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.
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."
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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."