Linda Evangelista has appeared on the cover of British Vogue just months after revealing that a fat freezing procedure left her "brutally disfigured".
But, the former supermodel admitted that the images weren't quite what they seemed, revealing that her face had been "taped" for the photoshoot. "That’s not my jaw and neck in real life," she told British Vogue's Sarah Harris. "I can’t walk around with tape and elastics everywhere."
"You know what, I’m trying to love myself as I am," she added. "But for the photos… 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."
Speaking about the cosmetic procedure – that was supposed to decrease fat cells but instead increased them – that left her feeling insecure and "deformed", Evangelista went on: "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."
As for what had pushed her to undergo the procedure, Evangelista blamed the company's advertisements. "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," the 57-year-old added.
"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."
But the outcome of the procedure left the former supermodel struggling with her body image. "I have incisions all over my body. I have had stitches, I have worn compression garments under my chin, I’ve had my entire body tightly girdled for eight weeks – nothing helped," she said, recalling that she eventually stopped eating.
"I was so embarrassed, I’d just spent all this money and the only way I could think of to fix it was zero calories, and so I just drank water. Or sometimes I would have a stick of celery or one apple," she admitted. "I was losing my mind."
Linda went on to sue Zeltiq Aesthetics (the company behind the treatment) and revealed earlier this year that the lawsuit had been settled. "We are pleased to have resolved this matter with Ms Evangelista," a spokesperson for Zeltiq Aesthetics told British Vogue. "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 nine areas of the body."
With the lawsuit behind her, Evangelista says she's ready to move on with her life and regain the years she lost. "I’m pleased to have settled the CoolSculpting case. I look forward to the next chapter of my life with friends and family, and am happy to put this matter behind me," she revealed. "Am I cured mentally? Absolutely not. But I’m so grateful for the support I got from my friends and from my industry."
Cosmopolitan UK has reached out to CoolSculpting for comment.
If you’re worried about your own or someone else’s health, you can contact Beat, the UK’s eating disorder charity, 365 days a year on 0808 801 0677 or beateatingdisorders.org.uk.
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