Does Having a Sister Make You More Competitive?
A new study says: sorta
You always have to win: the best job, the best hair, the best backhand. Your little bro? Not so much. The thing you have in common is your older sister--the one you’re always trying to beat and he’s always trying to please.
A new study on family dynamics says that having an older sister could make women more competitive, but men less so. How does the theory hold up in your own family--or better yet, among these famous sibs?
The Olsen Sisters
There are a lot more Olsens than just Mary Kate and Ashley. Younger sister Elizabeth scrambled to follow in the twins’ footsteps--well, at least in their acting footsteps; having just starred in The Avengers: Age of Ultron. Though, only time will tell if she, too, gets into the fashion biz. (The twins' line Elizabeth and James is, in fact, named after her and their older brother.)
Venus and Serena Williams
The tennis stars basically define sibling rivalry--and both have been ranked as the number-one player in the world. But in head-to-head Grand Slam face-offs, little sis Serena currently holds the lead (14-11). “No one gets me more motivated than Venus,” Serena told The New York Times in 2005.
It’s pretty clear the Kardashian sisters are competitive--their bickering might be the most realistic thing about Keeping Up. But younger bro Rob? He’s known for hanging back from the fray, and the older-sister study just might explain why.
Jake and Maggie Gyllenhaal
No sibs make a cuter red carpet pair than these two, who seem to get along, well, famously. Maggie is older, but having her around hasn’t stopped Jake from making his own way in the film world. Earlier this year, he told ET: “In a weird way, I spent my childhood watching her. Looking up to her. It's just wonderful."
Jessica and Ashlee Simpson
The tabloids love to fan the flames between these two. (Allegedly, they’re currently feuding about who spent more on plastic surgery.) But on Instagram, it’s all hugs and kisses: On Ashlee’s 30th birthday, Jessica posted a gorgeous pic of her sis with a gushy message: “Thank you for inspiring me every day. I love you!!! #dirty30”
Zooey and Emily Deschanel
Zooey has said that as a kid, she was terrified of four-years-older sister Emily, who used to scare her on purpose when their parents were out of the room. Later this year, Zooey will join Emily in babyland--should be fodder for a little friendly mommy competition.
Warren Beatty and Shirley MacLaine
Little brother Beatty has never worked with his accomplished older sister, who had three Oscar nominations to Beatty’s zero by age of 30 (he later won a Best Director Oscar for Reds). The siblings have been through public ups and downs over the years but seem to have reached a late-in-the-game truce.
Taylor and Austin Swift
The singer’s handsome little bro studied film and TV at Notre Dame and just graduated this spring--time will tell if he fights to hoist his star as high as his older sister’s.