. Lucy was made to feel like they did not have the same parents or share any DNA. People constantly made them feel like they were strangers not only in their family but also in society.
They were a rare phenomenon that shocked people, but the reality is that they were viewed as circus acts for the world to judge instead of accepting and loving.
After Donna and Vince welcomed the extraordinary twins into the world, the parents divorced. Their parents already had three children of mixed race, so dealing with race was something they could handle.
However, nothing could have prepared them for this shocking challenge. The parents made sure to co-parent the twins well and maintained a friendly relationship between them for the sake of their children. They split from each other but never from their children.
Fair Skin Tone
Lucy noticed how different her skin tone was from her siblings. However, she took refuge in seeing how similar her grandmother was. Their grandmother has a very fair English rose complexion like her.
However, in 2015 while doing a TV interview, Lucy was again reminded of her privilege. Samantha Armytage congratulated Lucy for being born with a fair skin tone while continuously highlighting how black Maria was.
Both girls experienced bullying and prejudice on a daily. Lucy became a target because of their interviews, and people started calling her ugly and other horrible names. People would emphasize how different she was; the last thing she needed was the noise from people constantly playing in her ear about it.
High school was no joy for Lucy because people were confident that she was adopted by the family, even though their father was white.
The twin’s interests are as different as their looks and not the norm that people are used to or expect from them. When they finished high school, Lucy chose to study Arts and Design, while Maria decided to study Law and Psychology.
Maria was the outgoing one, while Lucy was the shy one who retrieved into a shell because of the constant scrutiny. However, Maria loves telling people that she has a white twin, and Lucy is proud of having a black twin.
Most people were under the impression that the twins were living lavish lifestyles, given the media buzz and the phenomena they had become to the world. However, that could not be further from the truth.
Everyone harassed them, and their skin tones made them a target, especially to those who lacked the understanding of where they came from and how difficult it is to grow up in a mixed household.
The twins decided to move to London, away from social media and the many wandering eyes. However, the bullying and media scrutiny continued to follow them. At some point, Lucy confessed in her Instagram live to being depressed and even attempting to take her life.
However, she says she found courage and strength to move forward, all thanks to her twin sister Maria, whom she loves wholeheartedly, proving once again that they are united in everything they do.