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The model-turned-actress has opened up about her battle with self-acceptance.

When Cara Delevingne first revealed that she would be retiring from modelling last summer, it was hard for many to understand why she wanted to say goodbye to everything she worked so hard to build, but Delevingne recently opened up about the pressures of thriving in the fashion industry.

The model, who has spoken of being disenchanted with modelling as a career before, has penned a piece for TIME magazine’s Motto saying she felt she had to constantly prove herself:

“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.”

She was named model of the year at the British Fashion Awards in 2012 and 2014 and has appeared on the catwalk for the biggest names in the industry including Burberry, Chanel, Dolce & Gabbana, Fendi and Moschino.

“When you do everything you can to make people happy with your work but there are still people who aren’t happy, you start to think, ‘Well, I’ve worked my a** off. I’ve done everything. I’ve pushed myself into the ground’. 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?”

And while she says it’s taken time for her to learn these lessons, in the end she’s become a better, and subsequently happier, person for all of it.

“I still have so much to learn, but I have realized that beating myself up, feeling guilty and regretting past mistakes will only hold me back.

“After all, no matter how many people like you and your work, it doesn’t matter if you don’t like yourself.”

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