I wanted to post something else today, but this picture hit me straight into my heart while I was reading the newspapers online these days.
This picture shows four 6 year old chinese twins at their school in Shenzen (South China). Their parents did shave their heads and wrote huge numbers on their sculls to make it easier for their teachers to distinguish them.
In my opinion, it shows the complete inability of the parents and the teachers of these twins to cope with the situation. I find the act of shaving them and labelling in such an eye catching way very discriminating and terribly humilitating. By this act, they have been totally deprived from all the rights of being individuals. Twins, especially if identical or multiple twins, stick out already and there is no reason to make them feel even more uncomfortable about this.
I’m the kind of twins-mum who always wants her twins to be first of all individuals. On the inside and on the outside. That’s why I’m so outraged about this picture.
There are several ways to help people tell your twins apart. The easiest way is to make them wear different clothes. But even if twins need to wear a uniform at school, there are still little things you can change in their outfits. You can apply coloured stickers on the collars or choose a different hairdo for each child or let them wear a ribbon in their favourite color (for the girls) etc.. You can also use name tags until people can tell them apart. Personally, I prefer to point out physical characteristics to teachers, friends etc.: „Even the most identical twins have some distinguishing characteristic. (…) Identify a telltale feature for each child, for example a freckle, mole, eyebrow arch or hair whorl. Avoid comparative features; people can’t rely on them unless the twins remain together at all times.“ (cfr. http://multiples.about.com/od/twinsinschool/tp/aatptelltwins.htam).
Seriously, what were the parents of these four twins thinking?!