Clarity Fan Hilaria Baldwin Wants to Clarify Things and Clear Some Things Up

Illustration for article titled Clarity Fan Hilaria Baldwin Wants to Clarify Things and Clear Some Things Up
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In response to all the rumors that she might be fake as hell, Hilaria Baldwin has posted a video on her Instagram hoping to clear things up, clarify things, and otherwise be very clear with us.

Clear what things up, exactly? That the 36-year-old yoga instructor-turned-wellness influencer, who married actor Alec Baldwin in 2012, has not been semi-successfully pulling off a “decade-long grift where she impersonates a Spanish person,” as was claimed in a widely shared Twitter thread published on Monday that contained clips of her fluctuating accent over the years.

Here’s some of the stuff that Baldwin tries to clear up (she says the word “clear” along with its various etymological offshoots approx. one million times over the course of the 7-minute clip):

  • Baldwin says she was born in Boston, not Majorca or anywhere else in Spain as has often been said (as recently as this Daily Mail article in October, in fact....also on her IMDB page and also the literal top of the Google results when you google “hilaria baldwin birthplace”).
  • Every time we’ve seen some article about how she’s from Spain originally? That’s been the fault of reporters who didn’t bother to make things “clear,” something reporters are famously bad at.
  • Baldwin says she split her childhood between the United States and Spain and grew up speaking both languages. This is I guess why she once said “how you say in English...cucumber?” during a televised cooking demo.
  • People who claim they knew Baldwin in her youth, way back before she got famous, say that she didn’t have an accent and that she went by “Hilary.” Baldwin says she went by “Hilary” in the U.S. and “Hilaria” in Spain because “neither name sounded good in the other language.” If any of this checks out, it’s this.
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Though Baldwin says she posted the video in an attempt to clear up a bunch of claims about her, she ended up making some shocking claims of her own. For example: “Let’s be very clear that Europe has a lot of white people...in there.”

Big if true.

I’ve reached out to Europe for comment (I haven’t) to confirm if there are white people there. I’ll update the story if I here back (I won’t).

Freelance journalist (GQ, Esquire, Out, elsewhere), here on weekends

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DISCUSSION

BFD. Code-switching. Most of us who are multilingual end up remembering words in one language and forgetting it in the other on a regular basis. The brain does not sharply delineate at all times, and certain influences can leave a more marked impact in the vocabulary of one language or another.

I’m not a fan of Hilary/Hilaria Baldwin but nor do I think that she owes anyone an explanation of how she chooses to speak, describe herself, or live. And, yes, if I speak any one of the languages I have learned for an extended period of time, you bet my accent in English is impacted for a while. It isn’t hypocrisy, it is how we pick up language in toto. 

And if she spent much of her childhood in Spain, then, yes, she is also from Spain. These are the influences that formed her.