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Celebrity Album: Second Sibling Syndrome

Left to right: Paris Hilton (born 1981) Claudia Schiffer (born 1970) Nicole Kidman (born 1967)

Can you match them with their younger siblings?

Do older children tend to have a different look than their younger siblings?

Birth order may affect our looks more than we realize. Quite often, the most photogenic member of the family is the oldest, as seen in the celebrity sibling pairs shown here. While not a universal rule, this principle bears investigation.

Left to right Nicky Hilton (born 1983) Antonia Kidman (born 1970) Carolin Ann Schiffer (born ??)

How Would You Characterize The Differences In Their Faces?

On close examination, younger siblings have quite a few differences in their features.

  • Narrower, with more closely spaced eyes
  • Eyebrows are less angular, more curved
  • Jawbones are shorter and the jaw angle is less prominent (This creates a crease or a wrinkle when they smile, rather than a dimple – at least when older. Nicky still has an adorable dimple.)
  • Cheekbones are lower and/or smaller
  • Lips are thinner

These differences can actually be formally analyzed, thanks to a plastic surgeon named Stephen J Marquardt. He has mathematically mapped out the features of celebrity faces and found that they correspond to a principle of symmetry known as the golden ratio, or phi. While the older siblings on this page would match the Marquardt mask quite closely, the younger siblings would deviate in the ways that I’ve described above.