Family Jealousy

Family Jealousy


Hey Bridget,

Lately I’ve been having a lot of success with modelling and am moving to New York in 2 months (which I can’t wait for). 

However it’s come to light that my older brothers gotten a bit jealous (which I honestly get). My mom takes me a lot of places for work and I spend more time with her than he does as he’s working and going to school and flying (did I mention he’s a pilot? It’s super cool)

He even said that he didn’t blame me for it and that he is proud of me (just like I’m proud of him) but it’s just the circumstances. It’s all a lot of friends and family seem to talk about and I feel awful. Any advice?


Hi there!! Congratulations on moving to NYC soon. That’s super exciting – try to enjoy the journey as much as possible, as overwhelming as it is. Onto your question…

First and foremost, you should not be feeling awful about it. This is not something that you are at fault for. The situation is completely unique, and does not come with a guide book on how to act and feel. It makes sense that your brother is feeling a little left out and jealous – however this is something that he needs to work through on his own. It doesn’t sound like he is making it your fault which is nice and makes me feel as though he is well on the way to processing this shift in your life. This is his road to walk, and it is not your fault that he is feeling this way.

I truly hope that your parents are handling it correctly. For years I came home each Christmas and would make a concerted effort to not talk about my career and my achievements. I would only focus my energy on various family members and their happiness, in the fear of coming across as being self important. Looking back, I find this sad. I was reacting directly to a few comments made by one individual in my family – definitely not the feeling of all of them - and that was all it took for me to not share my life with those closest to me. This manifested in years of not feeling like I had a right to my experiences, and when I found myself achieving my goals, I was not mentally able to enjoy them. I had shut off the part of me that felt pride in my work, all in response to trying to keep one other person happy. It truly sucked, and took a lot of work to get through.

I would hate to see this happening to you. Perhaps it would be a good idea for your whole family to sit down and talk it all out. Since your mother is traveling with you a lot, maybe there is some way that she can ensure your brother gets the same quality time with her also. It would certainly help you all to be able to sit down and clear the air. The worst thing that can happen here is for feelings to not be talked about, and for hurt to begin to build. That’s how families get estranged, and you will certainly need as much support from home as possible throughout your career.

Speaking personally here, my brother and I are extremely close. I certainly rely on him in many ways, and I count myself infinitely lucky to have him in my life. I love him immensely. But relationships by nature shift and develop over lifetimes. You two are probably about to go through a similar process – your brother has always been the older and protector. Now you are about to go into the world in a way that people only can dream about, and the two of you need to find new footing. This will take a minute, but at the end of the day, your love for each other will link you both through it all. Use this link to be completely honest with him about everything. Start now to build the bond, and talk to him privately about your fears and excitement about your career. Having a sibling as an ally is the best feeling in the world.

As far as your family and friends always talking about it, don’t be concerned – it will calm down. Getting signed to an agency and moving halfway across the world is definitely a dream for a lot of people, and they are simply sharing in your excitement. Over time it will get easier, and there will be other things to talk about. You are allowed to share in their excitement also. At the moment anything is possible, and that is the most exciting part of this journey. It isn’t every day that something like this happens to someone you know. So, enjoy the attention and excitement – everything will go back to its new normal after a while. I certainly found that whilst there was initial excitement over my modeling career, after a while that faded. People love to hear stories from my life in NYC, but the lack of common ground does tend to play a part in how much attention it gets.

With a career as intense and misunderstood as modeling, you are going to need all the support you can get. I have been fortunate to have enough family members who have chosen to support and care for me, no matter what. Foster conversation now, in the beginning stages. No one will ever truly understand what it is that you are going through, but through being open and honest with each other, you can provide support for your brother, and vice versa. Make sure that your parents are treating this situation as equitably as possible for the both of you. That does not mean that you should force the excitement out of your life, or feel bad for your opportunities, but it does mean that you should be mindful of everyone else’s feelings. Most of all, be present to your experiences. I really regret being ambivalent for so much of my career. Not having a reliable network of people around to share in your successes is damaging and isolating. So, do the best you can to keep your family members close. Anything beyond that is out of your control.


Congratulations again! Enjoy this journey.


Peace and love,


Photograph | Simon Upton

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