I dread it when our identical twin daughters have to pick out costumes.  Whether the costumes are for Halloween, a spring concert – whatever – the process is bound to create drama.

The on-line selections always end with the same result:

Taylor goes for glitz and glamour.

She is drawn to girly-girl costumes that hi-lite her beauty and femininity.  She seeks the prettiest, most fashionable costume – banking on her good looks to gain the most praise-worthy attention.  For Halloween, she was a princess fairy with stunning wings.

Sydney goes for playful originality.

She is drawn to the uniquely creative costume that is guaranteed to get a good laugh.  She counts on her quirky personality to set her apart from the rest of the group.  She opted to be a Twister board for Halloween, wearing the spinner on her head as a hat.

When the order arrives, the girls squeal with excitement.  As they tear their costumes out of the box, Taylor is still thrilled with her selection – just sure that she made the right choice.

“Okay, Sydney,” she states with a judgemental giggle, “your costume is just weird!”

“No it’s not, Taylor!  I love it!” she wards off her twin sister’s criticism with confident ease.

They race to see who can get dressed the fastest, each one eager to be the first to show off her new costume.

We can’t help but crack up at Sydney’s clever spontaneity – most recently dressed as a sock monkey.

“Syd!  That’s hilarious!” we laugh as we tell her, always impressed by her bold originality.  She beams with radiant confidence, as she dances in place to show off the funny features of her costume.

“Aw Tay, you look so pretty!” we tell her truthfully.  But she detects – and detests – a lack of shock value in our reactions to her sweet costume of Little Red Riding Hood.

Taylor covets the boisterous reaction that Sydney gets, but is never brave enough to step outside her comfort zone.  Her very particular sense of fashion dictates her costume selection.  She forgets that the purpose of a costume is to transform you into something new or different.  Thus, her costumes always look the same.

Sydney, on the other hand, has no interest in fashion.  It is easy for her to make outlandish selections because she is never bothered by a mismatched outfit.  She dresses according to comfort, not style.

Hopefully Sydney’s example will teach Taylor that true fashion isn’t about being the same, but rather having the courage to be different.  Syd possesses the confidence to pick what she likes.  Maybe one day Taylor will learn to use her love for fashion to please herself, without worrying about the opinions of  her audience.