In the 9 months leading up to the birth of a child, parents can become increasingly anxious about how the birthing process would go and what their new life will be like with a baby. Expecting mothers get ultrasounds and try to stay healthy in the months leading up to the birth of their child. But what happens if the child comes out with an appearance you were not expecting?
Donna and Vince Aylmer were already parents to 3 other children when they found out they were expecting. However, they were nervous this time around because Donna was expecting twins! The couple was surprised to hear that they would be having twins and could not wait until they arrived. Everything seemed to be absolutely normal with the pregnancy until the day the twins were born.
But something peculiar occurred when Donna gave birth. Everything seemed to be going well and the twins were born healthy and normal. However, it was clear to everyone that something was very different about these twins. Even from the moment of birth, it was evident that both children were completely different skin tones. Their parents were obviously surprised at the big discrepancy in their children’s appearance. How did this happen? And what do these unique twins look like today?
Different from the start
Twin girls Lucy and Maria Aylmer came into the world on January 16th, 1997 in the city of Gloucester, England. Their parents are Vince Aylmer and Donna, who now goes by Donna Douglas since the two eventually divorced, although they were married at the time the twins were born. Donna and Vince are of different ethnicities which was a contributing factor to the difference in skin color of their daughters.
So how did these two twins come out with completely different skin tones? Vince is Caucasian and Donna is part Jamaican so it would be assumed that the couple would have children with mixed skin tone. However, this was clearly not the case as both children had completely different skin tones, one being black and the other white. Although they had very different pigmentation, the twins did look similar. So which kind of twins are they?
Identical twins occur when one egg splits into two embryos, resulting in both babies receiving identical genes. Lucy and Maria came from separate eggs and were therefore not identical twins. Since they came from two different eggs, they did not inherit identical genes, and obviously not the same skin tone. Donna, who was a worker at a warehouse, was of mixed ethnicities including Afro-Caribbean and Caucasian heritage which contributed to the discrepancy between the girls’ skin colors.
Donna was surprised
When Lucy was much older, she explained her mother’s reaction to the different skin tones in an interview: “It was such a shock for her because things like skin color don’t show up on scans before birth. So she had no idea that we were so different. When the midwife handed us both to her she was just speechless.” One can imagine the surprise a parent would have when they see that their child had an appearance that was completely unexpected.
Strangers didn’t understand
Many parents of twins choose to dress their children the same. This is exactly what Donna did with her twin daughters. However, most strangers did not understand why the girls were dressed the same as they believed that the girls could not be related. Even though both girls had the same parents, no one would assume that they could even be cousins let alone siblings. So what do Lucy and Maria’s other siblings look like?
The girls have two older brothers. George, who is 25, has light-brown skin and so do their other siblings, Chynna, 24, and Jordan, who is 23. Their siblings are what most people would expect children of parents with different skin tones to look like. However, Lucy and Maria have distinct skin colors. Maria has dark skin while Lucy has both very pale skin and light hair. So where did Lucy’s coloring come from?
Lucy is probably the most unusual of all of her siblings when it comes to her skin and hair color. So who else in the family has skin like hers? Lucy explained in an interview, “Our brothers and sisters have skin which is in between Maria and I. We are at opposite ends of the spectrum and they are all somewhere in between. But my grandmother has a very fair English rose complexion, just like mine.”
Different eye color
Skin color is not the only difference that these twins have. As we mentioned before, Lucy has very light hair. Her hair is red and she almost looks like she could be Irish and not born from a mother with Afro-Caribbean heritage. Maria’s hair, however, is very dark and curly. In addition, their eye color is completely different. Maria has brown eyes while Lucy has light eyes which are a mix of green and blue.
These differences even caused pain in Lucy and Maria’s life. Maria particularly hated her hair. She explained to Inside Edition, “I used to cry about it. I hated my curly hair.” Lucy also struggled with her skin color and reminisced about how she was a victim of bullying as a child because of it, “They thought I was adopted and called me a ghost.” Lucy became emotional while she remembered being taunted as a little girl.
They couldn’t trick the teacher
While most twins can trick their teachers at school by switching identities, Lucy and Maria could not do that. “We were in the same class, but no one had a problem telling us apart. Twins are known for swapping identities, but there was no way Maria and I could ever do anything like that.” They could not fool anyone simply because they looked so different, but what other things usually done by twins were they not able to do?
Many twins claim that they are often thinking the same thing as the other twin and that they have a sort of telepathy. Many twins also claim that they can finish each other’s sentences and often say the same things. While the girls said that they do not experience this, they do claim that they often feel the same physical pain in identical parts of their body usually at the same moment.
While they might have felt the same pain, they had many physical differences such as their hair. Lucy has very light red hair that was curly when she was young but nowadays she decided to be even more different than her twin and wears it very straight. Maria always had very tight curls and dark hair. But while their physical appearance was so opposite, their mother attempted to keep one aspect of their lives identical.
The twins’ mother Donna dressed them the same until they were 7 years old. The twins then decided that they had enough and they did not want to dress the same and explained this to their mother. Lucy said, “We don’t look alike. So why should we have to wear the exact same thing?” While the girls were twin sisters, Lucy admitted that she never felt like a twin since she and Maria looked like complete opposites.
Where are they now?
So what do Lucy and Maria look like today? A lot has changed since the two were little girls and they are now all grown up! The two still look as different as when they were young and they definitely do not dress the same way to this day. They have different styles and have both grown into young individuals. We would never guess these two are sisters, would you?
These twins obviously do not dress the same and they have both developed their own unique sense of style. Maria has a more classic and glamorous look and likes wearing girly dresses while Lucy is very edgy and likes to wear dark colors and has many piercings. So now that we know their clothing choices are different, it would be interesting to know if they have similar personalities or lifestyle choices.
Everything is opposite
This twins could not be more different! In addition to their clashing styles, they have completely opposite personality types. Maria explained in an interview saying, “I’m not scared to approach people.” On other other hand, twin sister Lucy is on the shy side. She said, “I’m terrified of going up to random strangers.” Although they are so different, they are still very close. However, they admitted it was not always this way.
No sisterly bond?
The sisters admit that upon looking back on their childhood, they really were not that close. Lucy said in an interview, “I think if we’d looked similar or even identical, then the bond between us would have been stronger when we were younger.” She continued, “But Maria and I had such different personalities, too. She was the outgoing twin while I was the shy one.” But was this really partly due to having different skin tones?
Are identical twins closer?
Many twins claim that they have a very strong bond between them and there are many sets of identical twins that continue to dress the same even into adulthood. So since Lucy and Maria were so different in so many aspects of their lives, it may be possible that they could have been closer had they been born identical twins. We want to know, are they closer now that they’re older?
Closer than before
Thankfully, the twins have developed a strong bond as they matured into young adults. They explained, “Now we have grown older, even though we still look so different, the bond between us is much stronger.” Today they consider themselves very close friends and have learned to embrace each other’s differences. We know that when they were young, no one thought they were sisters. But how do people feel today now that their story has gained media attention?
Nothing has changed
Lucy explained that much like when they were younger, people still do not believe them when they say they are twin sisters. Even many of their friends still do not think that they are even related! Lucy said, “Most twins look like two peas in a pod – but we couldn’t look more different if we tried, we don’t look like we have the same parents, let alone having been born at the same time.”
I don’t believe you
Maria reminisced about a time when one of her friends found out she had a twin sister. Her friend of course did not think Maria was telling the truth when she met Lucy and said,“You’re really a twin? That’s really your sister?” She only believed her after she saw the twins’ story on television. So now that they’re all grown up, what are the twins’ plans for the future?
These two are different in most aspects of their lives and their desires for their future careers are also at opposite ends of the spectrum. Lucy is an art student and she attends a college in Gloucester, England. Maria has dreams of becoming a lawyer and studies law in ‘Cheltenham College’. When asked about having a twin with a different skin color, Lucy said, “Maria loves telling people at college that she has a white twin – and I’m very proud of having a black twin,”
So how do Lucy and Maria prove to their friends that they are indeed sisters? The sisters have gone to great lengths to make sure their friends know that they really are twins. In an interview, Lucy revealed how far friends have made them go to prove their relation. She said, “Even when we dress alike, we still don’t look like sisters, let alone twins. Friends have even made us produce our birth certificates to prove it,”
Bright futures ahead
Although these two contrast in almost every way, what they do have in common is that they are both smart young women with bright futures ahead of them. The twins are closer than ever and consider themselves to be best friends. Though they are so dissimilar, they always look out for each other’s well-being. Who knows where these twins will be 18 years from now. We can’t wait to see!