A picture might be worth a thousand words, but sometimes there's even more to it than meets the eye. Ireland Baldwin might affect a laid-back persona leading a life of luxury, but beneath those perceptions lies ambition, focus, and hard work.
This all came about the other morning when I awoke to see a familiar face on my Facebook newsfeed. But this was only somewhat surprising, because Ireland Baldwin deactivated her Facebook account over a year ago. Instead, the daughter of Kim Basinger and Alec Baldwin was in the headlines for her recent Instagram and Twitter activity. And having gone to school with her for over ten years I decided to shoot Ireland a text so we could catch up and talk about some of the consequences of her burgeoning career.
Ireland is in the process of moving from Manhattan Beach to Manhattan. The Northeast has just been pummeled by a blizzard, and she can't get over how crazy it is to see this much snow on the ground. She's in town for Fashion Week and a few other shows and is looking at apartments in the process. "It's a big opportunity," she tells me. And I could tell that she wasn't taking it lightly.
I congratulate her on her success over the last year but am surprised to learn that she doesn't want to model long-term. Several people in her life encouraged the 18-year-old to try modeling, saying it would be an ideal starting point to switch over to acting. But Ireland has different plans. "I want to work more behind the camera," she says, as she confesses that her dream jobs include working as a photographer for National Geographic or covering extreme sports as well as trying her hand at writing, directing, and producing for film. She explains that modeling is a great way to save money for camera equipment and that she hopes to matriculate to film school in the next year.
It turns out that Ireland wants to avoid the camera in more ways than one. "My goal for the year is to share less." Baldwin believes that many social media users have a tendency to over-share (herself not excluded), and she hopes to be more discerning with the content she publishes in the coming year.
Much of what Ireland shares on Instagram and Twitter is part of her job. Part of her current job entails taking pictures of herself. "I am my own subject," she explains. "And a lot of times I'm thanking particular hair and makeup artists in my posts." But beyond that she uses social media outlets like Twitter and Instagram the same way anyone would. "I attend a lot of events, and I like to share certain moments with people. It's a lot like scrapbooking for our generation," she says.
So when I asked Ireland about public concern over the content of some of her pictures she was unfazed. "(Early on) I'd see things and people would send me articles, and it used to bother me. But I've just sort of moved past that now." Ireland doesn't care if people get upset about a picture that they think shows too much skin. Unlike so many people, she knows that "showing some skin" isn't a gateway for all sorts of hazards of a life in the public eye. And she says a lot of the pictures she posts come from a place of feeling good about her body and about staying healthy and working out. "Pictures don't do me justice," she says. And after talking on the phone for an hour it became as clear as ever before: Ireland Baldwin is so much more than the pictures.