Am I a mini-me of my mom?

People say yes and no. This is what I found out

The author and her mom, leading model and fashion accessory designer Tweetie de Leon Gonzalez: They make a beautiful contrast and similarity. (All photos from Sabina Gonzalez)

My mom and I seem to attract varying opinions when it comes to how alike we are—in both looks and character.

There are people who say I’m her spitting image, then there are others who say I look more like my dad. There are people who say I seem to have grown into a mini-her, while others feel we’re far more different than they initially thought, almost opposites even.

Growing up as the only daughter of Tweetie de Leon Gonzalez, her unica hija, I felt like I was like her. I shared a love of history and art, and would read obsessively about any historical tidbit she’d share with me. I was always fascinated by big world figures and their roles and contributions. I liked clothes and wanted to look nice, and couldn’t wait to wear makeup because that’s what she did, even if it was just for work.

Back then, I used to look a lot more like her too—I was a tiny thing with big eyes and thin, long limbs.

The young Sabina with mom

However, what I’ve come to discover over the years is that in many ways, I’m hardly like my mother. Those close to us can attest to that; I’m certainly the one with a stronger character, and a more outgoing personality. People would be surprised to know my mom is, in fact, quite the introvert, while I—before the pandemic—couldn’t go a week without seeing friends.

My mom is a homebody, which has worked for her this past year of lockdown. Meanwhile, I’m always itching to be out of the house. The extrovert that I am, I’ve always found it easy to talk to people and open myself up, while my mom has always considered herself a much more reserved person than people would assume. I’m definitely a talker—too much of one, according to her—and my mom doesn’t mind keeping to herself.

Though I don’t think of myself to be too much of an astrology enthusiast, being water signs (her, Pisces; me, Cancer), I do see how we can both be sensitive creatures, though in extremely different ways. I’ve always been more direct and maybe more impulsive. I got older and began to look a lot more different as well, developing different features more akin to my dad.

Though for the most part, this has made me feel that I’ve distinguished myself from her quite a bit, I still see in the little things how much I’ve taken from her. When getting dressed, I always prefer to look neat and put together, as she always does. I believe I’ve inherited her perceptiveness and understanding of people. I’ve still retained the same interests, and have become even more deeply immersed in them over time.

As I got older, I seemed to have even more in common with her; I developed an interest in fashion, and of course, ended up becoming part of the same industry she’s been in for decades.

Values that are important to me are important to her

On top of that, I’ve come to study and practise design, a love of hers, albeit in a different form. We both love to work with our hands, and can express ourselves in creative forms. I love travel, and all it has to offer.

And, I suppose after some self-reflection, there’s much to be said about what I value in life, and how much of that I’ve drawn from her. Values that are important to me are important to her—although maybe it’s simply because she’d drilled them in me hard enough as I grew up. I hope to be able to work hard and raise a family in the same capacity she has over the years. Looking at the big picture, I’ve come to realize that maybe in character we are inherently very different, and that’s just fine, as we’ve plenty to share in the things we choose to put our time and effort in.

I think it’s what people prioritize in life and care about that keeps people close, not their likeness in appearance. This way is probably for the best for us, as mother and daughter and as the only girls in the house. Although, as dissimilar as we are, I definitely have and will always enjoy her closet and will continue to steal from it for years to come.

Daughter says she will continue to raid mom’s closet.

About author


This 24-year-old graduated with BS Architecture last March from De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde Manila and has been making a mark in fashion modeling.

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