Cara Delevingne has been known for life as a model, her trendsetting bushy eyebrows, her hilarious sense of humor and her upcoming role in Suicide Squad. Basically, she’s everywhere. Since she was 16-years-old, Cara Delevingne has strutted down the runways of Chanel, Burberry, Louis Vuitton, Givenchy and Valentino and has been featured in countless magazine. But in a surprise career move, Delevingne decided to call it quits from modeling and focus on her career in Hollywood.
To leave the fashion industry with a bang (and we wouldn’t expect anything less of her), Delevingne posted an essay for Motto, Time’s new women’s site, over why she is resigning from modeling and focused on explaining the dangers to others’ approval and the balance of work and living.
She starts the essay off by talking about her set back of being 5’8 as a runway model, shorter than most girls and a “disadvantage” in the business, and her resilience. She goes on to talk about her stability in the fashion industry and states, “I worked hard to be accepted by the fashion community in ways beyond my physical appearance.” Yet Delevingne became unhappy in her niche claiming “in no time” she had found herself “surrendering to the industry’s approval process.”
In the essay she goes on to say she had “pushed [herself] into the ground” and tried as hard as she could to make everyone happy with her work, yet she felt as if she was “constantly disappointing others.” Eventually she said she had to stop and ask herself ‘“Wait, what am trying to do? Who am I doing this for?”’ She came to realize after struggling to gain everyone’s approval and losing herself in the process, that gaining validation from others was not the most important.
“When you have balance in your life,” Delevingne states, “work becomes an entirely different experience. There is a passion that moves you to a whole new level of fulfillment and gratitude and that’s when you can do your best…for yourself and for others.” Although she “still has much to learn” she says, she at least has discovered that “no matter how many people like you and your work, it doesn’t matter if you don’t like yourself.” Finding success in your career, of course is important, but when happiness and passion is sacrificed for work, balance becomes necessary, Delevingne suggests. Loving what you do can bring your happiness and that is the most important.
Delevingne has served as inspiration for many not only with this essay, but also with body confidence messages, her relationship with Annie Clark (better know as St. Vincent) and her resilience and her embrace of the weird side. This essay calls on not only models, but others around the world to focus on happiness. Delevingne’s essay also inspires us to not let work take over and love what you do and not worry about the validation of others, especially when it jeopardizes your self-worth.
Although many of these messages Delevingne is illustrating in her essay are common knowledge, many of us still struggle to find balance in life and put our happiness first. Perhaps more models will step into Cara Delevingne’s footsteps and inspire others not only about beauty standards but general happiness.
As Delevingne moves on to bigger and better things, we are excited to see her take Hollywood by storm and maybe create music in the near future (which she said was another passion and also a big fear of hers). But for now she will still inspire us daily while posting goofy photos on Instagram and babysitting Carl Lagerfeld’s cat.
Photo courtesy of Independent