Celeb cosmetic surgery regrets: Simon Cowell, Courteney Cox, Linda Evangelista and more

Cosmetic surgery: Courteney Cox, Linda Evangelista, Simon Cowell. (Getty Images)
Courteney Cox, Linda Evangelista, Simon Cowell and other celebs speak out about why they regret cosmetic surgery. (Getty Images)

Many celebrities have tried out cosmetic surgery or dabbled with a procedure of some kind, whether that's breast surgery, a bit of Botox or getting their teeth done.

While altering the way you look is down to the individual, and in many cases can enhance confidence, for some women (and men) in the spotlight it has also been the result of pressure to look a certain way, or done out of insecurity with not enough awareness about what might go wrong.

But with the subject now starting to be somewhat less taboo, many famous faces are becoming increasingly confident to share their experiences, and why it might not have worked for them personally.

Here are some of the celebrities who have bravely done just that...

Simon Cowell

Simon Cowell (NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
'My face filler made me look like something out of a horror film,' says Simon Cowell. (BCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)

Simon Cowell is instantly recognisable for his whitened teeth, tanned skin and youthful face. But the 62-year-old America's Got Talent and former Britain's Got Talent judge has previously admitted he regrets the face fillers, and is keen to leave injections in the past.

"There was a stage when I might have gone a bit too far," he told The Sun. "I saw a picture of me from 'before' the other day, and didn't recognise it as me first of all."

Cowell even described himself as looking "like something out a horror film", enough to frighten his eight-year-old son. "Eric was in hysterics," he said. "Enough was enough. There is no filler in my face at all now. Zero. There was a phase where everyone was having their faces pumped full of this and the other."

Instead of opting for cosmetic procedures, Cowell now has a different approach. "For me now, a lot of it comes down to healthy eating and drinking tonnes of water."

Having been through a lot in recent years, including suffering from depression as he began recovery from his accident in August in 2020 that left him fearful he'd never walk again, and breaking his arm in another accident earlier this year, all is now well for Cowell. He is happily engaged to his girlfriend Lauren Silverman, who he shares Eric with.

Courteney Cox

HOLLYWOOD, CA - DECEMBER 06:  Courtney Cox arrives at the Premiere Of Netflix's
Courteney Cox tried to 'chase' youthfulness for years. (WireImage/Getty Images)

Courteney Cox has opened up about her regrets with the cosmetic treatments she received, describing when she realised that altering her face was making her look 'strange'.

The actor has previously discussed the pressure she felt in Hollywood to stay looking young, and has used injections or fillers to try and adhere to these perceived standards, which she has now had dissolved.

In an interview with The Sunday Times Style, the 57-year-old spoke about the tweaks she used to get, the reaction from those close to her and the concerns she has for her daughter.

Speaking on letting go of trying to look exactly as she did during Friends, she said, "There was a time when you go, 'Oh, I'm changing. I'm looking older.' And I tried to chase that [youthfulness] for years. And I didn't realise that, oh shit, I'm actually looking really strange with injections and doing stuff to my face that I would never do now."

She also described what made the penny drop, in terms of putting an end to her treatments. "I'd say, 'The day you realise what your friends were talking about.' Because people would talk about me, I think. But there was a period where I went, 'Ive got to stop. That's just crazy.'"

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Cox also steered the conversation to younger generations, expressing concern that her daughter Coco, 17, who she co-parents with David Arquette, has hundreds of thousands of Instagram followers. "I don't like that she has them. It just feels weird to me. What are people attaching to?" she said.

In 2017, Cox told NewBeauty: "I've had all my fillers dissolved. I'm as natural as I can be. I feel better because I look like myself. I think that I now look more like the person I was.

"I hope I do. Things are going to change. Everything’s going to drop. I was trying to make it not drop, but that made me look fake. You need movement in your face, especially if you have thin skin like I do. Those aren’t wrinkles—they’re smile lines. I’ve had to learn to embrace movement and realise that fillers are not my friend."

However, in her recent Style interview, she admits she's still big into beauty products, and will try anything.

Linda Evangelista

NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 17:  Model Linda Evangelista attends 2015 Fragrance Foundation Awards at Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center on June 17, 2015 in New York City.  (Photo by Gilbert Carrasquillo/FilmMagic)
Linda Evangelista opens up about cosmetic surgery that went wrong, describing the physical and mental impact. (FilmMagic/Getty Images)

In September 2021, Linda Evangelista claimed that he'd been the victim of botched cosmetic surgery a few years prior, in her case CoolSculpting, which is aimed at decreasing fat cells.

Now, in February 2022, after living hidden away for almost five years, she has shared the first photos of her body since the ordeal with People magazine, and opened up about the experience that she said left her "brutally disfigured".

Posting on Instagram, the 56-year-old Canadian supermodel wrote, "I'm not done telling my story, and I will continue sharing my experience to rid myself of shame, learnt to love myself again, and hopefully help others in the process."

Within three months of getting the treatment, Evangelista started noticing bulges at her chin, thighs and bra area, the exact places she'd wanted to shrink.

"I tried to fix it myself, thinking I was doing something wrong," she told People, saying she began dieting and exercising more, before finally going to her doctor in 2016, who then diagnosed her with Paradoxical adipose hyperplasia (PAH), a rare side effect that affects less than 1% of CoolSculpting patients.

"I was like, 'What the hell is that?' And he told me no amount of dieting, and no amount of exercise was ever going to fix it."

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After undergoing methods like liposuction to try and rectify it, and experiencing little luck, she has opened up about the physical and mental pain she has endured from her altered body.

"The bulges are protrusions. And they're hard. If I walk without a girdle in a dress, I will have chafing to the point of almost bleeding. Because it's not like soft fat rubbing, it's like hard fat rubbing," she said, adding, "I don't look in the mirror. It doesn't look like me."

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Speaking on her ongoing recovery with confidence and sense of self, she added, "Why do we feel the need to do these things [to our bodies]? I always knew I would age. And I know that there are things a body goes through. But I just didn't think I would look like this.

"I don't recognise myself physically, but I don't recognise me as a person any longer either. She is sort of gone." 'She' referring to Linda Evangelista, supermodel.

In a statement to People, a representative for CoolSculpting says the procedure "has been well studied with more than 100 scientific publications and more than 11 million treatments performed worldwide" and added that known rare side effects like PAH "continue to be well-documented in the CoolSculpting information for patients and health care providers."

Molly-Mae Hague

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 26:   Molly-Mae Hague attends the launch party of Molly Mae's Pretty Little Thing collection at Novikov on August 26, 2021 in London, England.  (Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images for Pretty Little Thing)
Molly-Mae Hague recently went through the process of undoing her comestic treatments. (Getty Images for Pretty Little Thing)

Ex-Love Island star, social-media influencer and Pretty Little Thing creative director Molly-Mae Hague has recently influenced a generation for the un-doing of her cosmetic procedures.

The 22-year-old began having her lips done at 17, also having filler and getting veneers – but has recently reversed it all in attempt to make herself more natural again.

She said on Steven Bartlett's podcast The Diary of a CEO, "I wouldn’t say I got addicted to it, but by the age of 21, I didn’t look like the same person.

"I literally looked like a different person. When I look back at pictures now, I’m terrified of myself. I’m like, "Who was that girl?" I don’t know what happened.

"But there was this one pivotal moment where I’d gone and got loads of filler and I posted a YouTube video and I hadn’t let the filler settle and it was really swollen and a screenshot from that video, it trended on Twitter for weeks.

"It was horrendous. It was utterly horrendous. My face was literally like, it was just awful. That was the moment for me as well where I was like, I think things need to change.

"I thought, one day I’m going to get my lips dissolved. It was a process. I went and got my lips dissolved and I posted about it on YouTube and I didn’t expect the response that I got. It was huge."

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Victoria Beckham

LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 02:  Victoria Beckham attends the British Vogue and Tiffany & Co. Fashion and Film Party at Annabel's on February 2, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images)
Victoria Beckham has previously had her breast impants removed. (Getty Images)

Victoria Beckham revealed her own thoughts on her plastic surgery in 2017, opening up about her regrets with breast surgery.

In a letter she wrote for her 18-year-old self, published in British Vogue, she said, "I should probably say, don't mess with your boobs.

"All those years I denied it – stupid. A sign of insecurity. Just celebrate what you've got."

But by this point, the Spice Girls star and fashion designer had already got her implants removed, addressing rumours to Allure magazine in 2014. "I don't have them anymore," she said. "I think I may have purchased them."

Chrissy Teigen

INGLEWOOD, CALIFORNIA: In this image released on May 2, Chrissy Teigen attends Global Citizen VAX LIVE: The Concert To Reunite The World at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California. Global Citizen VAX LIVE: The Concert To Reunite The World will be broadcast on May 8, 2021. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Global Citizen VAX LIVE)
Chrissy Teigen has 'quite the story' with removing her breast implants. (Getty Images for Global Citizen VAX LIVE)

Chrissy Teigen has gone through a similar journey to Beckham, announcing in May 2020 that, despite them being 'great' to her for many years, she was undergoing surgery to have her breast implants removed.

She wrote, "I’m getting my boobs out! They’ve been great to me for many years but I’m just over it. I’d like to be able to zip a dress in my size, lay on my belly with pure comfort! No biggie! So don’t worry about me! All good. I’ll still have boobs, they’ll just be pure fat. Which is all a tit is in the first place. A dumb, miraculous bag of fat."

But she later revealed she discovered she was pregnant after the surgery. Responding to speculation on Twitter, Teigen explained what had happened, opening with, "Oh, it’s quite a story. Lol.”

“I did the routine pregnancy test you do before surgery. It said negative. It was not negative.”