Canadian supermodel Linda Evangelista speaks candidly about her fat-freezing nightmare in a new interview.
The 56-year-old from St. Catharines, Ontario, shared a post on Instagram last year titled “The Truth, My Story,” in which she explained how she’d undergone the fat-reduction procedure CoolSculpting five years ago and it had left her “permanently deformed.”
She tells People of dealing with the hard lumps of fatty tissue as a result of being “brutally disfigured” by the procedure, “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 noticed the bulges were growing instead of shrinking within three months of the treatment.
“I tried to fix it myself, thinking I was doing something wrong,” she shares, saying how she began dieting and exercising more. “I got to where I wasn’t eating at all. I thought I was losing my mind.”
Evangelista went to the doctor in June 2016: “I dropped my robe for him. I was bawling, and I said, ‘I haven’t eaten, I’m starving. What am I doing wrong?’”
The doctor diagnosed her with paradoxical adipose hyperplasia (PAH), which is a rare side effect that affects less than one percent of CoolSculpting patients, the magazine states.
Evangelista says, “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.”
She reveals how the company told her doctor they wanted to “make it right” and offered to pay for liposuction. However, Evangelista claims she ended up paying for it herself after refusing to sign a confidentiality agreement.
Evangelista, who made some of her last public appearances in 2015 before the procedure, says of undergoing the first of two full-body liposuction surgeries, “It wasn’t even a little bit better. 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.”
She explains how she can no longer “put my arms flat along my side”: “I don’t think designers are going to want to dress me with that… sticking out of my body.”
“I don’t look in the mirror,” she insists. “It doesn’t look like me…. 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.
“I don’t recognize myself physically, but I don’t recognize me as a person any longer either. She [meaning Linda Evangelista, supermodel] is sort of gone.”
“I hope I can shed myself of some of the shame and help other people who are in the same situation as me,” she continues. “That’s my goal.”
Evangelista assures the mag, “I’m not going to hide anymore.”