The model-turned-actress has revealed her depression got so bad she would slam her head against a tree to try to knock herself out.
Model-turned-actress Cara Delevingne has spoken out about the “disgusting” sexual harassment she witnessed in the fashion industry in a new interview with the Sunday Times.
The 23-year-old also spoke about her struggles with depression as a teen and the stress-induced psoriasis she developed as a result of the pressure was under early in her career.
Delevingne, who began modelling at age 10 and has now parted ways with her modelling agency, said the industry made her feel older than she was and “a bit hollow”.
“I was, like, fight and flight for months. Just constantly on edge,” she said. “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 says she was way overworked and no adults stepped in to tell her to slow down. “I didn’t say no to anything, and that is obviously my own fault, but… people should have stopped me at some point.”
She became so stressed that she developed a skin disease called psoriasis and was forced to have her skin painted over in areas it was inflamed.
“It wasn’t just one show. It was every single show,” she said. “People would put on gloves and not want to touch me because they thought it was, like, leprosy or something.”
She also found it hard to deal with the an industry which is rife with sexual harassment.
“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.”
While she acknowledged sexual harassment exists in every industry, she thinks it is worse in modelling where there are male photographers “who go into it purely because of the girls”
She said she experienced sketchy behaviour “a little” when she was younger but that she would feel comfortable standing up for herself now.
“If there is injustice I will flip out. If someone is crossing a line, they will know about it and so will everyone else. I’m not about brushing things under the carpet.”
Delevingne also spoke about her battle with depression as a 15-year-old: “I was hit with a massive wave of depression and anxiety and self-hatred, where the feelings were so painful that I would slam my head against a tree to try to knock myself out.”