Sharing Linda Evangelista’s Before And After Pictures Is Cruel

The supermodel - who said she was 'brutally disfigured' by a cosmetic procedure five years ago - needs our empathy, not brutal comparisons of how she looked then and now.

Linda Evangelista

by Georgia Aspinall |
Updated on

This morning, ‘Linda Evangelista before and after’ was a trending search term on Google. Why? Because the 56-year-old supermodel posted an emotional statement on Instagram saying that she was ‘brutally disfigured’ by a cosmetic procedure to reduce fat cells in 2016.

‘I have been left, as the media has described, “unrecognisable”,’ she said. ‘[The procedure] 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.’

Linda has rarely been seen in the past five years, with most of her posts on Instagram throwbacks to her earlier modelling career or selfies offering only partial glimpses of her face. She claims not to have been made aware of the risk of developing Paradoxical Adipose Hyperplasia (PAH) prior to the procedure, which medical practice WIFH states is a ‘rare, previously unreported adverse effect of cryolipolysis.’

What is Paradoxical Adipose Hyperplasia (PAH)?

Cryolipolysis uses cooling methods to damage and destroy subcutaneous fat cells, without damaging the skin to reduce the amount of fat in the treated area. ‘PAH causes a gradual enlargement of the treated area,’ WIFH states on their website. ‘It occurs when the stimulus (the freezing of fat cells) activates a reactionary process in the fatty tissue that thickens and expands the fat cells rather than breaking them down and allowing the body to process and remove them.’

Now, Linda plans to sue the clinic that performed the procedure. The clinic she names is yet to put out a public statement, despite requests for comments from numerous media outlets including Grazia.

The lawsuit, which was filed yesterday, claims that Evangelista underwent seven treatments between August 2015 and February 2016.

In April 2016, multiple news outlets reported on the model looking ‘unrecognisable’ when she was photographed by paparazzi in New York. Such commentary appears to have had a big impact on Linda, noting the phrase used by media in her statement. She goes on to say that developing PAH caused her to experience ‘deep depression, profound sadness, and the lowest depths of self-loathing’.

Knowing this, the search and publication of ‘Linda Evangelista before and after pictures’ feels uncomfortable. While it may be human nature to be curious of a person’s looks after they publicly announced they’ve been ‘disfigured’, there is no need to compare side to side images of her beauty.

"Rather than posting before and after pictures of Linda Evangelista, we should be spamming her page with love"

Clearly, Linda is trying to move on from the shackles of self-loathing that she has been trapped in for five years. For her to make such a brave statement after experiencing severe self-esteem issues for so long – so severe, she became ‘a recluse’, she says – the commentary around her statement should only be one of support, not salacious, mean-spirited gossiping about how her face has changed.

If anything, rather than posting before and after pictures of Linda Evangelista, we should be spamming her page with love – not simply on how she looks, but on how her beauty goes far beyond external appearance.

There’s no doubt that a woman whose career depends on fitting the highest of societies beauty standards would particularly struggle with an incident like this, but we can all offer guidance in acknowledging and celebrating that a woman’s value is never limited to physical beauty. Hopefully, in attempting to move on from this experience with her ‘head held high’, as Linda states, she will grow to understand that being a supermodel is just one part of what she has to offer the world.

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