This is what middle child syndrome looks like when you’re the only daughter. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.

When the McConnaughey family photo-op circulated earlier this week after its namesake patriarch received a star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame, I couldn’t help but notice the strange similarity to nearly every one of the family portraits my two brothers and I were forced into taking growing up.

For comparison’s sake, let’s dissect this Kodak moment of Matthew McConaughey’s clan: there’s Levi McConaughey, 6, wearing the solemn responsibility of being the eldest sibling (the buttoned-up collar is a nice signifying touch, one my older brother Lucas would probably embrace). At the other end of the sibling spectrum, there’s Livingston, who at 23 months, is the youngest and by virtue of that fact, both literally and metaphorically within his mother’s grasp (he represents my younger brother, the baby of our family, Daniel).

Then of course there’s four-year-old Vida, a bright light stifled between two brothers by birth order, while outshining her place in practically every other regard (that’s me). I can’t sum up the experience any better than with this magnificent child, who, with an assertive gaze and demure pop of her Mary Janes, demonstrates her complete disregard for the sibling hierarchy (she just happens to be doing so in Dolce & Gabbana). (more…)