While I’m heartened to see so many people outraged at what Machado has suffered, personally, I’m standing with the shruggers. This is not shocking, and this is not a Trump problem.
The Washington Post took a slightly more guarded angle four months later, with “Miss Universe, Sizing Up Her Reign,” while assuring readers that, “She's skinny again, though not quite as skinny as when she won her title.” Well, that’s too bad, but phew!
People is hardly alone in this coverage, of course. The New York Post has a Celebrity Weight Loss section, featuring such stories as: “Up and down: Stars whose weight fluctuates” (a photo roundup comparing the weight changes of different celebrities — all women); "These pregnant celebs really took ‘eating for two’ to heart"; and “Fat kid from TV is now less fat,” (this, on a story about 9-year-old Honey Boo-Boo).
Fast-forward two decades, and plenty of outlets (including CNN) have taken Machado’s side. But looking at the big picture, little has changed in the way that media watches women’s weight.
I’m a not-thin woman; I’ve written hundreds of articles and a whole damn book about these body issues, and still the bias lives inside me, and it is well-fed.
Kelsey Miller is a features writer, the creator of The Anti-Diet Project, and the author of Big Girl: How I Gave Up Dieting and Got a Life. The views expressed here are her own.