Top Model Realises How Much Toxic Image Ideals Suck
So Cara Delevingne has quit the modelling world after being one of its main muses for the last few years. Why? Alongside citing the (fairly standard) wish to focus on her acting career, she has also revealed that the pressures and stresses of the fashion world had finally become too much to put up with. In an interview with The Sunday Times, Delevingne revealed that she had felt judged for her skin condition (psoriasis)and had been made to feel “hollow” by the industry’s standards. She also told The Wall Street Journal that she had at points been actively instructed to lose weight.
I’m just going to let that last point sink in for a moment.
The supermodel Cara Delevingne was told to lose weight. Aside from wondering where the hell this weight could be lost from (those majestic brows? The only ‘big’ part of her I can think of) this news struck me as yet another instance of just how frighteningly detached from reality the fashion world can become. When a woman held up to the world as an absolute paragon of beauty tells that world that she has self-esteem issues and hates her body, we get a spotlight shone on how destructive fashion imagery can be. In fitting the standards for the size, shape and look that models 'must’ have to be successful, this woman became deeply unhappy and wanted out. For God’s sake, the beautiful people are miserable? What about us, the horrendously non-toned, non-slim, non-whatever lesser beings? It’s like it’s impossible and unhealthy to look like the women in magazines or something.
Whilst it saddens me to know that a seemingly happy public figure has been/is going through a difficult time within herself, I am also deeply impressed by Delevingne’s career move. Though she should never have had to face judgement or calls for weight loss (I will never get over that I mean COME ON), in stepping away from it she has sent a powerful message to her fans and admirers: you do not need to take this shit. In removing herself from this toxic environment that she has such power in, Delevingne is refusing to bow down to idiotic standards. Though some might argue that it’s easier to step away from a job that you’ve already had phenomenal success in ('this is boring now so imma run away with my millions now kaythanksbye’), and so only someone in an immensely privileged situation could do so, I would say this misses the point. This privilege and power that Delevingne has makes her decision all the more impactful. If the girl getting all the jobs and all the adoration thinks things are shit, why the hell do any of the rest of us have to pretend otherwise? Hopefully, what this move will ultimately achieve is a bit of self-reflection from the individuals in the fashion world who no longer have their muse to work with. And maybe, if we’re lucky, it might encourage more women to take a stand against how impossibly narrow modern beauty standards are. At the very least it will make a highly badass Cara Delevingne a lot happier.
And keep those eyebrows looking majestic.
Words by Sarah Vickery