Kit Steinkellner
Updated Aug 18, 2015 @ 12:24 pm
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It can feel like the fashion industry is designed to make all the models that live inside feel like goddesses and those of us who don’t have hair and makeup people and Photoshop retouchers running after us all the time feel the merest of mortals. What we have to understand is the unrealistic beauty standards that fashion sets forth make basically EVERYBODY feel badly about themselves and affect all of us — including the participating models.

Take Cara Delevingne, who, as People reports, in a recent interview with London’s Times, talked about how working as a model gave her a bad case of body issues.

“I was, like, fight and flight for months. Just constantly on edge,” Delevingne said re: her modeling career. “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.”

She also told London Times that the modeling industry may have pushed her into growing up too fast —the pressure to pose nude or sensually was real, and Delevingne felt like she couldn’t say “no.” Reflecting back on it, Cara states, “…it makes me feel sick,” she said. “It’s horrible and it’s disgusting.” It’s sad and concerning to learn that 23-year-old Cara felt uncomfortable with what was expected of her —but it seems like the former model is moving away from a career that made her unhappy, and toward one that she’s passionate about.

As in, acting. Delevingne has made a pretty smooth transition into film (see: Paper Towns, Suicide Squad, Pan, all the other kick-butt projects she has lined up), and she’s aware that similar pressures and stress exist in Hollywood. That said, she feels ready to tackle any injustice she faces on set.

“I am very good at standing up for myself now, and for other people,” she said. “If there is injustice I will flip out. If someone is crossing a line, they will know about it and so will everyone else.”

We are so glad that Cara figured out her boundaries and found her voice, and we are equally glad that she’s using her voice to help us all understand how the unrealistic beauty standards and over sexualization of young women hurt models participating in the fashion industry just as much as they hurt the rest of us.

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(Image via Instagram)