She may be one of Karl Lagerfeld‘s forever muses, but Cara Delevingne is thriving thanks to her decision to leave the modeling industry. Despite the fact that the model-turned-actress was one of the most in-demand catwalkers at the height of her career, the 23-year-old opened up about the darker side of her success in a candid essay she penned for Time . Admitting that she felt like she lost herself throughout the duration of her lucrative modeling career, the It Brit explains how much she put herself through to adhere to the industry standards. “I worked hard to be accepted by the fashion community in ways beyond my physical appearance,” she writes. “I found myself surrendering to the industry’s approval process.”
While the outspoken star has managed to embark upon a burgeoning acting career, she attributes her successful redirect to the fact that she took a step back from modeling to reevaluate her goals, both work and personal, to find genuine happiness—which led to a new relationship. Though we miss Cara’s signature style in the high fashion world, we find her message of self-acceptance and pursuit of intrinsically rewarding goals incredibly inspiring. As she asserts, success comes in many forms, not just celebrity alone.