Cara Delevingne opens up about her battle with “self-hatred” and reveals she’s not quitting modelling

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Amy Swales

Cara Delevingne's appearance this week as the malleable, smoking face of fashion house Saint Laurent's latest campaign surprised some, given just last month she penned a piece appearing to confirm she was quitting modelling to spend “more time doing the stuff I love”.

But the supermodel has “set the record straight” with a series of posts on Twitter, explaining that while she hasn't left the fashion world behind completely, she's focusing on her acting career.

Delevingne, 23, also referred to her struggles with depression, though said she didn't “blame the fashion industry”, writing: “I never said I was quitting modelling […] I suffer from depression and was a model during a particularly rough patch of self-hatred.

“I am so lucky for the work I get to do but I used to work to try and escape and just ended up completely exhausting myself. I am focusing on filming and trying to learn how to not pick apart my every flaw. I am really good at that.”

Having started modelling at the age of 16, Delevingne saw her career skyrocket with campaigns and catwalk appearances for houses such as Burberry, Chanel and Dolce & Gabbana, and has millions of fans following her every selfie on social media.

However, in an interview last summer, she said the modelling industry was a bubble, and referenced leaving it behind.

“I’m not sure I understand what fashion is anymore,” she told Vogue magazine. “I admit I was terrified to leave. I mean, the bubble gives you a kind of dysfunctional family. When you’re in it, you get it. And the second you’re out of it, you’re like, ‘What the hell just happened?’”

The Paper Towns star was also open about having suffered depression in the past, describing how at the age of 15 “all of a sudden I was hit with a massive wave of depression and anxiety and self-hatred, where the feelings were so painful that I would slam my head against a tree to try to knock myself out. I never cut, but I’d scratch myself to the point of bleeding.”

In the heartfelt essay for Time's website Motto, published in March, Delevingne said she had reassessed her priorities after the whirlwind of modelling: “I found myself surrendering to the industry’s approval process. I felt like I needed validation from everyone.

“As a result, I lost sight of myself and what it meant to be happy, what it meant to be successful. I think it all stemmed from a deep-down feeling of wanting people to like me and love me […]

“Over time, I came to realise that work and getting others’ approval isn’t the most important thing. Yes, your career is very important – but it’s not the most important.”

Delevingne's latest film, Suicide Squad, is set for release in August. 

Images: @caradelevingne / Rex Features


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Amy Swales

Amy Swales is a freelance writer who likes to eat, drink and talk about her dog. She will continue to plunder her own life and the lives of her loved ones for material in the name of comedy, catharsis and getting pictures of her dog on the internet.

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