Trump’s America: No Fat Chicks
Donald Trump has a message for the American people: No fat chicks.
And America has a message for him: That kind of crass sexism may have sold tabloids in the ’90s, but it loses you elections in a more feminist, body-positive 2016.
His poor performance at the first presidential debate was brought into even sharper relief from Hillary Clinton, who pointedly brought up Trump’s chauvinist treatment of women.
“And one of the worst things he said was about a woman in a beauty contest — 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,” Clinton said.
That woman, Clinton said, “is Alicia Machado. And she has become a US citizen and you can bet she is going to vote this November.”
Trump called into “Fox and Friends” early Tuesday morning to defend his debate performance. He was particularly fixated on Machado, upset that she had the nerve to act like a real human woman and speak for herself, instead of playing the role of a silent, malleable doll.
The former Miss Universe, he said, was “the worst we ever had. The worst. The absolute worst. She was impossible.” He continued, “she was the winner and you know, she gained a massive amount of weight and it was a real problem. We had a real problem.” The “Fox and Friends” hosts sat in a kind of stunned, uncomfortable silence
You can’t blame Trump for thinking he would have a receptive audience — Fox, after all, was run for years by Trump friend and possible political advisor Roger Ailes, who recently left the network amid allegations of sexual harassment. (Fox had to pay $20 million to former Fox anchor Gretchen Carlson to settle her lawsuit.)
And it’s well-known that Trump has long treated the women in his private and professional life as primarily decorative, commenting crudely about the figures of his progressively younger model wives and even his daughters, calling women he dislikes slobs and pigs, and running beauty pageants that were unabashed about rewarding sex appeal over substance.
Back in 1997, Trump was the Miss Universe pageant’s executive producer, and when the holder of the crown put on a few pounds he demanded that she diet and exercise until she again fit his ideal aesthetic. He ambushed her at the gym with reporters and photographers in tow, a humiliation Machado says has followed her all her life since.
But even though Trump intentionally demeaned Machado, a teenage girl back then, there was no significant media backlash. As happened with so many of his other decisions, Trump saw no consequences.