Welcome To The Bitchery

"Black" & "White" Twins: the social construction of race [UPDATE]

I just wanted to share this article, which talks about how fraternal twins born to biracial parents are being constructed as "black" and "white". Sorry if someone has already posted about this - I couldn't find anything, but if I missed it, please let me know!

Groupthink, meet Kian and Remee.


Kian and Remee are fraternal twins. The article I linked to above explains how, genetically, siblings can have different skin colours. That's because a woman's egg and a man's sperm both contain a lot of skin options, but if, by chance, all of those on both sides read "light skin" or "dark skin" (or whatever), the resulting child could be really far at one end of the spectrum. The author (Lisa Wade) explains that yes, skin colour is real. Those girls don't have the same skin colour, nope!

But they aren't different races. Those children have the same background as one another, and yet because of a happenstance of genetics, they have different skin. And because of that skin, one is now "black" while the other is "white". Whaaat?

Wade pointed out that news articles (like this one) are just jumping right in there with the racial labels with apparent unawareness that these children have the same racial background.

Jesus. People are fucked up, eh? I can't help but wonder how much this difference is going to impact each girl's life, and how each girl develops her own identity. I'm sad for them that they are going to grow up in a pretty racist society, a society that likely won't allow them to think that they are the same. Even the mother is (apparently) framing them as shockingly similar, despite their skin colour.


Poor kids.

Update: YAY! They seem to be okay! Apparently this is a very old story (thanks, Sociological Images, grumble grumble). SimplyResistible posted a follow-up story from 2012, when the twins were seven years old. Turns out, they seem to be doing okay!

"They never ask me why they look so different to each other. They just accept it and they are so incredibly close."


Although this new article still seems to hit home this social construction thing. Sigh.

"Despite their colour differences, the girls have an incredibly strong bond between them."


Wow, so impressive, that they love each other while having different skin colours. Anyways, back to positivity. Yay, Kian and Remee!

Share This Story