As a stalwart Whedon fan, I've stood loyally by Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. While I remain optimistic that it will soar to the heights of Buffy and Firefly, it's hard to ignore the ringing disappointment this show has been to most people (critics and otherwise) thus far.
What are the main complaints leveled at the show? Lack of a driving force, underdeveloped characters, and a deficit of the trademark Whedon sense of humor. After some decidedly mediocre offerings, the show has steadily improved – many view "F.Z.Z.T." as the show's turning point. "F.Z.Z.T." gave us much-needed character development for the FitzSimmons dynamic duo, and it was the first really character-driven episode. "The Hub" continued to flesh out relationships by pairing the agents up into odd couples (Ward and Fitz, and Skye and Simmons), "The Well" gave back story for Agent Ward (perhaps the worst offender on the milquetoast character front), "Repairs" explained to us why Agent May is so damn stoic, and the most recent episode, "The Bridge" finally began to untangle the ongoing mysteries (Couson's resurrection, Centipede, and Skye's parentage) of the season.
While on the uptick, it still has its issues: Ward is still boring, and Skye, always pushed on us as the heart of the show, is still annoying. Personally, I'd prefer a show that revolved around Coulson and adorably chipper Simmons (though I may be in the minority there). It's no Buffy (or even Dollhouse, for that matter), but I still maintain hope that the show will find its footing. Let's just hope it does so in time to get renewed for a second season.
People are terrible. Somehow, this gorgeous young lady, who just so happens to be the offspring of Alec Baldwin and Kim Basinger, has endured harsh criticisms about her weight. Ireland Baldwin, age 18, was recently signed as a model and has already started putting her startlingly good looks to use and, apparently, brought the worst out of a few horrible people. But Ms. Baldwin isn't about to stand for it, as she explains in an open letter posted on her Tumblr.
Not only are her comments incredibly heartfelt and touching, she seems to be a pretty smart cookie. Baldwin doesn't come back at her detractors with fire or Alec Baldwin-esque rage. She's clear, straightforward, thoughtful, and completely on the money. This is the sort of woman girls should look up to.
Reason 1: She gets it. She really gets it. "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. I understand. I don’t look as glamourous 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."
Exactly. We're confused too, what exactly do people get out of tweeting or commenting or communicating by carrier pigeon that they believe anyone is "too fat" for his or her job? Spoiler alert: Baldwin is still going to be a model whether or not you tweet something nasty about it.
Reason 2: She knows real beauty is everywhere. "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. It’s bad energy being put out there! Personally, I try to see the beauty in everyone. It’s there. Every girl out there has a beautiful feature. I even see the beauty in the people who send me hateful replies!"
Way to go, girl. Kill those hateful folks with kindness. And while I wish the pleas of a celebrity's model daughter were enough to inspire the commenters of the world to take a chill pill, alas, it's just a dream. If only society could be what Ms. Baldwin willed it to be.
Reason 3: You can't judge a teen by her parents. In fact, why are we judging teens at this tough stage anyway?"I also get compared to my Mom quite a bit and this is where I bridge into the point of this whole post. I AM NOT MY PARENTS. My mom is one of the most beautiful woman in the world. She is 5’9, I am 6’2. She is petite and fragile, and I am fit and…. more to love tehe. I have a booty, she has a thigh gap. As she emerged from her teen years, she developed an angular face and striking cheekbones. I am still a teen making my way out of my awkward phase. I am still trying to figure this whole thing out."
Not only is Baldwin giving us the immediate "I'm not my mother" treatment, but she's getting into deeper territory: teen girls judging other teen girls before they've had the chance to mature into the women they are meant to be. Baldwin calls herself "more to love" and embraces the fact that she's got a "booty," proving that despite her young age, she's got the ability to accept and love her own shape. But she takes it a step further: as a teen, judgment is useless. The teen years are when girls are still figuring themselves and their bodies out. What good does it do to comment on that process wtih such negativity?
Reason 4: She's forgiven her dad, why can't everyone else?"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 towards things in ways he shouldn’t have. I get hateful replies and threats regarding mistakes of my Dad’s past. This isn’t fair. I had nothing to do with anything that happened back then, so I don’t fully understand why I am being targeted."
Somehow, the anger over Alec Baldwin's infamous voicemail in which he called Ireland a "pig" has transferred from the father to his innocent daughter. But Ireland's not angry. She's not calling anyone names. She calmly tells us that this is a personal moment in her past and that it has nothing to do with her or who she is as a young adult.
Reason 5: She's independent, ambitious, and incredibly self-aware."I am not seeking fame by association. I do not want to be simply know as a model. I am proud to be my parent’s [sic] daughter, but I don’t want to forever be known as 'that rude thoughtless little pig' or 'Alec Baldwin and Kim Basinger’s kid.' 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. That is what matters most to me overall. Before sending hateful replies and emails, consider all of this. Talk to me! I am friendly. I do not think I am better than anyone."
Are we sure this girl is really an 18-year-old daughter of two famous celebrities? She's so grounded and so aware of how the world around her works. She's not afraid of being the girl who received the "thoughtless little pig" voicemail. That's a part of her past, and it's real. But now, she wants to be her own woman, and she wants to be a positive influence on the parts of the world she touches.
This is what a young lady should be like. I'm so delighted by Baldwin, I'm not even going to harp on the handful of grammatical errors she made. She is still a teenager, after all.
Follow Kelsea on Twitter @KelseaStahler
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