Ireland Baldwin is just what the fashion industry needs.
In a world where disillusion and a constant need for attention take precedence, she feeds into a different mentality to encourage body-positivity. No stranger to the pressures of society, she is real and genuine in her confrontation of unrealistic beauty standards.
Her advice: “Live your life and love yourself.” Simple enough, but this mantra originates from years of struggling to find her own inner strength. We sat down with Ireland, after her first GUESS campaign, to get her take on the fashion industry, social media, body shamers, and how she finally tapped into the mindset that allowed her to live a life that truly honors self-love.
How do you hope to influence the world through modeling and social media?
I want to show people that despite the fact that I’m taller than average, I’m not a size 0 and I have tattoos, that I can still do this. I can turn it on and be sexy and serious and enticing and high fashion and whatever I want to be because it’s in my head. If you can’t see it, then I’ll do my best to show you.
If you want to lose weight healthily, do it. It is a matter of mental toughness and willpower. If you think sexy and you think confident, you will become just that. I read comments from people telling me how fat or tall or ugly I am sometimes and that used to kill me. I cared about what people thought of me to the point that it destroyed me. Nowadays, I laugh it off and dance in my lingerie in my room! Who really cares what people think? Live your life and love yourself.
What feelings does GUESS evoke for you?
GUESS celebrates women. It celebrates the many curves and sizes of women. I am a woman with a real body. That’s my brand and has always been my brand. I want to be high fashion but I want to be real. I want to honor all 6 feet of me and GUESS has allowed me to do so.
What advice do you have for dealing with body shaming or those struggling with body image?
I wasted a huge chunk of my life hating my body. Hating the fact that I built so much leg muscle as a dancer and athlete and that I’ll never have French fry legs. Hating the fact that I have double-D breasts that I can’t hide. I spent so much time hating every inch of me and one day I figured it all out. I realized that it’s all in your head.
What role does fashion play in the body positivity movement?
I think at times fashion can be cruel. People can be cruel. All women are born with a certain body type and not everyone can completely alter and change themselves down to the bone.
We’re living in a world with such unrealistic expectations because of social media and pressure from magazines and prestigious people in fashion. It’s so important to be true to who you are and be healthy. Body positivity is so important, but health is most important.