Cara Delevingne has opened up about her depression in a series of statements on Twitter.
The model and actress took to social media yesterday to ‘set the record straight’ after fans expressed surprise at the release of her latest shoot for Saint Laurent, which came after an essay in which Cara appeared to discuss her decision to take a step back from the industry.
After tweeting that ‘I never said I was quitting modelling,’ Cara explained that she ‘[does] not blame the fashion industry for anything.’
She added, ‘I suffer from depression and was a model during a particularly rough patch of self hatred.’
Finally, she reaffirmed her decision to focus on her acting career.
It's not the first time that Cara has spoken out honestly about her mental health, having previously discussed experiencing depression as a school girl and struggling at the start of her modelling career.
On October 2015 we wrote...
Cara Delevingne isn’t afraid to speak candidly - but at yesterday’s Women In The World summit in London she gave one of her frankest and moving interviews about her struggles as a model, and ‘wanting the world to swallow her up’ in the height of her depression as a school girl.
She kicked off the chat with Rupert Everett by nervously unbuckling and removing her shoes, before stopping him to outline why she was here, so she could get what she needed to say off her chest.
What she wanted to talk about was her experience of depression and how yoga, writing and Kate Moss ‘picking her up off the floor’ helped her through her darkest hours.
Admitting she was ‘plagued by learning disabilities’ at school, she said she felt ‘completely suicidal and alone’ and recalls wanting ‘the world to swallow me up.’
She said that with therapy and anti-depressants she ’clawed her way back to some sort of rational thought.’ But during the height of her modelling career she admits ‘I had no concept of saying no to anyone, ever.’
‘In life you should always experience things but you should say no. It's more about being in control and not being a puppet.’
Cara needed someone to help her take back control and Kate Moss turned out to be the person to help: ‘I eventually said no and I eventually took a break. I took the advice of Kate Moss who picked me up off the floor passed out.’
The 23-year-old read a poem at the start of the interview, and said writing had also helped her through: ‘Writing is something that really saved my life. I would read what I had written and it would be like someone else was speaking to me. It was a very strange experience.’ And said ‘finding’ ‘was a huge thing for me.’
With close friend Kendall Jenner in the audience, Cara also noted how ‘It's about finding people who have your best interests at heart. Before, people were after what I gave them.’
While Rupert noted Cara’s privilege has allowed her to do great things and meet great people - ‘I had what everyone wanted,’ she admitted - she noted poignantly that ‘In our culture, we are told that if we are beautiful, if we are skinny, successful, famous, if we fit in, if everyone loves us – then we will be happy. But that’s not entirely true.’
Having found her way and able to reflect on her past, Cara said she’s learnt that ‘mental illness and depression are not something to be ashamed of,’ and told the audience ‘Flaws are the things that make us special, the cracks within us are the beautiful parts - they need to have light shed on them.’
‘Women are beautiful,’ she added. And on encouraging women to ‘dream bigger’ she said ‘there’s so much more than modelling.’
‘Go for president, astronaut, whatever.’
As Rupert bought the interview to a close, Cara wasn’t done as she interrupted the applause to give the audience a piece of takeaway advice: ‘Be comfortable in your shoes, because you're going to be in them for a while.’
She then chimed back in ‘Funny - I’m not wearing mine.’ No irony lost on Cara.
Here’s the poem Cara wrote about a year ago during a bout of depression:
Who am I, who am I trying to be? Not myself, anyone but myself.
Empty beyond the point of emptiness, full to the brim of fake confidence.
The show must go on, it will never stop. The show must not go on, but I know it will.