Ireland Baldwin on Modeling: “I Never Really Thought of Myself as a Pretty Girl”

Ireland Baldwin poses for Elle magazine
Ireland Baldwin tells the September issue of Elle magazine that she never thought of herself as the "pretty girl" growing up. Thomas Whiteside

Her 6'2" frame, lanky limbs and chiseled cheekbones weren't enough to convince Ireland Baldwin to try her hand at modeling growing up, the 17-year-old stunner tells the September issue of ELLE magazine. Instead, she explains, it took a nudge from her mother to finally take the plunge.

"She thought it would be good for my confidence because I never thought of myself as a pretty girl," she says of supermodel mom Kim Basinger's suggestion. Baldwin initially wanted to be a comedy writer — or avoid the spotlight altogether.

"I would look at [my parents] and go, 'Jesus, how miserable is that?'" she says of growing up in a household with Basinger and dad Alec Baldwin. "I didn't want to be followed."

The candid social media pro has since changed gears, however, now tweeting and posting on all her social media accounts up to 30 times a day. In April, she took to her Tumblr blog to slam "haters" and question people who felt the need to criticize her body.

Kate Upton - Elle Cover
Carter Smith

"What I don't fully understand is, what is the good in commenting on a photo of a 17-year-old girl and calling her fat, ugly, etc.? Ist that helping you in some way?" she wrote at the time. "I'm confused … putting that out there is hateful and unhealthy. If you don't have a complimentary thing to say about someone, keep it to yourself … It's bad energy being put out there!"

Baldwin explains that she had body image issues growing up, and in the September issue of ELLE, she remembers those younger days as worlds away, a time when she was "just not having balance of any kind. Eating too much when I was too upset about something, [then] 'I'm not going to eat ever because I'm so mad about how my body looks.'"

Now, however, Baldwin says she has a better perspective on fame and what it means to be in the public eye. 

"There's always something new that's going to come up and happen, and you're history," she said of ignoring critics. "In the end — this is going to sound dark — in the end you're going to die, and all those photos never mattered."

For access to all our exclusive celebrity videos and interviews – Subscribe on Youtube!