Amber Valletta felt a ''big disconnect'' when she started modelling.

The 45-year-old model struggled with feelings of anxiety and threw herself into partying in the early days of her career but is now doing her best to be the person she wants to be and to set a good example.

She said: ''I started modelling at 15. I started feeling a big disconnect. I couldn't quite work out what it was.

''I vacillated from being melancholy to being overwhelmed with anxiety to partying. I want to be the person that I aspire to be. I don't want to talk it, I want to live it. I want to allow myself the space to have bad days, be sad, be mad, be loving and accepting of others.

''Even people that I don't think are right. It's hard to do, but I want to move through the world as gently as I can.''

Amber also credits cutting her hair short for completely transforming her career.

She told Net-A-Porter's digital magazine Porter: ''When I had my hair cut short, that changed everything. I was 17 and looked way older. Nobody had short hair then. Grunge hadn't happened. I told him, 'I want to cut my hair.' He said, 'Not necessary.'

''He asked how old I was, and his mouth hit the floor: 'You should definitely cut your hair.' Suddenly, I went from 'that girl' to 'Who's that girl?'''

Amber hates selfies and thinks the world is very different now to when she began her career.

She said: ''You would never have taken your Polaroid camera and turned it around on yourself. You would never have talked about how you were flying around in a private jet.

'' That's why when Linda [Evangelista] made that one statement [''I never get out of bed for less than $10,000 a day''], it was huge. People talk like that all the time on Instagram now. People who don't even do anything!

''[Selfies] makes me painfully uncomfortable. I want things to change - that's all I care about now.''

To see the full interview, read Porter at http://www.net-a-porter.com/porter/article-9f0558566aa76020 or download the NET-A-PORTER app for iPhone, iPad and Android.