The world may have long forgotten Alicia Machado, but the Latinoverse knows exactly who she is. !Miss Universo!
Miss Universo is serious stuff. It’s a hotly coveted title among Spanish-speaking countries, particularly Venezuela and Puerto Rico, which have won the most crowns. The Latinoverse stops when Miss Universo comes to the boob tube. Ask any Hispanic. Por fa.
The Latinoverse remembers all too well how Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump hounded 1996 Miss Universo Machado, who is Venezuelan, calling her out and humiliating her publicly, because she gained 55 pounds during her beauty reign.
None of this would be important – it’s a beauty pageant, for crying out loud! Women parade in bikinis and call it an accomplishment – except it does speak to Trump’s treatment of women.
According to Buzzfeed News, Trump laughed during a Howard Stern interview as Stern “viciously mocked Machado for gaining weight. Trump called her an ‘eating machine’ and said ‘she ate a lot of everything.’ ”
He could have handled the Machado issue in a lawyerly way, quietly pointing out through intermediaries that her contract stipulates this or that. But nooo, he did his blustery best to control her and shame her – publicly. That’s what’s at issue.
It’s Donald Trump as Fred Flintstone grabbing Wilma by the hair.
With Trump it all boils down to shouting and figuratively shoving women – as he did during the debate with Democrat Hillary Clinton, interrupting and shouting over her dozens of times.
Now Trump is miffed – not about his dismal performance during the first presidential primary but at Machado, who is now a foot soldier in Clinton’s campaign. Machado earned American citizenship and taped a campaign ad for Clinton.
In the ad, Machado tells how Trump called her “Miss Piggy” because of her weight gain and “Miss Housekeeping” ostensibly because she’s Hispanic. (It’s well known that a shapelier, fuller figure is a Latino standard of beauty. Machado later lost weight and visited El Sentinel in 2004 when I was editor showing off her slim self and promoting a music CD titled “Alicia Machado,” which the Latinoverse has long forgotten.)
Trump singled out this debate exchange over more substantive ones on Fox TV because tiara territory is a topic Trump understands and knows well. After all, he owned the Miss Universe pageant in 1996 when Machado won the beauty crown. He has implied that this experience with the pageant gave him insight into how to seek world peace, to paraphrase a line in the 2000 film Miss Congeniality.
What’s got Trump all totaled is that Alicia Machado had the gall to call him out. How dare she? She’s a woman. That is the world according to Trump.
˜˜Maria Padilla, Editor