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There is a very, very fine line between presenting an opinion and volunteering an insult, and when the ability to chime in on someone’s personal appearance is as simple as tapping on a few keystrokes in a comment section without revealing an identity, the level of disaster reaches new heights. 

The latest, but not the only victim, of senseless web bullying is daughter of Alec Baldwin and Kim Basinger, Ireland. The now 17-year-old stunner was the center of controversy after she released voicemails of her father calling her a “rude thoughtless pig” when she was just 11-years-old, so it’s safe to say Ireland has seen her share of criticism – not only in the public, but from her parental figures as well. 

Ireland kicked off her modeling debut after being signed to not one, but two agencies, including Two Management and IMG Models, and followed up almost immediately by booking her first shoot with The New York Post. 

It wasn’t the most ideal of situations. The New York Post doesn’t provide magazine-advanced photo editing services (and by no means was Kate Upton-strength editing available) so to boil it down, it was a high school-aged girl, taking photos on a boat in a bikini during her first modeling gig. 

And what did Ireland get for it? 

Comments that subjected to her being called fat, ugly and “not model material” by people who have never stepped a foot in front of a model casting panel. She was chastised by the trolls of the Internet who boost their own self-value by depreciating that of a 17-year-old girl.

Ireland had the eloquence enough to take to her tumblr with an open letter that read as follows:

I understand. I don’t look as glamorous as Rosie Huntington Whitely 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 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. I know girls tend to have nasty things to say about other girls and judging the looks of other girls is only human of us all, but putting that out there is hateful and unhealthy. If you don’t have a complimentary thing to say about someone, keep it to yourself. I am not just talking about comments on photos of myself. I see hateful comments everywhere. 

And she’s right. 

Khloe Kardashian, who is 11 years Ireland’s senior, also spoke up about the weight-related bullying she has endured being in the spotlight in her latest interview with Cosmo Magazine UK, where she said:

I probably thought I was prettier before I entered the spotlight because being compared to somebody else every day does sort of beat up your spirit and soul. 

Khloe continues to talk about how even thought she lost 30 pounds, she was still chastised and not “good enough” for the public.

Both Khloe and Ireland alike are more than just women from famous families, they are real people, with real feelings, and both happen to be beautiful as a bonus. We know it’s wrong to subject a person to criticism solely based on their appearance, yet we see it every single day. People calling out Kim Kardashian for being “FAT” when she is indeed 7 months pregnant. Calling out Kate Upton for capitalizing on the industry’s adoration of her, and now bullying a 17-year-old child via social media. 

The Internet is a place of great power, that also allows great cowards to hide behind screens.

Ireland is 6’2” worth of graceful beauty that will continue to blossom, and we hope she strives ahead in her career with the same positivity expressed in her open letter, leaving the naysayers hiding behind their screens of cowardice. 

-Rachel Hislop