Sisters not Stereotypes

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By: Gemma

The relationship between sisters is one of the closest and most publicized dynamics in our society. Sisters share everything- clothes, makeup, a house, and almost always, looks. My story with my sister is different from this stereotypical version.

My parents got divorced when I was two years old, and my mom got remarried a few years later. My sister was born a few months after my 5th birthday. The first things I noticed about her were her brown eyes and head of curly black hair. These characteristics I noticed mainly because they were so different from mine. Throughout our childhood, our closeness varied through our ages, because it has been difficult to maintain a close relationship as i only spend 50% of my time with my mom and 50% of my time with my dad. When I’m at my dad’s, it sometimes feels like I don’t even have a sister. However, despite our varying closeness, a constant in our relationship has been the comments and assumptions people make when they see us together. People always assume that we aren’t related, and once they are aware, never cease to comment on our unsimilar appearances. Our lack of resemblance serves as a constant reminder of my past, and when people comment on it, it can be irritating, and even painful. Furthermore, it’s frustrating when people comment on our looks, as if our appearances are the defining trait of our relationship. Despite this, I have always felt just as close to my sister as i would if we shared the same dad.

I have spoken with many people who don’t feel a sense of kinship with their half siblings, and I have spoken to many who do. The ones who don’t were either introduced to their half sibling at an older, less impressionable age, or didn’t feel integrated into their new family. People who are close with their half siblings usually met them at a younger age. Because my sister was introduced to the family when I was relatively young, I have always felt connected to her. Even though our relationship faces the challenges of only spending 50% of my time with her and people commenting on our lack of resemblance, I have come to realize that it isn’t appearances or the amount of time spent together that makes us sisters. We don’t let other people’s comments or opinions define our relationship, instead we choose to define it ourselves. We don’t need to fit the stereotype in order to be happy.

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