Documentary explores twin identity

Photo courtesy: Jazlen Patrick

Twins are often viewed as a phenomenon that many marvel over. It is estimated that 1 in 250 natural pregnancies will result in twins. There are a few sets of twins on the hills of Florida A&M University, and one set in particular has bonded together to share their experiences.

Twin sisters and co-producers Jazlen and Jaelen Patrick have worked together to create a short documentary titled “Twin Identity” that will be showcased at this semester’s J-School Journals. The senior broadcast journalism students hope to show the real side of being a twin amidst the shiny label.

“I hope that the audience is able to gain a deeper understanding of what being a twin is like outside of their own assumptions or generalizations,” said Jaelen. “I also hope to create a sense of comfort for other twins that come across the documentary as they learn that they are not alone in the journey towards finding their individuality.”

Oftentimes, people see twins and say things like they wish they had a twin. Sophomore Keillis Sanchez reflected on his childhood, saying at times, he wishes he wasn’t the oldest.

“I am the oldest with a brother who is two years younger, and I would’ve liked to have someone to lean on,” Sanchez said. “It would have been nice to be able to have a connection like no other.”

While it may seem like fun on the outside, twins often face issues concerning their identity as individuals. From birth, some parents find it cute to dress their twins alike. They share the same room and toys. They attend the same schools at the same time and even participate in the same extracurricular activities. They are conditioned into viewing themselves as a set instead of as two individual human beings capable of living different lives.

Senior graphic design student, Oscar Jean, believes he has struggled with codependency on his twin brother Marvin Jean. Marvin went away to FAMU first, leaving Oscar behind.

“I thought it would be a handicap, but in reality, it gave us so much room to grow as individuals.” He expressed how much he grew on his own, having the people around him focus on him as his own person and not as one of the twins. “It gave me room to be Oscar.”

The psychology of twins is significantly under-studied. It is more common for identical twins to deal with identity crises than fraternal twins, especially those of different sexes. For fraternal twins, there is at least a biological separation that they can grasp on their own. But, for identical twins, they are constantly reminded they are “the same” by science, their families, and the world around them.

Twin Identity will be showcased at this semester’s J-School Journals (JSJ) showcase. JSJ will be held in Lee Hall on Sunday, April 16 at 2 pm. For more information, please contact or visit their Instagram @famujsj.