Supermodel Linda Evangelista has said she is “trying to love myself as I am” as she takes part in a photoshoot for British Vogue with her face held in place with tape and elastic.
The star, 57, claimed in September last year that she had been left “permanently deformed” and “brutally disfigured” after a cosmetic procedure called CoolSculpting, meant to shrink fatty tissue on the body, had gone wrong.
She said the treatment had resulted in paradoxical adipose hyperplasia, where the fatty tissue on her body increased in size rather than shrank.
Appearing on the cover of British Vogue in a variety of outfits showing only the front of her face, she stressed that make-up artist Pat McGrath had used tape and elastics to draw back her face, jaw and neck.
She said: “That’s not my jaw and neck in real life – and I can’t walk around with tape and elastics everywhere.
“You know what, I’m trying to love myself as I am, but for the photos. Look, for photos I always think we’re here to create fantasies. We’re creating dreams. I think it’s allowed.
“Also, all my insecurities are taken care of in these pictures, so I got to do what I love to do.”
Denying the photoshoot marks a comeback after a number of years living as a “recluse”, she added: “Am I cured mentally? Absolutely not. But I’m so grateful for the support I got from my friends and from my industry…
“You’re not going to see me in a swimsuit, that’s for sure. It’s going to be difficult to find jobs with things protruding from me; without retouching, or squeezing into things, or taping things or compressing or tricking…”
CoolSculpting is the brand name for cryolipolysis, a popular fat freezing procedure, which cools the fat so that frozen, dead fat cells can be excreted out of the body through the liver.
Speaking about the procedure, she said: “If I had known side effects may include losing your livelihood and you’ll end up so depressed that you hate yourself… I wouldn’t have taken that risk.”
Evangelista, one of the most famous faces of the 1990s fashion industry, told British Vogue she had been drawn to the procedure both by its advertising and her own vanity.
She said: “Those CoolSculpting commercials were on all the time, on CNN, on MSNBC, over and over, and they would ask, ‘Do you like what you see in the mirror?’ They were speaking to me.
“It was about stubborn fat in areas that wouldn’t budge. It said no downtime, no surgery and…I drank the magic potion, and I would because I’m a little vain. So I went for it – and it backfired.”
She has since settled a lawsuit in New York against Zeltiq Aesthetics, CoolSculpting’s parent company.
In a statement to British Vogue, a representative for Zeltiq said: “We are pleased to have resolved this matter with Ms Evangelista.
“Our focus continues to be on empowering confidence by providing safe, reliable aesthetics products and services backed by science.
“CoolSculpting is an FDA-cleared, non-invasive treatment for visible fat bulges in the nine areas of the body.”
Linda's interview is available in September issue of British Vogue, available via digital download and on newsstands from Tuesday 23 August.
Linda Evangelista speaks out after being left 'deformed' by botched surgery
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