Supermodel and actress Cara Delevingne has written an essay on why she has decided to quit modelling.
The bisexual ‘Paper Towns’ star wrote the essay on TIME’s Motto site, saying she “lost sight of what it meant to be happy”.
Exploring the beginnings of her career, Delevingne said she had learned to constantly seek approval from others.
She wrote: “I worked hard to be accepted by the fashion community in ways beyond my physical appearance. In no time, though, 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.”
Going on, she said there are always people “who aren’t happy” with your work, saying: “You just feel like you’re constantly disappointing others, and there’s this moment when you’re like, ‘Wait, what am I trying to do? Who am I doing this for?'”
Delevingne reflected: “Over time, I came to realize 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. Of course I was proud of my accomplishments, but I wasn’t genuinely happy.”
Saying she didn’t want to “resent fashion or [her] success”, Delevingne wrote: “Now I realise that work isn’t everything and success comes in many forms.”
“When you’re coming from a place of living just to work, it’s never as good as you want it to be. It’s never as authentic. When you have balance in your life, 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.”
She concludes: “After all, no matter how many people like you and your work, it doesn’t matter if you don’t like yourself.”