In case you missed it or forgot, “The Ashlee Simpson Show” kind of ruled. It came out of nowhere as the quirky kid-sister spinoff of Jessica Simpson’s “Newlyweds,” but was exactly the opposite. And before we knew Ashlee as a singer, actress and now Diana Ross’ daughter in-law, we knew her as just that: A pop star’s little sis.
For those of us in the same sibling situation, the series was incredibly relatable. For others, it showed that the struggle of being the baby is real, weird and sometimes pretty awesome, and here's why.
Little sisters get away with a lot.
Not being the firstborn comes with its advantages -- specifically, parents who are too tired from multiple children to enforce rules. Ashlee got away with being late, dropping F bombs and even dyeing her hair brown. This may not sound that rebellious, but when you consider the blonde, clean-cut standards of pop stars in the early '00s, it really was a baller move; it was also something that her big sister couldn’t have pulled off.
They’re big weirdos
According to psychiatrist Dr. Sue Varma of the NYU Langone Medical Center, the youngest sibling is often "more playful, and since they have to fight for attention, they've developed a sense of humor as a way of doing that." Whether Ashlee was doing her Britney impression or unwrapping a sex doll at Medieval Times, there was always that balance of cuteness and WTF that only a little sister can nail.
Sometimes they feel like ugly ducklings...
Ashlee reminded us that even with confidence, little sisters sometimes struggle to feel comfortable in their skin (especially when shooting a Pizza Hut commercial with a bombshell of a big sister during the height of her Daisy Duke phase). In one episode, Ashlee's own mother complains that she looks like a boy. Younger siblings may act life goofballs, but humor and awkwardness is a common way to mask insecurities.
...but they embrace their imperfections
While first-born siblings are often perfectionists, being comfortable with flaws is a great way for little sisters to set themselves apart. Ash may have been open about her insecurities, but she didn’t actively obsess about being pretty all the time either. She spent almost half of the first season in sweatpants, and was totally cool with her boyfriend telling her that she had the eyes of a gorilla. Even after the infamous "SNL" lip-synching scandal, she openly addressed it on the show’s second season and joked about it regularly.
You don't compare them to anyone, especially their older sibling
When Ashlee was making her album, it seemed like she had to say “I’m not my sister” over and over again. But she wouldn’t be boxed in with other pop stars either. Even if a little sister doesn’t know who she is exactly, she definitely knows who she isn’t. And like Ash, she’s probably not afraid to tell you exactly that. She already has had plenty of practice from her parents making those comparisons.
They are sensitive about being left out and overlooked
Not all little sisters suffer from full-out Marcia Brady Disorder, but it’s still hard growing up feeling like the newest hire of your family. From the time you can talk, you’re constantly saying, “Me too,” whether it's for an opportunity significant or trivial. When it came to the spotlight, that’s exactly what Ashlee was saying. Her second single, “Shadow,” is basically a power ballad for littler sisters.
They won't let you push them around
We saw it when Ashlee's parents told her what to do. We saw it when her record label tried to change her. We saw it when a dude didn’t give her what she wanted in a relationship. “The Ashlee Simpson Show” captured her being many things, but a doormat was never one of them.
It's hard to believe that Ashlee was only 19 years old when it started taping, mostly because of this assertiveness, but little sisters know that you’re never too young to stand up for yourself. They’ve been doing that since they literally could stand up.