11 Important Lessons Mary-Kate and Ashley Taught Us About Womanhood

It’s hard to believe it, but today is Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen’s 30th birthday.

In honor of the fact that the adorable twins we all grew up with are officially adults, we’re counting down 11 of the most important life lessons we learned from watching their movies, TV shows, and obsessively tracking their every move via paparazzi photos.

1. It’s never too early to join the work force


We all know the saying “the early bird gets the worm,” and Mary Kate-and Ashley are living proof of that. MK&A had only been alive for six months before they booked Full House, and look where they are today.

2. Start Building Your Brand Early


In the age of Instagram, we’re all walking, talking, selfie-taking brands, but while the rest of us really started repping ourselves within the past five years, the Olsens have been doing it since they were still in the single-digits.

Sure, they were fortunate to more or less be born into a brand, but still, they took that whole famous twin thing and ran for it. For years they almost exclusively wore matching/co-ordinating outfits in public and stared in movies/TV shows where they exclusively played twins. Do you think this was a coincidence? Do you think that at the time Mary-Kate and Ashley didn’t have the clout to take on other projects that would emphasize their dissimilarity?

Because you know what? They did. Every preteen girl was obsessed with them, one of their movies was always on TV over the weekend, which means they probably had studio executives eating out of their hands, but they were smart girls with money on their minds. They chose to spend their formative years working the twin angle, and 30 years later, they’re still America’s most famous twins.

3. Studying abroad is the most enriching experience


Literally, studying abroad was all MK&A did for a while when they were younger. Their travels took them all around the world from London to Paris to Sydney to Rome to the Bahamas and even to New York City, a city where the Olsen twins would eventually come home.

On their travels they learned important things about themselves, the world, and most importantly, they met a lot of cute boys, which brings us to our next life lesson.

4. Men are dispensable


In every new Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen movie or TV show, the girls always had new, dispensable boyfriends. Partly this was because none of their projects had overlapping plot lines or characters, but it was also partly to send an important message to young girls everywhere: dating is not a sin.

In fact, it’s kind of what your early years are all about, so grab a spoon and dig in already.

5. If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again


From 1998 to 2002, the Olsen twins suffered a mild amount of failure in the form of two short-lived sitcoms that nobody talks about anymore because they were kind of garbage.

Maybe you remember watching Two of a Kind, which aired on ABC from September of 1998 to July of 1999 or So Little Time, which aired on Fox Family from June to August of 2001 before Fox Family became ABC Family, the show went on a four-month hiatus and then returned for another 5 months, but do you remember anything about what either show was about?

We didn’t think so.

Still, if the Olsens can survive two commercial failures in the formative years when child stars often crash and burn, you can survive anything. 

6. It’s okay to not give a fuck about what your hair/outfit is doing


As MK&A grew up, they slowly stopped giving any kind of a fuck about normal things women obsess over every day. Namely, does my hair look alright and am I wearing something that will inspire people to take pictures of me for their cool street style blog?

For instance, in 2005, Mary-Kate decided to stop caring about all that and start appearing everywhere looking like this.


Ironically, Mary-Kate’s decision to pioneer the mildly offensive “homeless” look is exactly what turned them both into style icons.

You see? There’s value in not looking like everybody else on the red carpet, which is something today’s celebrities need a reminder of.

7. Never be ashamed to wear your big sunglasses


Sometimes you forget to put on eye makeup, sometimes you’re hungover as fuck and sometimes you just don’t feel like giving that guy on the subway who’s spent the past 15 minutes staring at you like you’re a box of Girl Scout cookies the chance to even think he has the green light to talk to you.

In these and literally every life situation, it is okay to wear your big, oversized sunglasses.

8. Coffee cups are a completely acceptable accessory


Because nothing happens if we’re not properly caffeinated.

9. Know how to class it up


You need to take that homeless lady look from day to night, and the only way to do that is with super expensive clothing.

10. Be your own boss


Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen have had their own production company, Dualstar, for forever, and since 2004 they’ve not only served as CEOs but also as co-presidents, which mean they’re in charge of almost their entire back catalogue of work. 

Their ownership of Dualstar has obviously also helped them amass a fortune, which was estimated to be around the $100 million mark by Forbes in 2007, making the Olsen twins among the 20 richest women in entertainment.  

It always pays to be the HBIC.

11. It’s okay to change careers


Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen’s last joint acting project was 2004’s New York Minute, and although Mary-Kate kept acting for the next 7 years, by 2006 the twins were starting to really concentrate on fashion. 

In 2006, Mary-Kate and Ashley created a 7-piece collection for their American luxury fashion design house called The Row. The clothes are very minimalist, very rich Connecticut, and have won the twins multiple CFDA awards.

In 2013, MK&A officially announced that they had retired from acting with Mary-Kate saying, “I don’t think it ever felt like we were actresses, because we spent so much more of our time not in front of the cameras, building a brand.”

Life goes on even after you give up on your first dream and sometimes it even gets better.

12. And finally, when the time is right, create a super expensive luxury store that only sells products that look very Instagram-ready

‘Bill’ Boot; Fall 2016 Footwear Collection

A photo posted by THE ROW (@therow) on

Pre Fall 2016 Collection

A photo posted by THE ROW (@therow) on

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