I never questioned Hilaria’s Spanish-ness, but it turns out her parents are more American than mine

For a long time, I thought of Hilaria Baldwin as my private obsession, emphasis on that last word. I must have first heard about her because she’s married to Alec Baldwin, but that’s not why she fascinated me (I like Alec Baldwin, but, c’mon, I don’t love him). No, this began five years ago, after my twins were born, because Hilaria is – or was – best known as a “mommy influencer”, as they say in the US, where she lives (and we’ll return to Hilaria’s relationship with geography shortly), with five young children and 900k Instagram followers. I would stare at the photos and videos she posted of herself in her lingerie – doing yoga, being pregnant, often both – looking as tiny and hardbodied as a nutcracker figurine, and I’d feel that almost comfortingly familiar wave of self-loathing. And then I’d look at her photos of her children in which she promoted clothing companies, or toys, or baby cream brands, and I’d think, “Well, at least I don’t use my kids to shill crap.” Self-loathing followed by self-vindication: it’s an irresistible combination, like sugar and salt, and Hilaria delivered it to me in its purest essence.

So yes, I became obsessed with her – I admit it. “Did you see that Hilaria posted a picture of herself in her lingerie to announce she was having a miscarriage?” I’d ask my friends. “Who?” they’d reply. Well, no one’s asking “who” any more, are they, Hilaria?

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