Nex and the Birth Order Theory

What’s with Winx Club and only children? Bloom and Flora have sisters, but Bloom grew up on Earth as Mike and Vanessa’s only child. As for the guys, none of them have known siblings. (Riven’s probably an orphan, too, because of course he would be.)

I guess big families are rare in the Magic Dimension, but what’s wrong with having more than one child? ?

Winx season 8, episode 8: Nex gives Aisha flowers

Don’t ask me why, but Nex has never seemed like an only child to me. Maybe it’s because I have siblings, so I know when someone has lived through the same pain. (Just kidding. I love my brother and sister.)

Having siblings might explain some of his personality traits. A few days ago, I came across something called birth order theory. It claims your position in the family — oldest, middle, youngest, or only child — shapes your personality as you grow up.

For example, if you’re the middle child, you might become independent, social, flexible, self-conscious, and diplomatic. You might also have the most successful career. More than half the U.S. presidents have been middle children, including Washington, Jefferson, and Lincoln.

Some psychologists say birth order theory is a myth. Studies have shown that birth order has little effect on individual personality traits, and factors such as gender, special needs, and age spacing can change the outcomes. So these are just stereotypes, not rules.

But when you develop a character, it might help to start with a stereotype and tweak it as needed. (The keywords are “start with” and “tweak”.)

Winx season 8, episode 8: Nex

So if Nex isn’t an only child, what is he? I know what he’s not: an oldest child like me. The theory says we’re serious, studious, careful, and perfectionistic. We’re also usually the smartest kids in our families (not to brag).

No offense to Nex, but he’s not exactly a scholar. He’s not cautious, either. Oldest children also tend to be the least social, but he’s Mr. “Teamwork Never Fails”.

That means he’s either a middle child or a youngest child. The two orders have similar traits, which makes sense if you think about it. Every middle child was once the youngest.

But I don’t think Nex has ever made that switch. He acts like he’s always been a youngest child. Here’s why.

1. Personality

Nex has at least four major traits of a youngest child:

  • Outgoing: Their parents have seen it all, so they’re not as impressed by the youngest’s accomplishments. So the child becomes bold and friendly in order to stand out and win approval.
  • Social: Unlike oldest and only children, youngest children are surrounded by parents and siblings all throughout childhood. So they learn to adapt to being around a lot of people.
  • Self-confident: Youngest children may fake confidence to make up for being the smallest and weakest in their families. But they often develop confidence for real because their parents smother them with love and attention, or because they get more freedom and independence than their siblings did.
  • Fearless: This is a weird one. Again, it can be because of more freedom and independence, but it can also happen if their parents never let them fail. Without that experience, they think they can do anything!

We can verify these traits through Nex’s character descriptions. In Winx season six, Rainbow called him “outgoing and friendly” (estroverso e amichevole) and said he “challenges anyone without fear” (sfida chiunque senza paura). And in the new book Winx Club: Guide to the Magical World, he’s described as “sociable and self-confident” (socievole e sicuro di sé).

Other classic youngest child traits Nex has:

  • Adventurous: He’s enthusiastic and full of energy, and he’s not afraid to take risks and rush into action.
  • Self-centered: No, he’s not an egomaniac like the Winx fandom thinks he is. ? But he is cocky sometimes, and he doesn’t always consider other people’s feelings.
  • Easygoing: He’s optimistic and doesn’t stress out quickly.
  • Attention-seeking: He speaks loudly and shows off to get attention.
  • Fun-loving: He’s playful and gets excited easily, and he likes to have fun and joke around.

2. Friendships

Just an observation, but doesn’t Nex act like a younger brother with the Specialists sometimes? He likes to tease them. Brandon seemed to be a favorite target in the last couple seasons. (He teased Nex back in season eight.)

If Nex is the youngest child in his family, maybe he’s used to picking on his older sibling(s). I know what that’s like, since my brother and sister tease me all the time. ? For the youngest child, it’s one way to get attention.

Another person he teases a lot is Timmy, but he seems close to him. Timmy is the weakest and shyest of the Specialists. Maybe Nex’s older sibling(s) knocked him around when he was little. If so, he might relate to him.

What about Thoren? He and Nex seemed to be best friends. Why would Nex hang out with someone three years older than him?

Well, Thoren is mature and charismatic, and according to his character description, he’s the strongest of the Paladins. Maybe Nex admires him like a younger brother would an older brother.

3. Relationship With Aisha

Birth order may not only predict your personality, but also who you’re most compatible with.

The general rule is that opposites work better than same-order couples. For example, one of the best pairings is an oldest child with a youngest child. As birth order expert Kevin Leman put it, youngest children need oldest children to “straighten them out”, and oldest children need youngest children to “lighten them up”.

What’s one of the worst pairings? Two only children. As an author and a former marriage counselor named John Curtis explained:

There is [a] strong connection between birth order and divorce rates….The highest divorce rates are when an only child marries an only child.

Hear that, Rainbow? Unless you give the guys siblings, you’ve stacked the odds against all the Winx couples except Flora and Helia. ?

Let’s keep assuming Nex is a youngest child.

We’re sure Aisha is an only, though. According to the theory, onlies act like either oldest children or youngest children (if they’re spoiled rotten like Stella). They tend to be independent, confident, sensitive, and mature; and they don’t trust people easily because they’ve spent so much time alone.

Sounds like Aisha to me.

Are an only child and a youngest child a good match? Yes! Remember how oldest/youngest is one of the best pairings? If the only acts like an oldest child, then it’s a similar dynamic. The only child keeps the youngest in check, and the youngest child helps the only relax and have fun.

I’ve said several times that this is why Aisha and Nex are attracted to each other. She’s the more serious partner, and he’s the playful partner. If he’s the youngest in his family, then it all makes sense according to birth order theory.

In fact, we know he fell in love with her seriousness. It’s right there in his debut episode: “The Flying School” (Winx season 6, episode 3). The first thing he said about her was, “Wow! She’s no joke!” Or in Italian: “Wow! La ragazza fa sul serio!” which translates to (in DeepL Translator): “Wow! The girl is serious!”

I don’t know if Rainbow researched birth order theory (probably not), but even if they didn’t, they set up an ideal relationship for both Aisha and Nex. Of course, this doesn’t mean Nex is never serious, and Aisha is never playful. We know that’s not true. But they balance out each other’s core personalities.

Final Thoughts

Let’s face it: Rainbow will never give Nex a backstory. They don’t care about any of the guys anymore except Sky and Riven. So I’ll have to develop his character myself.

In my Aisha/Nex story, Nex will be the youngest child in his family. How will that shape his character goals, his growth arc, and his romance with Aisha? You’ll have to read to find out. ?


I read so many articles for this post, I lost track of where I got each piece of information. Here are some of my sources:

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NerdyPrincesses2 Mollz
NerdyPrincesses2 Mollz
November 29, 2019 7:53 pm

I found your research into birth order interesting, because I’m a youngest child, and I am the exact opposite of all those traits. 🙂 But as you said, it has a lot to do with age differences in my case. I have one sibling, a brother who is 9 years older than me. So growing up, we were very different in both maturity/interests and gender (which creates further differences both culturally and biologically). I’m close to my brother, but not as close as some other sibling relationships I see, because of our age difference. It’s weird and interesting.

December 14, 2019 11:19 am

[…] Brandon. That scene and others gave us a sense of their relationship. Nex acts like an annoying younger brother who likes to get on his nerves. (They’re probably the same age, but Brandon’s more […]

January 22, 2020 12:07 pm

[…] my birth order theory post? It summarized my research to figure out how to tie Nex’s personality traits together. He’ll be […]

January 25, 2020 10:41 am

[…] sister, brother, and himself. His sister is the oldest child, his brother is the middle, and he’s the youngest. As for his parents, his father recently passed away, but his mother hasn’t remarried yet. […]