Cara Delevingne is quitting “hollow” modeling industry: “If you hate yourself and your body and the way you look, it just gets worse and worse”

The British supermodel opened up about the pressures young women in the industry face

By Anna Silman

Published August 18, 2015 5:50PM (EDT)

Cara Delevingne         (Reuters/Suzanne Plunkett)
Cara Delevingne (Reuters/Suzanne Plunkett)

In an interview with London's The Times, supermodel-turned-actress Cara Delevingne revealed that she will not be doing fashion work anymore, citing the extreme pressures that young women in the industry face.

The 23-year-old British supermodel, who has been the face of some of the most prestigious fashion houses in the world including Chanel, Burberry and Lanvin, opened up about the struggles of life in high fashion, saying that the industry made her feel “hollow.”

"It didn't make me grow at all as a human being," she explains. "And I kind of forgot how young I was. I felt so old."

Delevingne tells the Times that a punishing schedule of up to 53 runway shows each Fashion Week left her depressed and grappling with psoriasis, a skin condition that had to be concealed by makeup. "People would put on gloves and not want to touch me because they thought it was, like, leprosy or something,” she said.

'It wasn't a good time, I was, like, fight and flight for months," she continues. "Just constantly on edge. It is a mental thing as well because if you hate yourself and your body and the way you look, it just gets worse and worse."

Delevingne — who has been modeling since she was ten -- also spoke out about the industry’s tendency to sexualize young models and the constant pressure on young girls to pose naked.

"I am a bit of a feminist and it makes me feel sick,” she said. "It's horrible and it's disgusting. [We're talking about] young girls. You start when you are really young and you do, you get subjected to …not great stuff.'

But Delevingne’s exit from the runway hardly means an exit from the spotlight; Rather, Delevingne says she is focusing on acting, which was always her true passion. As she puts it of her burgeoning film career: "I am a lot harder than I was and I feel like all of that modeling, life, rejection, everything, was preparation for this, and now that I am doing this I am the happiest person in the whole world."

Anna Silman

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