Mum and daughter mistaken for sisters despite 20 year age gap

Arianna, 30, and JoLee, 52, are constantly being mistaken for sisters by strangers and, while they are related, they're not siblings.

The pair are, in fact, mother and daughter, with over 20 years between their ages.

A selfie of daughter Arianna (left) and mother JoLee (right)
Arianna, 30, (left) and JoLee, 52, are constantly being mistaken for sisters by strangers - even though they're mother and daughter.

Mother or sister?

Since Arianna was a teen she has received endless comments from baffled onlookers who thought she and her mum were sisters.

All the way through her school years, Arianna's friends were keen to hang out with her stunning mum and they even created a new version of the song lyrics for "Stacy's Mom" by Fountains of Wayne.

"They would sing 'I'm in love with Ari's mom' instead of it staying 'Stacy's mom' and talk about how attractive she was," Arianna told Caters News.


For her part, JoLee says she attempts to give the attention back to her daughter and 'back away' slightly to let her shine.

At 15 years old, Arianna and her mum (then 36) went on holiday to Bali where "everyone was convinced we were sisters."

"No one would believe me when we told them we were mother and daughter," she explains.

Mother JoLee (left) with daughter Arianna (right) sitting on a colourful horse statue
The mother-daughter duo has embraced the fact that they're often confused for sisters. Photo: Caters News.

Sharing the spotlight

Even as Arianna and JoLee have gotten older, people still do a double-take when they meet.

"When we go out to dinner together, there have been times when there have been a group of guys on a table next to us and they offer to pay for our dinner and take us dancing because they think we are sisters.

"People always comment and say how amazing my mum looks for her age when we correct them."

In JoLee's opinion, "ageing is a gracious thing" and she has no qualms passing the baton on to Arianna.

"I like to push her forward and take the back seat. But she still wants me alongside her," she says.

Arianna isn't bothered by the comparisons and instead sees them as a good omen.

"I love that people compare us as sisters because I know that's also how I am going to age, so I will look just as great when I am older," she explains.

The duo, who live in Nevada, US, love to get dressed up and often borrow each other's clothes.

"When there is an opportunity for us to glam it up, it's like we are stepping on a red carpet together," JoLee says.

Daughter Arianna (left) and her mother JoLee (right) wearing mini dresses on a night out
Arianna (left) and mum JoLee love getting glammed up for a night out. Photo: Caters News.

Youthful secret

Arianna says her mum is a 'natural beauty' who hasn't had any cosmetic work done to maintain her fresh appearance.

"Although I have recently taught her an amazing skincare routine to keep her looking even younger than she already looks," she admits.

When quizzed by others about her 'secret' to looking young, JoLee has a go-to response.

"I usually respond by telling them that joy, peace and nature help with ageing. And I also swear by rosehip oil which I apply to my face every single night," she says.

Arianna isn't afraid to push her mum out of her comfort zone, particularly when it comes to beauty and skincare. She convinced JoLee to fly with her to Canada to have her eyebrows micro-bladed with a specific technician, a decision that certainly paid off.

"I was nervous but it was really great. And having them done has actually been really convenient," she says.

As well as being her daughter, JoLee says Arianna is her 'best friend' and that they're equally proud of one another.

"She pushes me as a woman, and I loved that there has been a kind of role reversal.

"I feel lucky that we have such a special relationship and to have a daughter who is such a delight."

Never miss a thing. Sign up to Yahoo Lifestyle’s daily newsletter.

Or if you have a story idea, email us at