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Ireland Baldwin ‘Never Wanted to Be in the Spotlight’ (and Can You Really Blame Her?)

(Thomas Whiteside/Elle)Perhaps it was being the subject of a very public child custody battle ― or, more likely, because of the leaked voicemail message (that leaked voicemail message) which went viral. Regardless of the exact reason, Ireland Baldwin did not want to be famous when she grew up.

"I would look at [my parents] and go, 'Jesus, how miserable is that?'" the 17-year-old only daughter of exes Alec Baldwin and Kim Basinger says in the new issue of Elle.

Read the Full Interview with Ireland Basinger Baldwin at Elle.com

Of course, the blond beauty, who inked a modeling contract earlier this year, is now on the fast track to fame ― and it's all of her own doing. Though it was actually her actress mom who gave her the nudge.

"She thought it would be good for my confidence because I never thought of myself as a pretty girl," Baldwin admits.

Ah ― yes. That frequent line you hear from models, riddled with words like "ugly duckling" or "gangly," which you never quite believe. But Baldwin reveals her issues went deeper, and included struggles with body image and eating issues.

"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.'"

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And it maybe didn't help that her mother was, well, Kim Basinger. "She looks like she's my age," Baldwin says of the nearly 60-year-old. "Her body, I swear, it's scary."

Something that is really scary? Modeling. At 6-foot-2 (and 145 pounds with a 27-inch waist, as the magazine informs us), Ireland's still growing into her body and lacks the catwalking skills the seasoned vets possess.

"I imagine how hard it might be to walk down the runway. Me in heels is, like, deforesting the forest, knocking trees completely timber!"

(Elle)

Baldwin is surprisingly endearing with the things she shares. And share she does. You need to be a huge fan to follow her on Twitter or Tumblr, where she posts a dizzying number of things each day. The article lists a few, from how she tried smoking pot and hated it to how her surfer boyfriend, Slater Trout, doesn't pressure her to have sex. As for said boyfriend, she tells the mag that her famous father, whom she spent a lot of time with this summer, is maybe in denial about her love life.

"I'm sure he’s got a little papa-bear mentality: 'They're not kissing. I don't know who that is. That's not my daughter,'" she says.

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Despite her parents' bitter custody battle and that voicemail message, which will most likely appear in every story about her as she builds a career, she seems to have turned out well ― with manners intact.

"Even when I get to the point where I am acting and performing, where I want to be with my career, I'm never going to think of anyone as lower than me," she notes. "Everyone's the celebrity of their own life, you know?"

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And, thanks to her upbringing, she knows to take the whole fame game with a grain of salt.

"After getting a dose of it myself, I learned it may be the photo of the day — of the next three days — but it goes away. There's always something new that's going to come up and happen, and you're history. In the end — this is going to sound dark — in the end you're going to die, and all those photos never mattered."

Read Baldwin's interview in the September issue of Elle, on newsstands August 20.

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