Trump’s Fat-Shaming of Beauty Queen and Workers’ Rights

When Machado gained 40lbs after winning Miss Universe, Trump began bullying her and invited media outlets to watch her work (pictured, the two together during one of her 'daily workouts' in 1997)
When Machado gained 40lbs after winning Miss Universe, Trump began bullying her and invited media outlets to watch her work (pictured, the two together during one of her ‘daily workouts’ in 1997)

Earlier this week, Donald Trump came under fire for criticizing former Miss Universe, Alicia Machado, for her weight gain.  But the problem here goes beyond the current presidential election. Weight discrimination is a serious issue in today’s workplace, where certain employees (who are overwhelmingly women) are pressured to maintain a certain body size and appearance, and can lose their jobs for weight gain. Last year in a high profile case, a New Jersey judge ruled that waitresses can be fired for weight gain.

This issue also arises during the hiring process itself, where overweight candidates are at a significant disadvantage than thinner candidates for getting hired in the first place.  This discrepancy is often attributed to popular perceptions that overweight people are “lazy” and will not be as productive in the workplace as thinner counterparts.  Many Americans also have a strong unconscious bias toward overweight people, attributing their size to some sort of moral or character defect (“they’re too indulgent”; “they lack discipline”; “they overeat to compensate for some other deficiency,” etc…)

Have you experienced discrimination in the workplace? If so, contact the employment discrimination lawyers at Emery Reddy to represent your case.

 

Coverage of Trump’s remarks and public responses covered below:

Trump Doubles Down On Nauseating Miss Universe Attack: “She Gained A Massive Amount Of Weight”

Donald Trump dug himself further into a hole of disgusting sexism when he told “Fox & Friends” that a former Miss Universe winner’s weight gain was a “real problem.”

During Monday night’s presidential debate, Hillary Clinton attacked the GOP presidential nominee for his many negative comments about women’s appearances. One of the women Clinton referenced was Alicia Machado, a Venezuelan beauty queen who says that Trump’s insults left her with crushing body image issues.

Trump defended himself Tuesday morning by arguing that Machado deserved every bit of his attacks.

“She was the worst we ever had,” he said. “She was the winner, and she gained a massive amount of weight, and it was a real problem. We had a real problem with her.”

Trump had previously called Machado an “eating machine” and admitted to telling her to lose weight.

His remarks, however disturbing, probably shouldn’t surprise us at this point. The GOP presidential hopeful has a long history of insulting women for the way they look. He’s called Rosie O’Donnell a “fat pig,” told The New York Times’ Gail Collins that she has “the face of a dog,” and claimed that supermodel Heidi Klum is “no longer a 10.”

Trump’s latest insults are reminiscent of his derogatory remarks about the immigrant parents of an American soldier killed in Iraq. Though those comments cost him badly in the polls, the former reality TV star can’t resist hitting back against anyone who criticizes him, whether it’s the family of a fallen service member or a former Miss Universe.

Khizr Khan, whose son, Capt. Humayun Khan, was killed by a suicide bomber in 2004, devastated Trump by holding up a pocket Constitution while he blasted the Republican nominee at the Democratic National Convention. 

Machado, also an immigrant, delivered her blow by announcing in a new Clinton ad that she is now an American citizen and plans to vote for the Democratic presidential nominee.

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