Linda Evangelista Shares First Photos Since Fat-Freezing Procedure Gone Wrong
Linda Evangelista is not hiding anymore!
In September, the supermodel revealed on Instagram she was “permanently deformed” and “brutally disfigured” by a fat-freezing cosmetic procedure.
Now, she’s stepping out from the shadows and gracing the cover of People magazine as she shares her story — and the first photos of her body since the procedure five years ago. See them here.
The 56-year-old said, "I loved being up on the catwalk. Now I dread running into someone I know. I can't live like this anymore, in hiding and shame. I just couldn't live in this pain any longer. I'm willing to finally speak."
Evangelista says she underwent multiple sessions of the noninvasive technique CoolSculpting at a dermatologist’s office between August 2015 and February 2016.
Just three months later, she noticed bulges in the exact places where the fat freezing had taken place, including her chin, thighs and bra area. Those areas then hardened and turned numb.
"I tried to fix it myself, thinking I was doing something wrong," she said, explaining she tried diet and exercise. "I got to where I wasn't eating at all. I thought I was losing my mind."
In June 2016, she went to her doctor for help. "I dropped my robe for him. I was bawling, and I said, 'I haven't eaten, I'm starving. What am I doing wrong?'" That’s when she was diagnosed with Paradoxical adipose hyperplasia (PAH). "I was like, 'What the hell is that?' And he told me no amount of dieting, and no amount of exercise was ever going to fix it."
Evangelista underwent liposuction twice to try to fix the problem, but the PAH came back.
"It wasn't even a little bit better," she said. "The bulges are protrusions. And they're hard. If I walk without a girdle in a dress, I will have chafing to the point of almost bleeding. Because it's not like soft fat rubbing, it's like hard fat rubbing."
Even her posture is different because she said she can’t "put my arms flat along my side. I don't think designers are going to want to dress me with that" — she said as she pulled down her shirt to reveal PAH under her arm. "I don't look in the mirror," she said. "It doesn't look like me."
In September she filed a lawsuit against CoolSculpting’s parent company Zeltiq Aesthetics for $50 million in damages. Zeltiq declined to comment on the story due to pending litigation, but CoolSculpting told People in a statement that the procedure "has been well studied with more than 100 scientific publications and more than 11 million treatments performed worldwide." The brand claims that rare side effects like PAH "continue to be well-documented in the CoolSculpting information for patients and health care providers."
As she continues to fight for damages, Linda is reflecting on her journey. She told People, "Why do we feel the need to do these things [to our bodies]? I always knew I would age. And I know that there are things a body goes through. But I just didn't think I would look like this.”
She went on, “I don't recognize myself physically, but I don't recognize me as a person any longer either. Linda says the supermodel version of her "is sort of gone."
Speaking about why she wanted to tell her story, Evangelista said, "I hope I can shed myself of some of the shame and help other people who are in the same situation as me. That's my goal."
Linda has graced 700 magazine covers, including Vogue 11 times, and she’s ready to step back into the public eye. She told People, "I'm not going to hide anymore."