During Monday nights debate Hillary Clinton pointed to Alicia Machado who was the first woman to win the Miss Universe beauty contest after Donald Trump purchased it (1996) as an example of Trump’s misogyny. But the woman Hillary Clinton is defending a isn’t all she’s cracked up to be. She basically broke the Miss Universe contract by making herself too heavy to play the part of a beauty queen (her crown was only saved by the intervention of Trump), she was accused of driving the getaway car in an attempted murder but “got off” because of lack of evidence, and followed up by threatening a judge.
During the debate, Hillary opined:
He loves beauty contests, supporting them and hanging around them — and he called this woman ‘Miss Piggy,’ then he called her ‘Miss Housekeeping’ because she was Latina. Donald, she has a name. Her name is Alicia Machado. And she has become a US citizen and you can bet she is going to vote this November.
As one might expect coming from his political opponent, that was only part of the story.
According to CNN on January 29, 1997 after she was crowned Ms. Machado’s weight ballooned from 118 pounds to 178 pounds a 50% increase. Based on the contract she signed and the position she held Machado’s weight gain was no different than an athlete showing up for spring training way of his or her weight. And Trump’s reaction was no different than any coach or manger faced with an athlete who let themselves go.
At the time of her weight gain, rumors also surfaced that she might be forced to give up her Miss Universe crown.
But Trump, as co-owner of rights to the pageant, said he would never let that happen. “We had a choice of: termination or do this,” he said. “We wanted to do this.”
“A lot of you folks have weight problems. I hate to tell you,” Trump told the rowdy pool of reporters.
The pageant’s meaning of “do this” was for Machado to get her weight down to about 130 pounds. At a recent photo op, Machado — hardly a blimp at 5-foot-7 — pedaled a stationary bicycle and jumped rope in front of a pack of photographers and reporters who could themselves use a little training.
He admits to body shaming her as a way to push her to lose weight. “To that, I will plead guilty,” he said, expressing no regret for his tactics. But the humiliation, Ms. Machado said, was unbearable. “After that episode, I was sick, anorexia and bulimia for five years,” she said. “Over the past 20 years, I’ve gone to a lot of psychologists to combat this.”
In other words, Donald Trump treated Alicia Machado the same as any other employee, by gaining 60 pounds she was not meeting her obligations an he pushed her to get in line. It may not be my management style but it wasn’t misogyny it was about meeting her obligations.
Ms. Machado may not have been entirely honest when she blamed Trump for her anorexia and bulimia, because in May 1997 she told the Washington Post that she suffered from those afflictions before the Miss Universe beauty pageant and blamed them on her preparation, or as she called it “beauty-pageant plague.”
“I was anorexic and bulimic, but almost all of us are,” Machado says without so much as a blink. “When I was preparing for Miss Universe, it was an obsession for me to not gain weight. By the time I won, I was actually recovering. But the year leading to it, I didn’t eat at all. And whatever I ate, I threw up. I weighed 116 pounds when I won. I was skeletal.”
The three weeks of events leading to the Universe pageant were torture, she says, because of all the meals she had to dodge. “There were lunches and dinners and just food and more food. I had to pretend to have headaches and menstrual cramps and anything I could think of to not come down from my hotel room.”
Ms. Machdo also displayed criminal tendencies after he time as Miss Universe. For example she was accused of driving the getaway car in an attempted murder, and and threatening to kill a judge.