Living in the Shadows: Why Some Celebrities Will Never Be As Famous As Their Siblings

Beyonce solange knowles celebrity siblings

Jan. 28 2015, Updated 2:07 p.m. ET

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Dr jenn berman couples therapy
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This whole Solange/Beyonce/Jay Z disaster has got us thinking—was Solange’s outburst because Solange is—gasp—jealous of big sister B and just couldn’t take it any longer? We chatted with Dr. Jenn Berman of VH1′s Couples Therapy who told us why Solange and other stars living in the shadows of their more famous siblings have it so rough.

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Haylie hilary duff
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Hilary Duff has had tons of success on TV and music, while big sister Haylie, who’s dabbled in acting, now has a successful cookbook but not much of an acting career. Why is there such a disparity between the Duff sisters? “It’s difficult anytime you have a sister who has had great success at what you want to do, ” Dr. Jenn told us. “In a certain way, she has a celebrity advantage and she has these connections but in another way she has this disadvantage because instead of being seen in your own light you’re seen as the sister of…and that can make it harder to succeed.”

Jessica ashlee simpson
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The Duff situation is similar to Jessica Simpson and little sister Ashlee’s. While both are excelling in their personal lives these days, clearly Jess is the more profitable Simpson. “I think that the kind of success that someone like Jessica Simpson has had, it’s a combination of talent and hard work and getting lucky, “Dr. Jenn said. “A lot of very talented people never become successful and it’s unusual to reach that level.” So don’t feel bad, Ash! Even Dr. Jenn said it’s rare to be as popular as Jess.

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Vanessa stella hudgens
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Stella Hudgens has made her claim in Young Hollywood as a fashionista slash socialite, but she’s still probably always going to be seen as Vanessa’s little sister. “I think in a lot of ways it’s more difficult for celebrities than regular siblings because it’s in the public eye,” says Dr. Jenn of the famous sisters’ dynamic. “Everyone has opinions and criticisms so essentially it’s harder.”

Lindsay ali lohan
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Lindsay Lohan has her own issues, but thankfully her little sister, Ali, hasn’t had any run-ins with the law like her big sister has. But, let’s not forget that despite some modeling here and there, Ali’s career doesn’t compare to LiLo’s. “I think that younger siblings deserve their own identity and success and it’s hard when you have an older sibling who is so well-known,” says Dr. Jenn.

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Aaron nick carter
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But, is the competitive sibling dynamic different for brothers than it is for sisters? Aaron Carter has had a semi-successful solo music career but it doesn’t hold a candle to older brother Nick’s success with the Backstreet Boys. Still, says Dr. Jenn, “I don’t think {the relationship} is different for males. I think it’s the same thing.”

Britney jamie lynn spears
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Jamie Lynn and Britney Spears have both had their fair share of scandal (hello, teenage pregnancy), but luckily Jamie Lynn is sorta catching up to Brit these days career-wise. “I think it’s great that Jamie Lynn has found success in the same business but in a different genre,” says Dr. Jenn of Jamie Lynn’s country music career. “I think that that probably works to her advantage.”

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Noa miley cyrus
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And alas, the Cyrus sisters. Dr. Jenn thinks that it’s not weird that Noa is trying to be like her big sister Miley by posting scandalous Instagram photos and cutting her hair short. “When you have a sibling that achieved success by being talented but also who has thought outside the box and been edgy, a lot of times the younger sibling will take the same approach,” says Dr. Jenn.

Beyonce solange knowles
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So, does this shed some light on the whole Solange sitch? Noone knows yet exactly what was said in that elevator that ticked Solange off, but it’s not unusual behavior for someone in her situation. “Solange has had quite a bit of success herself but it’s hard for any younger siblings who’s wanting to be in the same business when you have an uber successful older sibling like Beyonce,” says Dr. Jenn.

And let’s be real—noone is Beyonce except for Beyonce.


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