Alicia Machado Won’t Discuss Trump’s “Fat-Shaming” Any More–So Let’s Talk About The “White Privilege” Of Latin Beauty Queens
The Daily Mail reports that Alicia Machado says she’s not going to discuss how Trump “fat-shamed” her anymore.
From the Mail:
A former Miss Universe who says Donald Trump ‘fat-shamed’ her and called her ‘Miss Piggy’ says she’s done battling the billionaire. Alicia Machado will not give any more interviews on the way Trump treated her, representatives for the Venezuelan-born beauty queen told DailyMail.com.
‘We will not be discussing the Trump subject any further,’ an email from her reps at Anderson Public Relations Group said. A statement from Machado that accompanied to the message blasted Trump and his campaign for ‘launching insults and are attempting to revive slanders and false accusations about my life, in order to humiliate, intimidate, and unbalance me.’ These attacks are cheap lies with bad intentions,’ she said.
Former Miss Universe says she’s done giving interviews about ‘fat-shaming’ after life story unravels: ‘We will not be discussing the Trump subject any further’ By Francesca Chambers, Daily Mail, October 6, 2016
When you think about it, the whole thing about Trump’s “fat-shaming” Alicia Machado is yet another example of how immature American political discourse has become. It sounds like a junior high complaint and it’s being taken seriously in the political realm.(Ms. Machado is pictured above at her beauty queen winning weight of 118 lbs, and below, something less than 40 pounds heavier.)
And, considering Miss Machado’s Venezuelan beauty industry background, it seems even more ridiculous.
Venezuelan beauty queens have won more international pageants than those of any other nationality, and they are supported (and come up through the ranks of) an enormous infrastructure of beauty academies which process young girls for the good of the few who might win someday.
The Daily Mail, once again, ran an expose in 2014 about the extreme measures taken in Venezuela to produce winning international beauty queens. If you have a strong stomach, click here and check it out. It makes anything Donald Trump might have said to or about Machado pale in comparison. So he made her exercise. Look what they do in the Venezuelan beauty industry.
Young Venezuelan girls, many of whom hail from poor families who can’t really afford this, submit to being processed through the beauty academies, in the distant hope that they might win a pageant someday. They are subjected to all sorts of rigid training regimens and extreme surgeries. Some wear plaster corsets, some have metal mesh placed on their tongues to make eating solid food difficult, some have part of their intestines removed. They submit to various surgeries from young ages, and every year a few girls die from the surgery. Plus, there is constant pressure on the girls and intense competition, all in the hope that they may win someday.
Alicia Machado went through that system. It’s hard to believe that anything Donald Trump said to her or made her do to lose weight was worse than what she’d gone through in Venezuela.
Back in 1997, the Washington Post ran a piece on then Miss Universe Alicia Machado, and the article was entitled, trigger warning, get ready for this, MISS UNIVERSE, SIZING UP HER REIGN [By Lydia Martin, WaPo, May 16, 1997. Isn’t’ that fat-shaming?
The article quotes Alicia in describing the leadup to her Miss Universe coronation:
“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.”
Well, she wanted to win, right?
The article also quotes Maureen Reidy, then Miss Universe president, who said Alicia “..said her director in Venezuela had her on an unhealthy diet that did not allow her to eat after noon. She was put under unrealistic restraints.” Wouldn’t that be fat-shaming?
The article also quotes Cuban-born Osmel Sosa/Sousa, then (and still) Miss Venezuela organization president who had a different take on it; “She [Alicia Machado] gained weight because she had no discipline. One time when she came to Venezuela, shortly after winning Miss Universe, she ordered a room service that left me crazy — a club sandwich, French fries and ice cream!” Wouldn’t that have been fat-shaming?
Sosa says he never knew Machado to be bulimic. “She came to do Miss Venezuela after she won a beauty contest in her town,” says Sosa. “I told her she had to lose about 10 pounds, and she did. She was dieting and exercising; she wasn’t throwing up.”
By the way, there’s also a racial angle to this whole Venezuelan beauty pageant thing. Girls who compete have to be a minimum of 5’ 9”, which effectively excludes many indigenous girls, who are on average shorter. The previously-mentioned Daily Mail article reports on a particular girl in the program, for whom “it will be harder to achieve than for others, as she has indigenous features, not the pale, European look favoured by beauty pageants…teachers at the Belankazar academy have advised her to consider surgery to reshape her nose.”
As for Alicia Machado, her father was Cuban and her mother was Spanish, making her a hundred percent white European–like Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz.
Well, if Alicia is going to shut up about this, it’s good. We don’t need lectures from a graduate of the Venezuelan beauty industry to tell us who our next president should be.