While Tyra Banks shoots high-concept Dancing With the Stars promos, Kate Moss is tools around town in her weird little hot rods, and Naomi Campbell hobnobs with Manhattan’s elite, we haven’t seen much of their fellow ‘90s supermodel Linda Evangelista in the last decade.
Today on Instagram, Evangelista explained why. “I was brutally disfigured by Zeltiq’s CoolSculpting procedure which did the opposite of what it promised. It increased, not decreased, my fat cells and left me permanently deformed even after undergoing two painful, unsuccessful corrective surgeries,” she wrote.
CoolSculpting, a cosmetic procedure endorsed by Debra Messing, typically makes use of a vacuum wand that pulls fat cells up to the skin, then freezes them on contact. In the weeks that follow, the body metabolizes the frozen, injured fat cells. The patient pees them out, and over the course of six months, their unwanted fat is gone for good.
The procedure is not without bizarre risks. The CoolSculpting safety information guide for patients states:
Upon removal of the applicator, you may see a frozen bulge at the treatment area (known as a “butterstick”). The physician may apply manual massage to rewarm and smooth out the treated area
The document also states that CoolSculpting does not “replace traditional methods such as diet, exercise, or liposuction.”
Evangelista said she developed a condition called Paradoxical Adipose Hyperplasia, which is, according to the guide, “the gradual development of a visibly enlarged tissue volume, of varying size and shape, in the treatment area two to five months after the treatment,” which “requires surgical intervention, such as liposuction, for correction.”
Evangelista has or is intending to file a lawsuit against Zeltiq, which is not yet online. “I’d like to walk out my door with my head held high, despite not looking like myself any longer,” she wrote.
Like clockwork, the blue check-having, red heart-leaving swathe of celebrity commenters have swarmed Evangelista’s post with well wishes. Cindy Crawford commented, “Linda—your strength and true essence are forever recognizable and iconic! Bravo! 💋”
“You are loved ❤️,” said Christy Turlington.
A rare sad story of an aging sex symbol in an industry famous for its otherwise fair and measured treatment of women.