Linda Evangelista – one of the most famous faces of the 1990s fashion industry – has described having her face held back with tape and elastic for a photoshoot with British Vogue.
The Canadian supermodel claimed that she had been left “permanently deformed” and “brutally disfigured” from a cosmetic fat freezing procedure in September last year.
The 57-year-old said the CoolSculpting treatment resulted in paradoxical adipose hyperplasia, where the fatty tissue on her body increased in size rather than shrank.
She has since settled a lawsuit against Zeltiq Aesthetics, CoolSculpting’s parent company.
Appearing on the cover of British Vogue, Evangelista said make-up artist Pat McGrath used tape and elastics to draw back her face, jaw and neck.
She featured in a number of different outfits, but only showed the front of her face.
“That’s not my jaw and neck in real life – and I can’t walk around with tape and elastics everywhere,” Evangelista said.
“I’m trying to love myself as I am. 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,” she added.
Denying the photoshoot marked 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 which cools fat so that frozen, dead fat cells can be excreted out of the body through the liver.
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Speaking about the procedure, Evangelista said she was drawn to it through its advertising and her own vanity.
“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,” she said.
“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.”
However, she went on to say that if she had known the side effects “may include losing your livelihood” and ending up “so depressed that you hate yourself” then she would not have gone through with it.
Last month Evangelista said she had settled the lawsuit in New York. Sky News has seen documents which confirm the case has been settled out of court. Both sides will pay their own legal fees and costs.
In a statement to British Vogue, a representative for Zeltiq said the company was “pleased” to have resolved the dispute.
“Our focus continues to be on empowering confidence by providing safe, reliable aesthetics products and services backed by science,” the representative said.
“CoolSculpting is an FDA-cleared, non-invasive treatment for visible fat bulges in the nine areas of the body.”
The full feature is in the September issue of British Vogue, which is available from Tuesday.