Linda Evangelista is getting candid about the extreme lengths she went to lose and keep off weight during her early modeling days.
On an episode of the podcast “Ruthie’s Table 4” that was published on Tuesday, November 14, Evangelista, 58, revealed that to be a supermodel in the ‘80s and ‘90s meant maintaining an unrealistic weight.
“’I started doing cleanses all the time and I loved doing these cleanses, but I think they were very harmful to me,” she said to podcast host and River Café owner Ruth Rodgers.
“I did the Master Cleanse quite a few times, but I would do medicinal cleanses, like a powder drink, [or] the rice base,” Evangelista continued.
The “Master Cleanse” she is referring to entails only drinking salt water and an herbal laxative tea for ten straight days. Evangelista admitted that looking back on it now, she can see that it was unhealthy.
“I started doing cleanses all the time and I loved doing these cleanses, but I think they were very harmful to me,” she explained.
Evangelista also said she often went to fasting retreats, including We Care Spa in Palm Desert, California.
“You just do liquids, mostly water with lemon and mints and teas and you get a glass of juice a day and you get a diluted watered down vegetable once a day called a soup,” Evangelista said. “But it’s basically a starvation diet. I will never do the deprivation, I won’t do that again.”
This is not the first time Evangelista has spoken up about the harmful effects that unrealistic beauty standards can have in the fashion industry.
In September 2021, she published an Instagram post detailing her alleged horrific experience with an FDA-approved “fat freezing” procedure called CoolSculpting. The procedure, which is advertised as being a safe alternative to liposuction, left the former supermodel “unrecognizable,” she claimed.
In the post, Evangelista wrote, “I was brutally disfigured by Zeltiq’s CoolSculpting procedure which 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 went on to write that she has developed “Paradoxical Adipose Hyperplasia,” which “sent me into a cycle of deep depression, profound sadness, and the lowest depths of self-loathing.”
After filing a lawsuit against CoolSculpting in September 2021, Evangelista announced on Instagram that she had settled the case in July 2022. “I look forward to the next chapter of my life with friends and family, and am happy to put this matter behind me,” she wrote, adding, “I am truly grateful for the support I have received from those who have reached out.”