cara delevingne 2016
photo: Getty Images

Cara Delevingne is, hands down, one of the most influential models of the decade. There's literally nothing she can't do — high-fashion runway, edgy magazine editorials, prim and proper perfume campaigns. Hell, she even redefined the way we think about eyebrows. She's iconic.

But even women who literally ARE our society's standard of beauty — tall, thin, white, able-bodied, flawless of face — get dragged for the way they look. And Cara is fighting back in the best way.

According to UK tabloid The Sun, Victoria's Secret refused to cast Delevingne in 2014 because she was "too bloated."

cara delevingne victoria's secret
photo: ImaxTree

When I read that headline, I immediately felt 80% worse about myself. Because if Cara Delevingne is fat, then what does that make me? How is ANYONE meant to like how they look when even the supremely thin and beautiful aren't thin or beautiful enough?

But according to Cara, this story isn't just nasty — it's a giant lie. She was never told that she was "too bloated" to do her job. And she's clapping back at The Sun (and all the body-shaming haters) in a big way.

"It's shameless to discuss women's bodies just to sell papers," she wrote in a blazing Instagram post.

She then shared a letter from Ed Razek, chief marketing officer for Victoria’s Secret and the executive producer of the VS fashion show, which annihilated this nasty rumor once and for all.

"Contrary to The Sun’s claims, which they never bothered to fact check with me, Victoria’s Secret made every effort to have you in the [2014] London show. I know, because I was the one making the effort. As a matter of fact, you were the first person invited, months ahead of anyone else. The alleged casting, where supposedly disparaging remarks were made, never happened. There was NO casting. You had already been enthusiastically confirmed."

Delevingne ultimately didn't walk in the 2014 show, not because she was monstrously huge, but because she was starring in a movie ("Paper Towns"), filming in North Carolina. As Ed points out, the major film shoot "quite understandably couldn't accommodate your absence."

We applaud Cara for fighting back here — because stories like this affect all of us.

photo: Giphy

To be clear: this is not a thin person reacting to someone calling them fat, as if "fat" is the worst thing in the world to be. This is a young woman using her sizable social platform to speak out against the pernicious idea that you have to be skinny to be beautiful — and valuable.

And Cara is particularly sensitive to this body-shaming shit, because it's the reason she quit the modeling game in 2015. She told The Times that the constant body scrutiny endemic in the industry made her feel "hollow" — prompting her to shift her focus to acting instead.

"It is a mental thing as well," she said. "Because if you hate yourself and your body and the way you look, it just gets worse and worse."

Ed's letter — which you can read in full below — ends with an invitation for Cara to walk in the 2016 Victoria's Secret fashion show in Paris.

No word yet if she'll take the lingerie giant up on the offer — or if this means V.S. will cast a more body-positive model lineup for their shows in the future — but it's definitely a step in the right direction.