By: AALIYAH MINNIEWEATHER
Does anyone remember The Olsen Twins?
Chances are, if one was born in the mid-2000s, one probably wouldn’t remember who these women are. But for the 90s kids out there, I’m sure you would like to take a trip down memory lane and discuss two of your possible childhood heroes who’ve all but fallen into obscurity for the past two decades despite doing well.
For those of you who don’t know who they are, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen are former child actresses turned business moguls. They got their first jobs being casted in Full House (1987-1995) in 1987 when they were one year olds. The show was about a father of three daughters whose wife had recently died, and as a result, his brother-in-law and best friend moved in with him to help him raise the girls. The twins would star on the show as ‘Michelle Tanner’ for the entirety of the show’s run until 1995 when they were 9. During the time they were on the show, Mary-Kate and Ashley would release carefree home videos and star in movies that would include, “To Grandmother’s House We Go” (1992), “Our First Video” (1993), “Double, Double, Toil and Trouble” (1993), “The Little Rascals” (1994), and “You’re Invited to Mary-Kate and Ashley’s Sleepover Party” (1995). After Full House, the two would star in more movies, home videos, and tv shows including, “It Takes Two” (1995), “Two Of A Kind” (1998-1999), “Passport to Paris” (1999), “Switching Goals” (1999), “The Adventures of Mary Kate and Ashley” (2000-2001), and “New York Minute” (2004). Ashley would stop acting after “New York Minute” when she was 18 while Mary-Kate would continue to make cameo appearances in shows. They both would officially retire from acting in 2012.
Neither one of them lived struggle-free lives.
Mary-Kate Olsen was reported to be struggling with anorexia in the mid-2000s. In an article titled “Just Twin And Bones- Mary-Kate Treated For Anorexia”, written by Bill Hoffman and published by New York Post in June 2004, the author wrote, “For weeks, rumors swirled that Mary-Kate was sick after she appeared in public looking scrawny and undernourished – a far cry from her more robust twin sister, Ashley. At the premiere of their flick, “New York Minute,” fans were shocked to see the teen cutie’s ribs sticking out and her arms skeletal. At the time, the beloved teen icons insisted nothing was wrong, with Ashley telling People magazine, “We don’t have problems! There’s nothing to worry about.” Mary-Kate tried to spoof her rail-thin look by going on “Saturday Night Live” and screaming at an extra playing herself, ‘You’re too skinny! Eat a sandwich!’” Olsen was later treated for her eating disorder and decided to continue with her career.
Ashley Olsen would go on to experience her own health problems as well. In 2015, it was reported that she was suffering from lyme disease. An article was published by Heatworld in August of that year, titled, “Ashley Olsen has been diagnosed with Lyme disease” and written by Rosie Gizauskas. In it, Gizauskas stated, “The illness has taken a physical toll on Ashley – the twin sister of Mary-Kate Olsen and older sibling of Avengers: Age of Ultron star Elizabeth Olsen – in recent months and has affected her ability to work. The [family insider previously interviewed] added: ‘When she does come to work, she looks haggard and dishevelled. And she’s often moody. Ashley’s having a very rough time right now.’ Pop singer Avril Lavigne has also been suffering from Lyme disease and recently admitted she thought she was “dying” when she was stricken down with the disease.” It would also be during these times that fans would comment on how different the Olsen Twins’ appearances looked altogether and would make disparaging comments about their speculated plastic surgery.
In the face of all of the plastic surgery, medical health problems, and endings of certain aspects of their careers, the Olsen Twins would eventually enjoy the fruits of a different type of career from their childhood one.
Their fashion careers had their beginnings in 1999 when they decided to collaborate with Walmart in making a clothing line for little girls. In 2006, they launched ‘The Row’, a women’s clothing line. A year later, they launched another line called ‘Elizabeth and James’. As described in an article titled, “How The Olsens Built Their Fashion Empire” under a segment called ‘The Olsen Twins’ Fashion Lines’, published by Business Women, “The Row offers luxurious basic pieces crafted from the finest materials – it’s an effortless, minimalistic take on fashion. On the other hand, the Elizabeth and James brand embraces self-expression; women can hone their unique style with contemporary, edgy clothing and accessories.” The twins still work with these successful companies to this day. It’s been stated that part of the reason for their success is the twins’ full time devotion and dedication to these lines since retiring from acting. If you ask me, their success is well-deserved.
This all comes down to one question; How are the Olsen Twins holding up today?
One thing is for sure. They lead very quiet, private lives these days. As for how they are doing financially, it is reported in an article titled, “Inside Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen’s Ultra Private Life Out of the Spotlight”, under a segment titled ‘How much money do they have?’, written by Tiffany White and published by InTouch, that “The twins reportedly have a combined net worth of $500 million thanks to the royalties they continue to collect from their acting gigs. Additionally, the two own successful fashion brands, The Row and Elizabeth and James, which are beloved by Hollywood’s elite stars.” Basically, the twins are never without work in these times.
And why have they decided to lay low on the publicity? The author from the last aforementioned article states towards the end, “According to their publicist, Michael Pagnotta, their decision to live a private life stems from their experience in college. ‘They’d been kind of hamster-wheeling their lives, and through the first year of college, when they got to NYU, they actually met people who had a different take on the world. They maybe got a different sense of what their future might be. And maybe it wouldn’t necessarily be in acting.’”
The good news is, the Olsen Twins seem to be fairing pretty well, especially since they no longer have to conduct their lives as stage-performing child stars and hard-laboring actresses. They are content with working with their companies and helping out their younger siblings when they need it.
And we can’t help but feel happy that they’re doing good.