Competition Freaks: Jennifer and Judy

"My sister and I have been locked in competition all our lives, vying to outdo the other," says 46-year-old Jennifer. "It's like a boxing match." She and her twin sister, Judy, compete over everything, including who's prettier, skinnier and smarter. "I'm the prettiest. I was the most popular. I'm nicer."

 

"It is hard work when you're an identical twin, but we are competition freaks," admits Judy. "My sister plays dirty ... She's a barracuda. We are rivals in a rivalry I never wanted to be part of. If I didn't compete, she would bury me alive." When the women were children, Judy says Jennifer would willingly get up and clean the house in order to win their mother's affection. "Everything is about one-upmanship."

 

Jennifer agrees. "I picked up knitting to be my grandmother's favorite. My mom would always call me Miss America; my twin was the dirtball," she explains. Jennifer also made the cheerleading squad when Judy didn't, and her first boyfriend was a guy that Judy liked first.

"I'm the one who went after him and got him," she says, proudly. Jennifer tells of hitting a police officer in his car and blaming it on Judy. "That was bad."

 

"I did a one-upmanship when I was a senior. I was prom queen. She only made it to the court — got ya," says Judy, who joined the military and never had children, while her sister got married and had four. "I didn't have children because I feared it would only fuel the competition." She even admits that the constant competing led to her first divorce. "He hated when I would go see my twin and go, 'Ooh, I like how she looks.'"

 

Their latest competition is over who looks younger. Immediately after Judy had botox and eye lift surgery, she sent the pictures to Jennifer. "I thought I was going to grow old gracefully, but I am obsessed at not letting my twin sister beat me," Judy admits.

"Even though I have a successful business, I really am jealous that she has three master's degrees," admits Jennifer, who owns a day spa. She turns to Dr. Phil for help.

 

"I wanted to sit next to you," Judy says.

"I won," Jennifer says, proudly.

Dr. Phil asks Jennifer and Judy what they think after watching their story on tape.

"That is 46 years, Dr. Phil, of what we have been competing for and against. I overcompensate for her dominancy," Judy says.

Interrupting Judy, Jennifer says, "She thinks so, but honestly, Dr. Phil, I have the more confidence in

that I am the prettier one."

"The problem is she has always been the dominant one," Judy explains. "I have lived in her shadow for years."

As they continue to bicker back and forth, Dr. Phil raises his hand and interrupts. "Do you realize the ridiculousness of what you are doing?" he asks. Looking at his notes, he says to Jennifer, "You say this with a sense of pride."

"Oh, don't get the notes out, I can tell you what I said," Jennifer says.

"I'll get the notes out when I want to get the notes out," Dr. Phil retorts, "because you may be in competition with her, but you ain't even in the game with me, girl."

Jennifer dresses hip and in style when she goes to see Judy and buys new outfits so she can look fabulous. "Is your idea that you want her to feel inferior?" Dr. Phil asks.

"Yes," Jennifer admits.

 

"If you are so confident, why do you need your sister to feel inferior to be OK?" he asks.


"Because she throws the first punch," Jennifer says.

"So you're a victim," Dr. Phil says.



"No, actually, it sounds like I'm trying to make myself out to be the victim, but my twin has been a victim of a lot of my comments over the years," Jennifer explains. "However, I was the fat one for about 15 years, but I had four children. I couldn't compete."

"But you have sabotaged her," Dr. Phil points out. "You say you're the dominant one, you're just the underhanded one." Jennifer stole Judy's boyfriend, gave her the chicken pox and rubbed it in her face when she became a cheerleader. "Each of the things that you do along the way is designed to make her feel bad about who she is. Tell me how that is a victory of which you have some pride."

"It's not a good thing," Jennifer admits.

"But you've devoted your entire life to it," Dr. Phil points out. He reminds her that she can't change what she doesn't acknowledge.

"I do acknowledge that I have always tried to be the prettier one, the thinner one, and I don't have to because she is beautiful," Jennifer says.

Dr. Phil asks Judy, "Did I just hear you on the tape say that you didn't have children because you just didn't want to get into the competition of whose children are the best, the cutest, the funniest, the

smartest?"

"It made me comfortable with the decision not to have children," Judy says.

"I just think that is sad," Dr. Phil comments. "I would feel really uncomfortable with having defined the relationship with somebody at the core." Dr. Phil acknowledges that both sisters truly love each other and would come to the other's aid in a moment. "But yet you have defined this thing in such a way that it is toxic for your life," he points out. "All the areas you compete in are totally superficial ... Are y'all that superficial that you define yourself just by who looks better?"

Jennifer points to a picture of her and Judy and says that she uses that picture to sell microdermabrasion to her clients at her spa, because she thinks she looks a lot better than her sister.

"You take yourself way too seriously," Dr. Phil tells her.

Jennifer agrees, and immediately tells Dr. Phil another story about what Judy did to her.

"Did y'all come here to defend this, or did you come here to change this?" Dr. Phil asks the women.

"We want to change it," Jennifer says.

"I do want to change it," says Judy, who wrote the initial letter to the show. "I don't want to say that I've been a victim, but she initiates all the competition and I follow along ... I want a truce. I want to end this. I want to look at my sister as an individual. I want her to embrace my successes as a human being,

and as an individual. That's what I hope."

"And I want what she wants," Jennifer adds.

Dr. Phil confronts Jennifer. "See, she's getting ahead of you, right? Because what she's doing is all of a sudden she's talking mature. She's telling me what she thinks I want to hear. She's going through all of these things about the healthier way to do this, and so all of a sudden, 'I'd better jump on that bandwagon,'" Dr. Phil says to her. "The truth is, you two are missing your life ... and you're missing your sister's life. Do you understand how small and petty it is when you're competing with someone you love in order to win?" He points out that in competitions, there are always winners and losers. "When you're competing with your sister, in order to win, you have to make her a loser," he clarifies. "How proud are you of that? That in the final analysis of your life you can stand there and say, 'I made my sister a loser.' Isn't that a great accomplishment?"

"It makes me feel like I'm the loser," Jennifer admits.

"But you've spent 46 years devoted to it," Dr. Phil says.

Dr. Phil tells the women how they can put an end to the situation. "This is not about your sister," he says to each of them. "This is about the fact that you and you have never accepted yourself. You have never found your authentic self. You are twins; that means you share some commonality in terms of genetics. You have a bond that is very different." He points out that when they first came on the show, it was fun and cute and they were playing to the audience looking for validation and feedback. "I was just a prop here. You were selling this to the audience. You were selling this to the camera. You weren't even talking to me. You

were talking to them to see who was getting ahead," he explains. "This was all fun and this was all cute until somebody pulled the curtain back and showed what it really was all about. And what it's all about is you have missed your life."

He notes that they share things genetically, but they are uniquely different human beings. "You don't need to compare yourself to somebody else to be able to look in the mirror and say, 'You know what? Jennifer, you're OK,'" Dr. Phil tells her. He addresses Judy. "You've taken a different route. You've gone into the military. You've defended your country. You've done wonderful things that you should be proud of, that we're all proud of for you," he tells her.

 

Dr. Phil addresses both women. "What I think of you has not one thing to do with your sister. And what you think of you should not have one thing to do with your sister. You're individuals, and what should make you feel good when you pull your covers up around your neck at night and go to sleep is that you live vicariously, proudly through your sister's successes in this life," he tells them. "The purest love in this world is the love that we have for our family, because we're not in competition with them. We're cheering them on." Pointing to their clasped hands he says, "You're there for each other now, be there for each other when I'm gone."