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Mary-Kate and Ashley Finally Reveal Why They Hate Being Called "The Olsen Twins"

The 37-year-old designers came to fame when they were just babies.

Given that they've been famous since they were literally babies, it's not surprising that the way the world views Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen differs from the way they view themselves. Today, the sisters are the 37-year-old creative directors of the luxury fashion brand The Row, and their acting days are far behind them. But, in a new interview, they shared that there is still one holdover from their time as child stars that they find disappointing.

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Ashley and Mary-Kate gave a rare interview to British publication the Financial Times about The Row, speaking about the success of the brand and their experience working on it since 2006. During the conversation, they talked about how private they keep their personal lives, and Mary-Kate explained that she's bothered by the way the media sometimes covers herself and her sister.

"Like referring to my sister and I as 'the Olsen twins' or 'The Twins' or 'The Girls'. We're 37 years old. We have had very interesting lives. We work together. We're business partners," she said. "How many other people are called 'the girls' when they're designing? I think that's where the disappointment comes from."

Later in the interview, Mary-Kate noted that she and Ashley are almost 40 years old. "Age doesn't really matter," she added. "But we're still 'The Girls.'"

Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen at the premiere of "Anna and the King" in 1999
Featureflash Photo Agency / Shutterstock

Mary-Kate and Ashley don't speak to the press often, but in the past, they have also made clear that they are separate people, not one entity, as they were considered for so long. A 2018 interview with WSJ Magazine reads that the sisters "are still sensitive about references to their childhood career, and also to suggestions that as twins they are interchangeable."

Ashley said, "It's been 32 years of learning how to communicate" and described their relationship as "a marriage and a partnership" that has "had ups and downs."

The siblings came to fame on Full House, splitting the role of Michelle Tanner starting when they were nine months old. They remained on the sitcom from 1987 to 1995. Their careers took off from there and they became hugely popular, starring in a number of movies and TV shows together and launching various products. The last movie they starred in together was 2004's New York Minute. Both sisters stopped acting in the early 2010s.

When the Full House sequel series Fuller House premiered in 2016, Ashley and Mary-Kate chose not to take part. During an appearance on Watch What Happens Live in 2021, their co-star John Stamos talked about the former actors not coming back for the new series.

"We were disappointed, but we understood," he said. "I remember [co-star] Lori [Loughlin] saying to me, 'They won two or three CFDA [Council of Fashion Designers of America] Awards.' That's like winning two or three Oscars. If you won three Oscars, would you come back and do this? And I was like, 'Yeah, maybe not.'"

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Lia Beck
Lia Beck is a writer living in Richmond, Virginia. In addition to Best Life, she has written for Refinery29, Bustle, Hello Giggles, InStyle, and more. Read more
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