Trying to find your place in the world isn't easy for any 17-year-old, but it's especially difficult for Ireland Baldwin, an aspiring model who is often either overshadowed by or criticized for her relationship with her famous parents, Alec Baldwin and Kim Basinger. Asserting herself in an open letter on her personal Tumblr, the blonde bombshell-in-training slams "haters" who write nasty tweets and "hateful emails" about her and her family online.
"Of course I get those comments about how I am too fat to model, how I am not model material, how I am an unattractive girl, how I am too tall, etc.," she writes. "I understand. I don't look as glamourous as Rosie Huntington-Whiteley when leaving the gym. I'm actually really sweaty. Like, really sweaty. I understand that I am not a size .008."
"What I don't fully understand," she continues, "is, what is the good in commenting on a photo of a 17-year-old girl and calling her fat, ugly, etc.? Is that helping you in some way? 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!"
Noting that she personally tries to "see the beauty in everyone" -- even those who "send [her] hateful replies" -- Baldwin goes on to explain that she deals with insecurities like anyone else. "I have battled many different struggles with self-esteem and body image issues," she admits. "Modeling can really help you feel beautiful!"
In that sense, she says, her career is a blessing. But in another sense, it puts her in the unenviable position of being compared to her mom, whom Baldwin describes as "one of the most beautiful women in the world."
"I AM NOT MY PARENTS," she writes, pointing out the various ways in which she and Basinger are different. "She is 5'9, I am 6'2. She is petite and fragile, and I am fit and [have] more to love...I am still a teen making my way out of my awkward phase. I am still trying to figure this whole thing out."
Baldwin also takes on her father's critics in the post, explaining that both she and her dad have put the past behind them. (In 2007, the 30 Rock actor left an angry voicemail for his then-11-year-old daughter, calling her a "rude little pig.")
"Just like almost all of you, my Dad has made some mistakes in the past. He has spoken out of place, he has let his temper get the best of him, and he has reacted toward things in ways he shouldn't have," she writes, adding that she gets "threats" related to his history.
"This isn't fair...My Dad has moved on. He recognized that he needed to change, so he made changes. He is now healthy [and] happily married with a baby on the way," she says. (The star is expecting a child with wife Hilaria Baldwin later this year.) "He moved on, so why can't you?"
"I am not seeking fame by association. I am proud to be my parents' daughter, but I don't want to forever be known as 'that rude thoughtless little pig' or 'Alec Baldwin and Kim Basinger's kid,'" she concludes. "I have passions and interests of my own that I want to soon give life to. I want to be known for helping others and being a healthy role model."