Linda Evangelista, famously known as one of the “big five” supermodels alongside Naomi Campbell, Claudia Schiffer, Cindy Crawford and Christy Turlington, took to Instagram to publicly address her recent absence from the limelight. In a text post captioned “#MyTruth #MyStory”, Evangelista explained “to her followers who have wondered” why she’s “not been working” while her “peers’ careers’ have been thriving.”
“Today I took a big step towards righting a wrong that I have suffered and have kept to myself for over five years…The reason is that I was brutally disfigured by Zeltiq’s CoolSculpting procedure,” she wrote. “It 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,” Evangelista continued. “I have been left, as the media described, ‘unrecognizable.’’
Evangelista went on to explain that she has developed Paradoxical Adiopse Hyperplasia, or PAH, a risk of which she unaware prior to undergoing the procedures. “PAH has not only destroyed my livelihood, it has sent me into a cycle of deep depression, profound sadness, and there lowest depths of self-loathing,” she disclosed. “In the process, I have become a recluse. With this lawsuit, I am moving forward to rid myself of my shame, and going public with my story.”
“I’m so tired of living this way. I would like to walk out of my door with my head held high, despite not looking like myself any longer,” She ended.
Thousands of comments from friends, fans and even fellow super-models poured in, applauding Evangelista’s bravery for coming forward with her story. “YOU ARE AND ALWAYS WILL BE A SUPERMODEL NOW ADDING SUPER ROLE MODEL OF COURAGE TO YOUR GLORIOUS RESUME. I LOVE YOU,” said designer Jeremy Scott. “Thank you for your courage and strength. I love you dear Linda,” Marc Jacobs agreed.
Actress January Jones responded as well: “Love that you’re reclaiming your story. This strength and bravery supersedes any superficial outward appearance. An icon is an icon is an icon. Always.”
Gwyneth Paltrow commented a heart, and fellow “big five” members Cindy Crawford and Naomi Campbell chimed in, too. “Linda—your strength and true essence are forever recognizable and iconic! Bravo,” Crawford added.
Campbell replied with a touching tribute “Elos I applaud you for your Courage and strength to Share your experience and not be held hostage by it anymore. You know I love you. We love you, and here for you always Right by your side,” she wrote. “I can’t imagine the pain you gone through mentally these past 5 years. You’re free of it now.“
“Remember who you are, and What you have achieved and your influence and all the lives of people you have touched,” She continued. “And still doing so to this very day by sharing your story. Proud of you , and support you every step of the way.”
Helena Christensen, yet another fashion icon of the 1990s, replied as well, writing: “It would’ve taken immense courage and strength to write these words. I can honestly say that I broke down in tears reading this. Not only because I knew in my heart you somehow had been quietly going through something deeply personal and disturbing but also because I thought of all the scars life leaves on us all, whether physical or emotional and how long we suffer mostly in silence and alone.”
“It is so important and beautiful when someone steps out of the shadow and are brutally honest and real. Thank you for being beautiful inside and out,” she said.
Make up artist Bobbi Brown, models Carolyn Murphy and Natalia Vodianova, actor Luke Evans and many more commented with their own encouragement, lauding Evangelista’s courage.
indy100 has reached out to CoolSculpting for comment.