I do not mean that Donald Trump himself is overweight but that he seems to have an almost visceral dislike of people who are over the conventional norms of weight. For example, he is like an adolescent in the way he rates women’s looks but he reserves his most vicious attacks for people like Rosie O’Donnell whom he has at various times referred to as “a woman out of control,” a “true loser,” a “total train wreck,” “disgusting,” a “slob,” “fat, ugly” “.
It is quite extraordinary that someone running for the office of the president has twice attacked an actor by name in debates, once during the first primary debate and now in the first presidential debate.
Then we had the Alicia Machado story that Hillary Clinton brought up during Monday’s debate that seemed to catch Trump off-guard because he interjected “Where did you find this? Where did you find this?” This former Miss Universe winner had committed the cardinal sin (in Trump’s eyes) of gaining weight after winning and he had called her “Miss Piggy”, throwing in “Miss Housekeeping” because she is a Latina. And Trump being Trump, he could not let this go quietly and the day after the debate he spoke on Fox News and went after Machado again for her weight gain.
Here is the Machado story, in an ad put out by the Clinton campaign.
And here is another ad put out by the Clinton campaign.
And then we had Trump’s weird example in the debate discussion of cyberhacking of American sites and emails, where he was said that at this point no one had officially identified the culprit and that anyone could have been behind the hacks, even a lone wolf. But the example that came to his head of someone who fitted that last category was “somebody sitting on their bed that weighs 400 pounds”.
If I were asked to describe a stereotype of the lone wolf malicious hacker, it would be a scrawny, scruffy, misanthrope who lives in his parents’ basement. But for Trump, the image that comes to mind is quite different.
It would be a mistake to dismiss this as Machado about nothing (Ha! I could not resist that.). But by his words Trump has not only further depressed his already low standing among women and in the Hispanic community, he seems determined to also alienate those who resent being shamed about their weight.
Seth Meyers expanded on Trump’s fat shaming.