Linda Evangelista Opens Up About Her Journey to Recovery After Her Botched Plastic Surgery
Supermodel Linda Evangelista, once among the most photographed people globally, spent nearly five years in hiding following a cosmetic procedure that left her “brutally disfigured.” In an interview, she shared insights into her struggle to reclaim her life after the traumatic experience.
She had the cosmetic procedure done in 2015 and 2016, and it quickly turned sour.
Between 2015 and 2016, Linda Evangelista, then 50 years-old, underwent seven sessions of CoolSculpting, a fat-freezing procedure marketed as noninvasive. However, it only took three months after she began treatments for unusual symptoms to appear, particularly bulges, hardening, and numbness in areas she had wanted to reduce.
After seeking medical advice, Evangelista was eventually diagnosed with Paradoxical Adipose Hyperplasia (PAH). It’s a rare complication of the CoolSculpting procedure, known as cryolipolysis medically, which causes overgrowth of the fatty tissue. As a result, the model filed a $50 million lawsuit against CoolSculpting’s parent company, Zeltiq Aesthetics Inc., alleging that the procedure rendered her unable to work and deeply impacted her mental health.
She “went into a downward spiral” after the diagnosis.
On an Instagram post, in which she first opened up to the world about what had happened, Evangelista got candid about dealing with extreme depression in the aftermath of her procedure. But as time went on, she decided to tell her story more in-depth and began sharing her full experience in interviews.
In October 2023, on the BBC Radio 4 program Young Again with Kirsty Young, she shared that she opted for the procedure due to the influence of TV commercials that suggest self-improvement, ultimately putting her decision down to society’s beauty standards and pressures.
When questioned how she was coping with the failed procedure, she mentioned the emotional toll it took on her, particularly how she started struggling with her body image because she would never have her old body back. But more than that, she highlighted how isolating it all was, as she couldn’t find others who had gone through similar ordeals when searching online for support.
She’s working on recovering her confidence.
In November 2023, Evangelista talked once again about her path to mental recovery, this time as she sat down for a chat with The Sunday Times. And the now 58-year-old showed signs of improvement. She admitted that she used to feel burdened by public opinions but has since learned not to let it ruin her life, and that she’s actively working on leaving guilt and shame for what happened in the past.
However, it isn’t an easy journey, and she has plenty to work on, since she revealed that to this day she avoids mirrors because she hasn’t accepted her new appearance. Still, she believes life is better without them.
She made a triumphant return to modelling in 2022.
Despite everything, the future is looking bright for Evangelista. She took the brave step to return to work in 2022 with her first catwalk appearance in 15 years at Fendi’s New York Fashion Week show. Although she had to use tapes and elastics to modify her appearance, she also appeared in photoshoots for Fendi and British Vogue then.
As of 2023, she is showing a commitment to self-love and emphasizing the importance of embracing herself as she is. This is noticeable on her Instagram posts, which include shots from recent modelling jobs and insightful texts of self-affirmation.
Although there are multiple things that can go wrong with cosmetic procedures, we often see stories of people who devote their life (and money) to completely changing their appearance. It’s the case with a man who spent over $100.000 on plastic surgery to turn himself into Britney Spears.