Linda Evangelista Speaks Up About Her Recovery Journey Following a Botched Plastic Surgery

6 months ago

Renowned supermodel Linda Evangelista, formerly one of the most photographed individuals worldwide, withdrew from public view for nearly five years due to the aftermath of a cosmetic procedure that left her “brutally disfigured.” In a recent interview, she opened up about the challenges she faced and the journey to reclaim her life after this traumatic experience.

She had the cosmetic procedure done in 2015 and 2016, and it swiftly took a negative turn.


In the period from 2015 to 2016, Linda Evangelista, who was 50 at the time, underwent seven sessions of CoolSculpting, a noninvasive fat-freezing procedure. However, within just three months of starting the treatments, she began experiencing unusual symptoms, including bulges, hardening, and numbness in the areas she had hoped to reduce.

Evan Agostini/Invision/East News

Following medical consultation, Evangelista was ultimately diagnosed with Paradoxical Adipose Hyperplasia (PAH), a rare complication associated with the CoolSculpting procedure, medically known as cryolipolysis. PAH leads to the overgrowth of fatty tissue. Consequently, the model initiated a $50 million lawsuit against the parent company of CoolSculpting, Zeltiq Aesthetics Inc. She alleges that the procedure left her unable to work and significantly affected her mental health.

She “went into a downward spiral” following the diagnosis.

In an Instagram post where she initially disclosed her experience to the public, Evangelista openly discussed grappling with severe depression following the procedure. However, as time passed, she chose to delve more deeply into her story, sharing her complete experience in interviews.

In October 2023, during an episode of the BBC Radio 4 program Young Again with Kirsty Young, she revealed that her decision to undergo the procedure was influenced by television commercials promoting self-improvement. Ultimately, she attributed her choice to societal beauty standards and the pressures associated with them.

When asked about coping with the unsuccessful procedure, she spoke about the emotional toll it had taken, especially how it led to struggles with her body image, knowing she could never regain her old physique. Beyond that, she emphasized the isolation of the experience, expressing difficulty in finding others who had undergone similar ordeals when seeking online support.

She’s working on recovering her confidence.

In November 2023, Evangelista revisited her journey to mental recovery in a conversation with The Sunday Times. At 58 years old, she exhibited signs of progress. She acknowledged that she had once felt weighed down by public opinions but has now learned not to let them dictate her life. Actively working on letting go of guilt and shame from the past, she recognizes that it’s an ongoing process.

Despite the challenges, she admitted to avoiding mirrors to this day, as she hasn’t fully accepted her altered appearance. Nevertheless, she maintains the belief that life is better without being overly concerned with them.

She triumphantly returned to the modeling scene in 2022.

© lindaevangelista / Instagram, FR171643 AP/Associated Press/East News

Despite the challenges, the future appears promising for Evangelista. Taking a courageous step, she returned to work in 2022 with her first catwalk appearance in 15 years at Fendi’s New York Fashion Week show. Despite using tapes and elastics to modify her appearance, she also participated in photoshoots for Fendi and British Vogue.

As of 2023, she demonstrates a commitment to self-love and emphasizes the importance of embracing herself as she is. This is evident in her Instagram posts, featuring shots from recent modeling assignments alongside insightful texts of self-affirmation.

While cosmetic procedures come with inherent risks, there are instances where individuals invest their lives and significant funds to undergo drastic appearance transformations. Such is the case with a man who spent over $100,000 on plastic surgery to transform himself into Britney Spears.

Preview photo credit GERARD JULIEN/AFP/East News, lindaevangelista / Instagram, lindaevangelista / Instagram


Get notifications
Lucky you! This thread is empty,
which means you've got dibs on the first comment.
Go for it!

Related Reads