Linda Evangelista followed ‘very harmful’ cleanses during early modeling career: ‘Basically a starvation diet’


Linda Evangelista, an iconic 1990s supermodel, often went to extremes to maintain her figure during the early stages of her career.

Evangelista, now 58, revealed she would participate in cleanses “all the time,” and while she “loved” them, the model reflected on how “harmful” they likely were in a new interview.

“I started doing cleanses all the time, and I loved doing these cleanses, but I think they were very harmful to me,” Evangelista recalled during an episode of the podcast “Ruthie’s Table 4.”

“I did the Master Cleanse quite a few times, but I would do medicinal cleanses, where it’s like a powder drink, like the rice base … there’s different brands that do them.”


Evangelista would also attend wellness retreats.

“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 about the fasting at one of the spas. “But it’s basically a starvation diet.”

“It’s been quite the journey. I will never do the deprivation – I won’t do that again.”

However, Evangelista noted that she still enjoys a “nice” 24-hour fast with celery juice: “I do still enjoy doing something like that. I find it refreshing, and you kick-start your head and your mind into a new place of like, ‘OK, I’m going to get on this healthy track.'”


Linda Evangelista on the runway

Evangelista previously told stories about beginning her career in the industry during the AppleTV+ documentary “The Super Models.”

Evangelista was joined by Naomi Campbell, Christy Turlington and Cindy Crawford for the four-part behind-the-scenes look at their lives and careers.

“It’s ironic that my parents let me go to Japan when I was 16 on a modeling contract,” Evangelista recalled on the show. “They wouldn’t let me go on the school ski trip, but they let me go to Japan.”

“When I got to Japan, first thing they asked me was about nude photographs.”

“And they wanted to take all my measurements and take your clothes off. And I’m like, ‘I just made a composite.’ And it had my measurements on it. And I didn’t want to take my clothes off. I kind of freaked out.”

Linda Evangelista in the 90s

The moment led Evangelista to temporarily give up on her future career.

“I never should have went there by myself. I went home,” she said. “I sort of gave up, but then my modeling agency insisted I enter the Miss Teen Niagara pageant. I was unsuccessful, but there was a scout in the audience, and they introduced me to John Casablancas.”

“And when he met me, he said, ‘Wow, I think you look like Joan Severance.’ And I almost dropped dead because I worshipped her. He said, ‘Yeah, we’d love to take you on. Maybe you should lose five pounds. And, uh, we’ll give it a go.'”

Karl Lagerfeld and Linda Evangelista

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