Linda Evangelista poses for British Vogue in a stunning new photo shoot after settling her lawsuit against Zeltiq CoolSculpting.
The Canadian-born supermodel, 57, from St. Catharines, ON, previously opened up about a fat-freezing producedure leaving her “brutally disfigured.”
Evangelista looks like she’s back to her confident self in the new shoot, but she’s keen to make it clear that make-up artist Pat McGrath gently drew her face, jaw and neck back with tape and elastics.
She insists, “That’s not my jaw and neck in real life – and I can’t walk around with tape and elastics everywhere. You know what, I’m trying to love myself as I am, but for the photos.
“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.”
Evangelista, who recently posed for a Fendi campaign as well, is reluctant to call this a comeback, highlighting the fact that she’s almost entirely covered in the shots.
She tells the magazine, “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…”
Evangelista goes into further detail about hitting rock bottom after trying to correct what the procedure had done to her with liposuction, twice.
She says, “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.”
Evangelista even recalls how at the peak of her desperation, she 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. I was losing my mind.”
Elsewhere in the candid chat, Evangelista talks about how her career took off in 1990, with her quickly racking up 60 magazine covers.
“How did I keep going? This is the truth: I was young. You could go out and eat salty fried food and drink Champagne, sleep at 3 a.m. and be up again at 5 a.m. Drugs were offered to me, but I never touched them, I’m not saying I was an angel… but I was terrified of drugs.”
When she was 16, a Japanese modelling agency offered her a contract for the summer, but it didn’t go to plan when she got there. “I went to the agency and it was all, ‘take your clothes off, we need your measurements’, but they already had my measurements,” she recalls.
“They wanted me naked and it wasn’t a ‘would you do nudes’ conversation, it was a ‘you will do nudes.’ I left and called my mother and she said, ‘Get out now and get to the embassy.’ So that’s what I did, and they got me home.”
See the full feature in the September issue of British Vogue available via digital download and on newsstands from Tuesday, August 23.