From left: Susan Olsen, Eve Plumb and Maureen McCormick in The Brady Bunch
It's easy to overlook among all the other more important things going on in the world, but Aug. 12 is Middle Child Day
As the second of three children born in a 36-month period, this is the one day of the year I get any attention at all. In this regard, I'm not as lucky as the eight famous middle children you're about to read about, many of whom get attention every
day of the year.
But apart from that, how do these celebrity middle children conform to the stereotype? That's what we're exploring, below:
Karwai Tang / WireImage
You might think that Kim Kardashian
– A-lister, wife to Kanye West, video game magnate – disproves any shrinking-violet stereotypes you have about middle children. But take your mind back to the Kim Kardashian of 10 years ago, a girl so easygoing she let her friends treat her like an employee
and so trusting she let Ray J (Ray J!
) film her having sex. Classic middle behavior.
Kim's subsequent transformation, then, is an inspiration for any middle child searching for self-actualization. As Psychology Today
tells middles, "Self-esteem is best when earned."
A few years back, a study
went around the middle-child message boards claiming that middles are more likely to succeed in life, thanks to their open-minded nature and tolerance for risk. It's too early to say conclusively whether or not this is the case, but Bill Gates, sandwiched between two sisters, seems to provide one heartening case study for middles, particularly those who dream of jumping over chairs
for a living.
Britney Spears arrives at The X Factor's season two premiere at Grauman's Chinese Theatre on Sept. 11, 2012
Jon Kopaloff / FilmMagic
Unlike most middle children, Britney Spears
has been in the spotlight ever since she was a child. Still, her classic single "I'm Not a Girl, Not Yet a Woman" could have been a metaphor for the insecurities that plague many middles today.
Peyton Manning, 2013
Kevin Mazur / WireImage
In their book The Secret Power of Middle Children
, Catherine Salmon and Katrin Schumann admit that "Middles aren't the most detail-oriented people." Don't tell that to Peyton Manning, second son of Archie and Olivia Manning, who has become one of the best quarterbacks in history largely because of his superhuman attention to detail.
Christopher Polk / Getty
asserts that many middles find success in the workplace because of their independence and flexibility, two traits obviously evident in Jennifer Lopez
, who has bounced from TV to music to movies without losing a step.
Chris Hemsworth in Thor: The Dark World
Moviestore / REX USA
If we were diagnosing the characters from the Marvel Universe, Loki is clearly the one with the Middle Child Syndrome. In real life, Thor
actor Chris Hemsworth
embodies many of the best qualities of middle children
with his loyal and loving nature – at least that's what his wife says
Tim Rooke / REX
Anecdotally, middle children like myself are sometimes known to emphasize their individuality with attention-grabbing fashion choices, particularly at times when they're feeling overshadowed by a sibling. No idea why I'm mentioning this in the Pippa Middleton
section. None at all.
Dennis Van Tine / Abaca
You have no idea how badly we middles wish this wasn't so. Isn't the Donald the perfect example of the hard-charging eldest child, the very figure we spend our lives rebelling against? Actually, no. He's a middle, just like us. Oh well, they do say we make great negotiators