Cindy Crawford, Naomi Campbell, Helena Christensen, and Christy Turlington are among the supermodels who are showing their support for Linda Evangelista after she claimed she was left ‘permanently deformed’ by a fat-freezing procedure.
The 56-year-old fashion icon announced on Instagram Wednesday that she is suing Zeltiq Aesthetics after undergoing its CoolSculpting procedure in 2016, saying she developed paradoxical adipose hyperplasia — a rare side effect of cryolipolysis in which the treated area becomes larger, rather than smaller.
Dozens of famous models, actors, and designers flocked to the comments to praise Evangelista for opening up about her struggle, including members of her ’90s modeling cohort that the New York Times dubbed the ‘Magnificent Seven.’
Dramatic return: Supermodel Linda Evangelista, 56, claimed in an Instagram statement on Wednesday that she had been ‘permanently deformed’ after a CoolSculpting procedure caused a rare side effect (pictured left, in 2017, after having the procedure and before the procedure, right, in 2015)
Old friends: Cindy Crawford, Naomi Campbell, and Christy Turlington (left to right) all shared messages of support for their fellow ‘Magnificent Seven’ supermodel
Sending love: ‘Proud of you. Love you,’ wrote Claudia Schiffer (pictured, far left, with Karl Lagerfeld, Turlington, and Evangelista in 1992)
‘I can honestly say that I broke down in tears reading this,’ Christensen, 52, wrote.
‘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.’
Campbell, 51, also penned a poignant response, writing: ‘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.’
‘Linda — your strength and true essence are forever recognizable and iconic! Bravo!’ Crawford, 55, shared, while Turlington, 52, simply commented: ‘You are loved.’
Heartache: Evangelista said she developed paradoxical adipose hyperplasia, a rare side effect in which the treated area becomes larger, rather than smaller (pictured left, in 2017, after having the procedure and before the procedure, right, in 2005)
Emotional: Helena Christensen (pictured second from left with Evangelista in 1994) said she ‘broke down in tears reading’ reading her friend’s candid statement
Support system: Dozens of famous models, actors, and designers flocked to the comments to praise Evangelista for opening up about her struggle
Supermodel Paulina Porizkova, who if often candid about her own struggles on social media, praised Evangelista for her courage as she tentatively stepped back into the spotlight.
‘I’m so sorry for what you’ve had to endure,’ she commented. ‘Coming out of the shadow is so strong and courageous. I applaud you and welcome back in the light where you belong!’
Porizkova, 54, also paid tribute to Evangelista on her own Instagram page, sharing a photo of a magazine spread that they starred in together, calling her the ‘greatest model of all time.’
‘She has bravely come out with her story today, and I want to applaud her and hug her and celebrate her,’ the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit alum wrote in the caption.
‘There was a reason she retired from the spotlight, and for a woman known for her brilliance as a physical chameleon and embodiment of elegance, it was a harsh one. I will not tell you her story, that is for her to do, but I do want to celebrate her courage in voicing it.’
Kind words: Paulina Porizkova (pictured with Evangelista, Kyle MacLachlan, and Ric Ocasek) praised the supermodel for her courage
Looking back: Porizkova, 54, shared a photo of a magazine spread that they starred in together, calling her the ‘greatest model of all time’
Reaching out: Porizkova wrote in the caption that she wanted to ‘applaud’ and ‘celebrate’ Evangelista
Gwyneth Paltrow, January Jones, Marc Jacobs, Isaac Mizrahi, Zac Posen, Olivier Theyskins, and Debi Mazar also reached out to the icon with words of love
In Evangelista’s social media statement, she explained her absence from the spotlight over the past five years, saying she the cosmetic procedure left her ‘brutally disfigured.’
‘Today I took a big step towards righting a wrong that I have suffered and have kept to myself for over five years,’ Evangelista wrote. ‘To my followers who have wondered why I have not been working while my peers’ careers have been thriving, the reason is that I was brutally disfigured by Zeltiq’s CoolSculpting procedure which did the opposite of what it promised.
During a cryolipolysis procedure such as CoolSculpting, a device that is usually set to a below freezing temperature is applied to fat deposits, which is supposed to cause cell death in the fat tissue.’
‘It increased, not decreased, my fat cells and left me permanently deformed even after undergoing two painful, unsuccessful corrective surgeries,’ Evangelista explained. ‘I have been left, as the media described, “unrecognizable.”’
Paradoxical adipose hyperplasia — a previously unreported adverse effect of cryolipolysis — can leave a ‘painless, visibly enlarged, firm, well-demarcated mass’ underneath the skin.
Changing look: Evangelista (pictured in a social media snapshot in 2019) claimed in her statement that she was ‘permanently deformed’ and ‘brutally disfigured’
Changing look: Evangelista’s face is largely obscured beneath hats and her body entirely off-camera in the snapshots she shared two years ago
Rare effect: She claimed she she was not made aware of the risk of paradoxical adipose hyperplasia when she had the procedures
It has been reported in of 0.0051% of the 1.5 million CoolSculpting procedures performed worldwide.
According to Healthline, the increased fat deposits aren’t harmful, but they also don’t appear to go away on their own over time. The ‘very rare’ condition is most common in men who have undergone cryolipolysis, though it can still affect women.
Evangelista claimed she wasn’t properly warned of the potential side effects associated with the CoolSculpting procedure.
‘I have developed Paradoxical Adipose Hyperplasia or PAH, a risk of which I was not made aware before I had the procedures,’ she wrote.
‘PAH has not only destroyed my livelihood, it has sent me into a cycle of deep depression, profound sadness, and the lowest depths of self-loathing. 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 my door with my held held high, despite not looking like myself any longer.’
LINDA EVANGELISTA’S POST-PROCEDURE TRANSFORMATION
Linda Evangelista’s last appearance was on social media two years ago. Her face was largely concealed by hats in the show images she posted on Instagram.
In another image taken during a horseback ride, she wore a mask over her face, as well as a hat and sunglasses. As well as keeping her face partially hidden in the images, she did feature any of her body in the photos.
Sightings of the Evangelista in 2017 marked the biggest change in her appearance after she underwent the ill-fated treatment the previous year.
She was photographed in New York and Tokyo, and pictures from that time show her having a fuller face. She seemed somewhat puffy, an adverse side effect she has since lamented on social media.
According to her statement, Evangelista underwent the CoolSculpting procedure in 2016.
She was spotted in April of that year in Tokyo and looked different than she did the previous year, where she appeared to be more svelte.
The supermodel was makeup-free and dressed in all-black as she made a low-key arrival into the capital of Japan.
In May, 2015, the year before Evangelista underwent CoolSculpting, she attended the Met Gala looking more like her supermodel self.
She wore a black and red one-shoulder gown, and her dark hair was in an updo that highlighted the high cheekbones that made her famous.
Evangelista was seen on the red carpet again that June while at the Fragrance Awards, once again looking confident as she posed for photographers at the event.