Linda Evangelista is comfortable with the aging process — but doesn’t mind a getting a few tweaks here and there.
Appearing alongside fellow Supers Christy Turlington, Cindy Crawford, and Naomi Campbell in a new Vogue spread to promote their upcoming AppleTV+ documentary The Super Models, the Canadian supermodel, 58, shared her thoughts on getting older.
“I don’t mind and I never did mind aging. Aging gets us to where we want to be, and that’s for me a long life,” she explained. “Kevyn Aucoin was so afraid of wrinkles and he never got them. I want wrinkles—but I Botox my forehead so I am a hypocrite—but I want to grow old. I want to watch my son grow into a fine young man. I just want to stick around.”
While the other women have largely maintained a strong presence in front of the cameras in recent years, Evangelista has retreated from the spotlight, focusing largely on raising her son Augie, now 16. But her refusal to be on camera was largely due to the disfigurement she suffered back in 2015 to 2016 after undergoing seven sessions of CoolSculpting to her jawline, back, abdomen, and thighs.
Advertised as a non-invasive body-contouring procedure, Evangelista discovered she had suffered a rare complication called paradoxical adipose hyperplasia (PAH), which causes a patient to grow hard fatty tissue in the affected areas.
Evangelista was so guarded about her experience that her fellow supermodels were entirely unaware of what she had experienced until 2021, when she notified them the night before her People cover story came out. In addition to revealing photos of the disfigurement, she shared that she had filed a lawsuit against CoolSculpting’s parent company, Zeltiq Aesthetics Inc., for $50 million in damages. They later settled.
“I couldn’t live with it anymore,” Evangelista told Vogue. “I wanted to go outside.”
In the People story, Evangelista spoke about how she had largely become a recluse as a result of the damage to her body. She even underwent “two painful, unsuccessful, corrective surgeries,” and was left “as the media has described, ‘unrecognizable.'”
“I loved being up on the catwalk. Now I dread running into someone I know,” she explained. “I can’t live like this anymore, in hiding and shame. I just couldn’t live in this pain any longer. I’m willing to finally speak.”
A year after sharing her experience, Evangelista made a return to modeling when she appeared on the cover of British Vogue clad in a red scarf, hat, and trench coat. Only her face was revealed in the photographs, as she had yet to fully recover. However, she spoke candidly about her experience.
“If I had known side effects may include losing your livelihood and you’ll end up so depressed that you hate yourself…” she shared, “I wouldn’t have taken that risk.”
Evangelista headed back to the runway in September of 2022, wearing a Tiffany blue gown to strut her stuff at Fendi’s New York Fashion Week show. It was her first runway appearance in 15 years.
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