TIME celebrity

Cara Delevingne Says the Modeling Industry Made Her ‘Hate’ Her Body

Cara Delevingne at the "Paper Towns" New York premiere in New York City on July 21, 2015.
Jim Spellman—WireImage/Getty Images Cara Delevingne at the "Paper Towns" New York premiere in New York City on July 21, 2015.

"I was, like, fight and flight for months. Just constantly on edge," says the Paper Town star

Cara Delevingne has been fashion’s it girl in recent years, but the British model says she’s ditching the world of modeling for the big screen – and she can’t get out fast enough.

In a recent interview with London’s The Times, the 23-year-old divulged that she is “not doing fashion work any more.” The reason? It made her “feel a bit hollow.”

“It didn’t make me grow at all as a human being,” she said. “And I kind of forgot how young I was. I felt so old.”

Delevingne shot into the fashion stratosphere in 2011 when she landed a Burberry campaign and posed in a trench coat for a sultry shoot with Eddie Redmayne. But living in the limelight “wasn’t a good time.”

“I was, like, fight and flight for months. Just constantly on edge,” Delevingne 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.”

And worsen it did. Delevingne said her demanding schedule led to a psoriasis breakout, a skin affliction other stars have also recently spoken about. Describing her struggle with the condition, she said crews were painting her body with foundation “every single show” in order to hide it.

“People would put on gloves and not want to touch me because they thought it was, like, leprosy or something,” she said in the interview.

Read more Cara Delevingne Sparks Paper Towns

Delevingne also spoke of the sexually suggestive poses she was asked to do when she was just a teen. As a newbie in the industry then, Delevingne said she felt she couldn’t say no to nudity or sexual poses.

“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.”

She realizes, though, that this facet of the industry will likely be present in her new line of work. The actress (who starred in John Green’s Paper Towns and has four more movies coming out this year), says she has already experienced sexual harassment in the movie business – although it’s “worse in modeling.” But Delevingne says she doesn’t brush these encounters under the carpet.

“I am very good at standing up for myself now, and for other people,” she said. “If there is injustice I will flip out. If someone is crossing a line, they will know about it and so will everyone else.”

While the star, who boasts famous friends like Rihanna and Taylor Swift (she’s a card-carrying member of the singer’s Squad), spoke of the perils of making it in the modeling industry, she acknowledges her time in the fashion world prepared her for her new career in acting.

“I am a lot harder than I was and I feel like all of that modeling, life, rejection, everything, was preparation for this, and now that I am doing this I am the happiest person in the whole world.”

This article originally appeared on People.com

Read next: How Paper Towns Could Propel Cara Delevingne From Model to Movie Star

TIME Exercise/Fitness

14 Ways You Lie to Yourself About Your Weight

bathroom-scale
Getty Images

Time to face the truth

Your bathroom scale doesn’t lie about your weight—but you might be fibbing to yourself. People tend to subtract a few pounds from their weight and add an inch or two of height in self-reported surveys, according to a 2013 Irish study from University College of Cork. It doesn’t end there. We also lie to ourselves about what it takes to drop pounds and keep them off. Being truthful to yourself can help you recognize the challenges you need to overcome in order to make real progress. Here are common weight loss lies you may be telling yourself—and how to face the facts.

I can’t afford to buy healthy food.

In reality, people prioritize and spend money on what’s important to them, says Amy Goodson, RD, co-author of Swim, Bike, Run—Eat ($17; amazon.com). “You may pay more for some healthy and organic food, but you are getting more nutrient quality for your dollar,” she says. Plus, there are plenty of ways to save. Seasonal, local produce costs less than fruits and veggies shipped from afar—and the more-frugal frozen stuff is just as nutritious as fresh. You can also buy lean meats in bulk when they’re on sale and freeze what you don’t use for later.

I just don’t like the taste of healthy food.

Many people claim they don’t like “healthy food,” when the truth is they reject nutritious eats without even trying them, says Goodson. “It’s recommended you eat a food 10 times before you can determine if you really dislike it or not,” she says. To acquire a taste for healthy food, Goodson suggests you try mixing the food you don’t like with foods you do like. For instance, if you hate broccoli but like rice and cheese, trying making broccoli rice casserole with brown rice and 2% cheese. Gradually increase the amount of broccoli in the dish each time you make it.

My jeans don’t fit because they shrunk in the wash.

Sure, this might be true with some of your clothing, says Brian Quebbemann, MD, a bariatric surgeon in Newport Beach, Calif. “All my patients know, however, that normally clothes don’t tell lies. If you ask, ‘Have I gained weight?’ just put on that sleek dress, or Speedo from your swim team days, and you’ll have the honest answer.”

I worked out today, so I can have this bowl of ice cream.

No amount of exercise will overcome a high-calorie diet, says Dr. Quebbemann. Consider that walking for an hour at 4 mph (a very brisk pace) burns approximately 360 calories. A mere half-cup of Ben & Jerry’s vanilla ice cream contains 230 calories. A real-life serving of ice cream is typically double that, clocking in at 460 calories. That means you’d take in 100 calories more than you burned.

I eat healthy all week so I can indulge on the weekend.

No, you can’t follow a healthy diet during the workweek and then go hogwild on Saturday and Sunday without gaining weight. “Eating 2,000 extra calories over a weekend will increase your daily average by close to 300 calories, causing a gain of 20 pounds within a year,” says Dr. Quebbemann. If you do indulge during your downtime, then be sure to make up for it in the following days. A 2014 Cornell University study found that thin people are better at adjusting their calorie intake after a calorie-packed weekend than those who are overweight.

My mom’s fat, so no matter what I do, I’m always going to be overweight too.

Some research does show a genetic link to obesity, but in most cases, lifestyle trumps genetics. “The most common reason some families are overweight and some are not is because some parents have poor eating habits and teach their kids the same,” says Dr. Quebbemann. “It’s often a cultural inheritance more than a physical one.”

I can have another glass of wine—it’s healthy!

Moderate wine consumption has proven heart-health benefits, but the keyword here is “moderate,” says Lori Zanini, RD, a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Having more than the recommended one-a-day for women or two-a-day for men cancels out the health benefits—and adds extra calories to your day to boot.

I skip breakfast, so I’m already cutting enough calories.

Skipping meals as a way to save calories won’t help you drop pounds, says Zanini, because you’ll make up for it—and then some—later in the day when you’re starving. A 2012 study published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics found that women who reported missing meals lost 8 fewer pounds than those who ate breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day.

I can’t lose weight because I have kids.

We get it—it can be tough to plan kid-friendly meals that are compatible with your diet goals, and you probably feel too busy carting the kiddos to and from school, soccer practice, and piano lessons to give your diet goals much thought. But the truth is, you can overcome these obstacles. If you find yourself eating your child’s leftovers or sharing a few licks of an ice cream several times a day, for example, then try to stop—this can easily add up to 300-plus extra calories, says Goodson.

Losing weight is impossible because I’m hungry all the time.

Your own poor eating choices are likely the reason you’re always hungry, says Dr. Quebbemann. High-carb, low-protein meals spike your blood sugar, which leaves your belly rumbling after it plummets back to earth. “This is the carb-hunger roller coaster many of my patients ride every day,” says Dr. Quebbemann. “When they tell me, ‘I’m hungry all the time,’ I respond, ‘I would be too, if I ate that way.'” Dehydration, stress, and certain meds may also cause an insatiable appetite.

I’m not eating that much and the scale’s not budging.

Chances are, you’re overestimating how hard you’re working out and underestimating how much food you’re taking in, says Jonathan Ross, senior advisor for the American Council on Exercise (ACE). In fact, a study published in the British Medical Journal showed that 23% of adults underestimated the number of calories in their fast food meal and, as a result are making uninformed choices.

I’m doing everything I can to lose weight and nothing’s working.

“This typically translates to, ‘I’m doing everything I’m willing to do,'” says Ross. “You need to ask yourself, ‘Is there anything I can do that I’m currently not willing to do?'” Take a look at your day-to-day habits for ways to add in more activity (get up from your desk more often, walk the stairs) or eat healthier (bring a lunch versus relying on last-minute choices from the vending machine). Track your food and exercise to pinpoint trouble spots.

I deserve a treat once in a while.

Many people “compartmentalize” what they eat, says Ross. “They’ll have a doughnut at a meeting, pizza for lunch, and go out with friends and have chicken wings and then say, ‘I only ate chicken wings twice this month,’ forgetting all the other treats they didn’t count.” These treats are the foods that take you further away from your goals, he says. Keep an accurate food journal to pinpoint all these treats you may otherwise forget.

I look better when I have more meat on my bones.

It’s important to accept yourself, love your shape, and feel comfortable in your own skin. But if your body mass index (BMI) indicates that you’re overweight or obese, think about whether you need to lose weight or at least eat healthier and exercise more. Of course, some people have more muscle than others (BMI is not a perfect measure), but the truth is, research shows that if you are obese, your risk rises for serious health problems such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. Maintaining a BMI over 30 or a having a waist circumference larger than 35 inches for women and 40 inches for men puts you at a higher risk for cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and other illnesses, says Goodson. “Losing just 10% of your body weight can help lower cholesterol and blood pressure,” she says. And even if you don’t lose weight, exercise and healthy eating will help lower your risks for those conditions.

This article originally appeared on Health.com

More from Health.com:

TIME beauty

U.K. Fashion Retailer Topshop Drops ‘Ridiculously Shaped’ Mannequins After Complaints

The company has been accused of showing a lack of concern for body-conscious youth

British high-street retailer Topshop has agreed to stop using unrealistically thin mannequins in its stores after a shopper’s complaint went viral.

Laura Berry posted a photo to Topshop’s Facebook page of a “ridiculously shaped” mannequin at a store in a shopping mall in Bristol, reports the Guardian, and said the company was showing a “lack of concern for a generation of extremely body conscious youth.”

“We’ve all been impressionable teens at one point, I’m fairly certain if any of us were to witness this in our teenage years, it would have left us wondering if that was what was expected of our bodies,” wrote Berry, a customer-service assistant from Gloucestershire, England.

Topshop says the mannequin is based on a standard U.K. size 10 (U.S. size 6), but Berry points out she’s not sure that it even looks like a U.K. size 6 (U.S. size 2).

“Perhaps it’s about time you became responsible for the impression you have on women and young girls and helped them feel good about themselves rather than impose these ridiculous standards,” Berry said.

Topshop responded to the post publicly saying the mannequin was “not meant to be a representation of the average female body,” but said it was “not placing any further orders on this style of mannequin.”

[Guardian]

TIME celebrity

Plus-Size Model Ashley Graham Wants to Be First ‘Curvier’ Supermodel

Ashley Graham at the launch event for Lane Bryant's campaign #ImNoAngel in New York City on April 6, 2015.
Cindy Ord—Getty Images Ashley Graham at the launch event for Lane Bryant's campaign #ImNoAngel in New York City on April 6, 2015.

Graham has her sights set on becoming the next Heidi Klum

Ashley Graham has already made a name for herself in the modeling industry, but she hopes to eventually become one of the greats.

“I definitely look up to Kathy Ireland, Heidi Klum, Tyra Banks and Cindy Crawford,” the plus-size model, 27, told website The Coveteur. “I’ve watched their careers and they have just blossomed into extraordinary and amazing things. I can’t wait to be the curvier version of all of them.”

While Graham – who has modeled lingerie for Lane Bryant and landed a bikini ad in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue – faced adversity in the beginning of her career, she believes the fashion industry is changing.

“I’ve faced criticism my whole career,” she said in the interview. “It’s come from fans, it’s come from agents, and it’s come from other models. But I think that it’s all a matter of how you handle it and I turned it all into a positive thing. Now the industry has totally changed and it’s not as much about size anymore – everyone’s really jumped on the bandwagon of not letting size be the defining factor of determining what beauty truly is.”

Even when she began modeling, Graham never felt pressure to change her size.

“I got told at the very beginning, when I was about 12 years old, ‘If you lost a ton of weight, you could be a major model’ and my mom just looked at the lady, started laughing and said ‘We won’t be doing that,’ ” she recalled. “That gave me so much confidence because if my mom didn’t think I needed to lose weight, then obviously I didn’t need to.”

“I had an agent wave money in my face and say, ‘If you go from a size 18 to a 14, you will make all of this money and more,’ and I still didn’t even have the gumption to lose the weight,” she continued. “I said, ‘I don’t care what people think about me, I’m not going to change the way I look for clients, I just want to do what makes me happy and be happy doing it.’ ”

While Graham did drop down to a size 14/16, she lost the weight for herself, and not due to any external pressure.

“My weight hasn’t gone up or down [since then],” she said. “I’ve regulated it now for about seven years, and it’s due to the fact that I’m happy and confident in who I am, and I’m not letting other people dictate where my career is going based on the size of my hips.”

For more of Graham’s interview, check out the story on The Coveteur.

This article originally appeared on People.com

TIME Social Media

Here’s How the ‘Don’t Judge Challenge’ Totally Backfired

The #DontJudgeChallenge was intended to be an anti-body shaming campaign

A social media campaign calling for an end to body shaming may have made things worse.

The hashtag #DontJudgeChallenge has taken off on Instagram, Twitter and Vine this month with users posting photos or videos of themselves with drawn-on unibrows, acne or other physical features often the targets of body shaming. Then, they wipe off their “flaws” to reveal what’s underneath:

You’re not alone if you’re totally confused. While the origin of the hashtag is somewhat unclear, the #DontJudgeChallenge began to trend around the time beauty blogger Em Ford posted a viral video of herself removing makeup from her face, revealing her acne, and encouraging viewers to accept themselves rather than to feel ashamed. Another recent viral video shows a South Korean fashion blogger removing makeup from only half her face, revealing a dramatic difference.

In contrast,#DontJudgeChallenge, to many observers, seems to be a parody, if not completely hypocritical:

Users have instead begun flocking to the #BeautyInAllChallenge, posting images celebrating the parts of their bodies that others may criticize. And who knows? Maybe this will be the next Ice Bucket Challenge:

TIME health

Why I Decided to Have Plastic Surgery at Age 11

xoJane.com is where women go to be their unabashed selves, and where their unabashed selves are applauded

"Plastic surgery does not make you weak, or mean you’re avoiding your feelings"

xojane

As a kid, I had an unfortunately large, hairy mole on the side of my face.

By hairy, I do not mean a few strands poking through it. It grew its own lock of hair that had to be routinely trimmed. If I had ever let it grow long enough, I could have had a tiny pony tail on the side of my face.

The mass itself was about the size of a dime. As a young child, I found it amusing more than anything else and toddler me giggled at it in the mirror. It was just a thing that was there, not gross or weird or any of the other adjectives I would hear later.

It wasn’t until around fourth or fifth grade that the mole became a source of insecurity. Kids noticed it, and unsurprisingly, kids can be dicks. It was right at the edge of my hairline and I was able to successfully hide it in my chin length haircut as long as my hair stayed in place, but I lived in constant apprehension of who would discover it.

It turned from a quirky birthmark to a source of shame. From ages five through twelve, I never wore my hair up. No ponytails. No buns. Girls in my class got to change their hairstyles while I frantically hid my face behind my hair.

Even when I played soccer and basketball as a kid, my hair stayed down no matter how much it got in my face or how much I sweated into it.

Despite my growing apprehension about it, I still lived with my mole without much ridicule until the summer I went into junior high. There were isolated incidents that were mildly embarrassing, but the worst one happened when I went swimming with two friends.

I wasn’t even thinking about the mole until the water swept my hair back behind my ears. The two girls I was with immediately pointed out my hideous secret with some less-than-sensitive exclamations of “EW what is THAT?” directed at the side of my face. It was mortifying and I wanted to cry.

I had started to become slightly self-conscious about it, but that was definitely the defining moment that made me feel truly isolated by the otherwise harmless growth on my face.

I was about to be a teenager, some of the most superficial and judgmental years of a person’s life. My mother had several small moles on her face that I knew bothered her as well, and even though none were as prominent as mine, she understood what I was going through. It’s painful to know your daughter feels she needs to constantly hide part of her face.

Shortly after the swimming pool incident, she finally suggested the option of consulting with a dermatologist and plastic surgeon and seeing what could be done. We both knew it had to go.

My mole was classified as congenital, which allowed its removal to be covered by our insurance despite being benign.

So at age 11, after being reassured by the plastic surgeon that I would not be left with any major scarring, I went under the knife.

I wanted acceptance. I wanted to be pretty. I wanted to like myself. I didn’t see how any of the above were possible with what in my mind was something as disgusting as a second head growing out of my face. While my mother brought the idea up in the first place, I never felt pressured by her to make the call. It was superficial and yet also completely necessary to me.

It’s easy to look back now and say I should have gotten over it. That I would have grown out of it. That someone should have told me I was beautiful the way I was and I should just be myself. (For the record, my mother has always told me that.) That teasing should never be a reason to be anesthetized and wake up with a part of your body physically missing.

We can talk forever about how unfair beauty standards are and their negative impact on young girls, but none of that would have changed my opinion. At the time, I saw removal as the only solution. I know, even today, that no amount of kind words would have made me feel differently.

When you truly dislike something about yourself, compliments sound hollow and patronizing. I regret none of it. I don’t want to know what I would be like now if I still had my mole. I was (and still am) lanky and weird enough without any added help.

My scar is faded now, but when it was still fresh classmates frequently pointed it out and asked about it and even that was painful for me. It triggered my paranoia over someone discovering my mole all over again. I would lie and say it was a scratch or a birthmark just to avoid the conversation.

Nowadays, at 22, I almost forget the mole ever existed. Outside of doctors’ appointments where I have to supply my medical history, it doesn’t cross my mind. Occasionally I tell new friends about it and joke about how “I’ve had a little work done.”

My scar is virtually undetectable but on the off chance someone notices, I do not feel like I need to lie about where it came from. (Clearly, I’ll even tell strangers on the Internet all about it.)

I know cosmetic surgery sometimes has negative connotations, especially when offered to someone so young, but I hardly think I am any worse off. If anything, my life improved significantly and my personality flipped around entirely.

It also isn’t a slippery slope, like so many entertainment news specials reporting on celebrities addicted to plastic surgery imply. I had another mole removed roughly a year after the first one, but have had no procedures since then.

There are plenty of physical features I don’t like about myself, but I have no desire to change them. I also don’t harbor any hard feelings toward the people who picked on me. Kids can be jerks. I can think of situations where I was too. That’s just a fact. (Although I’ll offer some general life advice: If you’re grossed out by someone’s face, keep it to yourself instead of pointing it out loudly like an asshole.)

I don’t want anyone to take my story the wrong way. I’m not advocating slicing off everything you hate about yourself and then feeling perfect forever. I’m just saying that plastic surgery does not make you weak, or mean you’re avoiding your feelings, or taking an “easy way out,” and anyone who feels that way needs to butt out of your personal choices.

I can wonder what I would be like if I hadn’t gone through with the surgery, but I cannot imagine it would have been happier than I am now. I ended up choosing a college nearly thousand miles away from home where I knew no one, something I doubt I would have pulled off if I was still hiding behind my own hair.

Paige Handley wrote this article for xoJane

TIME Ideas hosts the world's leading voices, providing commentary and expertise on the most compelling events in news, society, and culture. We welcome outside contributions. To submit a piece, email ideas@time.com.

TIME feminism

Female Perfect Imperfections Shine Through in Photographer’s New Project

perfectly imperfect ker fox photography
Ker-Fox Photography

Beautiful portraits of 16 women of all body types make up the first part of the ongoing project

In her new project Perfect Imperfections photographer Neely Ker-Fox goes out of her way to highlight the beauty in women of all sizes, shapes, ages and backgrounds. Inspired by other popular postpartum series by the likes of Jade Beall and January Harshe, Ker-Fox took photos of 16 women for the first series of her project and has made plans to shoot 10 more.

“I wanted to represent everybody,” Ker-Fox told People this week. “I didn’t want there to be anybody that saw this project and felt left out.”

The project came out of Ker-Fox’s own struggles with her body image. “For the last 9 months I have struggled with my postpartum body,” she wrote on her website, saying she “barely recognizes” her postbaby frame and has struggled with stretch marks, sciatic nerve pain and even an umbilical hernia. Acknowledging that “we as humans all have insecurities and we are all scarred, imperfect and flawed in some way physically and emotionally,” Ker-Fox said she hoped to show the deeper beauty that shines through in women.

See some of her photos at People

TIME beauty

Ashley Graham Explains Why You Shouldn’t Call Her a ‘Plus-Sized’ Model

"The fashion industry might persist to label me as plus-sized, but I like to think of it as my-sized"

Body activist and model Ashley Graham made a moving TED Talk speech about the power of self-acceptance and the problem with the term “plus sized.”

In an April TEDx Talk that was recently uploaded to YouTube, Graham takes on the fashion industry through radical self-acceptance. Here’s how she started the talk:

“Back fat, I see you popping over my bra today. But that’s alright—I’m going to choose to love you. Thick thighs, you’re just so sexy you can’t stop rubbing each other. That’s alright, I’m going to keep you. And cellulite, I have not forgotten about you—I’m going to choose to love you, even though you want to take over my whole bottom half.”

She went on to describe how the term “plus-sized model” made her feel like she was an outsider in the fashion world, even though she had a successful modeling career. “I felt free once I realized I was never going to fit the narrow mold society wanted me to fit in,” she said. “The fashion industry might persist to label me as plus-sized, but I like to think of it as my-sized.” She noted that in the U.S., plus sizes start at anything from 8-16. Graham is a co-founder of ALDA, a coalition of plus-sized models.

“Back in Nebraska I was known as the fat model—the girl who was pretty for a big girl,” she said. She said that idea was isolating. “My body, like my confidence, has been picked apart, manipulated and controlled by others who didn’t necessarily understand it.”

“We need to work together to redefine the global image of beauty, and it starts by becoming your own role model,” she said.

TIME fashion

Lilly Pulitzer Employee Posted Fat-Shaming Cartoons on Office Wall

While the plus-size line of its Target collaboration is only available online

A photo feature about the offices of fashion house Lilly Pulitzer has uncovered an uncomfortable detail: nestled among bright dress prints and fabric samples were some mean-spirited doodles.

The drawings, which an online New York article showed displayed on a wall in the Lilly Pulitzer offices, show two overweight women. On one, a caption says “Just another day of fat, white and hideous… you should probably just kill yourself.” The other is accompanied with the phrase, “Put it down, carb-face!”

A Lilly Pulitzer spokesperson said the illustrations were displayed by a lone member of staff but Twitter users erupted with outrage at cartoons many saw as fat-shaming:

“These illustrations were the work of one individual and were posted in her personal work area,” says Jane Schoenborn, Lily Pulitzer’s Vice President of Creative Communications. “While we are an employer that does encourage people to decorate their own space, we are a female-dominated company and these images do not reflect our values. We apologize for any harm this may have caused.”

The kerfuffle comes a few weeks after some accused the designer’s new collaboration with Target of discriminating against plus-sized customers; while all sizes up to 14 are carried in stores, larger sizes are only available online.

 

 

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