Alicia Machado is the viral star of Monday’s first presidential debate, with millions of people flocking to the internet to find pictures of the beauty pageant winner who Donald Trump referred to as “Miss Piggy” after she gained some weight.
What they found has been a bit surprising — she doesn’t look fat at all.
Machado came up in the tail end of Monday’s debate after Trump was forced to address criticism of his attacks claiming that Hillary Clinton doesn’t have a “presidential look.” Many critics had seized on those words, which appeared to be a dig at her gender.
In the debate, Trump tried to claim that the words were an attack on Clinton’s “stamina,” which he didn’t believe was up to par with his own. But Clinton pounced on the line, saying it was an example of Donald Trump’s history with misogyny.
“This is a man who has calling women pigs, slobs and dogs and someone who has said pregnancy is an inconvenience to employers, who has said that women don’t deserve equal pay unless they do as good a job as men,” Clinton said (via CNN).
“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. Donald, she has a name. Her name is Alicia Machado. And she has become a U.S. citizen and you can bet she is going to vote this November.”
Some who have been following the election closely may remember Alicia Machado from a New York Times article that focused on Trump’s history of misogyny. Machado was one of the women interviewed, and she said that Trump bullied her after she put on a few pounds as Miss Universe.
Machado said she even turned to pageant officials for help in losing a bit of weight, but Trump took that as a chance to embarrass her even more.
“I told the president of Miss Universe, a very sweet woman, I said I need some time to recuperate, to rest, to exercise, to eat right. I asked them to bring me a doctor to help me — to have a special diet and get exercise, and they said yes. They took me to New York, installed me in a hotel. The next day, they took me to the gym, and I’m exposed to 90 media outlets. Donald Trump was there. I had no idea that would happen.”
Within an hour of the debate ending, the former Miss Universe winner was trending across social media, with many people looking for pictures of Alicia Machado and her supposed weight gain that had set off Donald Trump. What many found was a woman who didn’t look overweight at all.
Video of Machado’s forced workout can be seen below (from a television segment in Spanish) at roughly the 40-second mark. As many commenters noted, her weight gain appeared to be minimal, and Alicia Machado still looked very much in shape.
Other more recent pictures of Alicia Machado shows that she remains very much in shape — and still very opposed to Donald Trump. In a series of pictures posted to Instagram, Machado showed her process of becoming a United States citizen. Machado has been acting as a surrogate for Hillary Clinton as well.
Despite the criticism Donald Trump has received for his attacks on Alicia Machado, he appears to have doubled down in his weight critiques. In an appearance on Fox News on Tuesday morning, Trump stood by his decision to call her “Miss Piggy.”
“I know that person. That person was a Miss Universe person. And she was the worst we ever had, the worst, the absolute worst, she was impossible,” he said (via NPR). “She gained a massive amount of weight, and it was a real problem. We had a real problem. Not only that, her attitude.”
The continued attacks — coupled with pictures showing that Alicia Machado didn’t exactly look fat in 1996 and certainly not now — will likely not do much for Donald Trump, who is already struggling among women voters.
[Featured Image by Alicia Machado/Instagram]