IDENTICAL twins Anna and Lucy DeCinque — with their identical boyfriend, bed, mobile phone number, clothes, hairstyles, diet and cosmetic enhancements, are accustomed to being the identical centre of attention.
That changed — temporarily — when they joined the panel of SBS current affairs and discussion show Insight for a double episode about twins last night.
Suddenly, they weren’t the only twins in the room.
But the admission that they are convinced they’ll be pregnant at the same time — and will actively try to make it happen will put them firmly back in the spotlight.
“We actually felt a bit intimidated by the other twins, because we always thought we were the centre of attention,” the pair, 30, said by phone from Perth (it’s useless trying to work out which one is speaking — their voices are pretty much identical too).
“It’s not often we disappear, but when we started to share our story.”
The two aren’t actively trying for babies, yet.
“But if I got pregnant Lucy would definitely get pregnant straight way — because our bodies need to be the same,” Anna said.
“We would try to make that happen, definitely. We are not trying right now — we love children and kids love us, but it’s not the time for us.
“We would have to be exactly the same — even if we went through IVF at the same time.”
The Insight investigation looks at what the latest twin research can reveal about humanity at large — for social and scientific researchers, twins are ‘the perfect natural experiment’, especially identical twins who share 99.9 per cent of the same DNA.
Insight says changes between twins (or lack thereof) when they grow up — whether in health, sexuality, can tell us much about the impact of genetic versus environmental factors in these areas.
That’s something Anna and Lucy have never researched in detail — although their pursuit of staying as identical as possible has been their life’s aim.
They wear as a badge of honour being named the most identical twins in the world last year, after taking part in a Japanese prank TV show, and outwitting Japanese face recognition technology which could not tell their faces apart.
They love the limelight, less so the fans and haters that go with it, which they know will escalate when people learn of their identical pregnancy plan.
“We have people on the internet talk crap about us. We are happy with our lives. That’s how we want to live and we are not hurting anybody,” they said.
“You have to have a thick skin or you wouldn’t leave the house. People don’t insult you to your face, but they’ll say it from behind a keyboard.
“The people we meet in person are lovely, they want photos, they want to talk to us. They’re always nice.”
The pair came to public attention several years ago via media coverage focusing on their shared boyfriend, Ben Byrne, 32, and the estimated $250,000 they spent over 10 years on cosmetic and beauty treatments — right down to nails and fake tan.
The extent of their cosmetic surgery is vastly … err … inflated.
“The only surgical procedure we have had is breast implants. We have had lip fillers, eyebrow tattooing, skin peels — but only surgery on our breasts,” they say.
They have been with Ben for four years, (yes, they share a bed, and they also live with the twins’ mother).
He is a fraternal (non-identical) twin, ‘so he understands the twin thing and the very close bond we have with each other,’.
“We’ve had separate boyfriends before, but they didn’t understand our closeness. Ben understands we want to be together all the time,” they said.
The two have never taken part in formal twins research studies — although the recently signed up to the Australian Twins Register.
They would worry about taking part in a study because ‘we just don’t want to be different to each other’.
“We have shared everything from an early age, but became even closer and more alike in the past six years since our Dad passed away,” they said.
“We want to weigh the same, we have to have our bodies the same. If we did a twin study and came out different, we’d be so upset.”