Body shaming brought to forefront of presidential debate - WNEM TV 5

Body shaming brought to forefront of presidential debate

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After 1996 Miss Universe winner Alicia Machado was referenced in Monday’s debate with Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, the topic of body shaming has been brought to the forefront.

During the debate, Clinton said Trump body shamed Machado after she put on weight following her pageant win.

Trump’s campaign has responded, calling the allegations “baseless.”

Machado herself said Trump called her names such as “Miss Housekeeping,” “Miss Piggy” and “Miss Eating Machine” and that he forced her to work out in front of a slew of cameras.

Whether it’s from people you look up to, your peers, or the media – body shaming is harmful.

“Body shaming is a form of bullying, of making someone feel less than what they are,” Regina Simon, a clinician with Child Family Services said.

Simon works with women of all ages who face body shaming all the time. She said it leads them to feel unworthy and down a dangerous path.

“They begin to grow introverted. They don’t put themselves out there. They isolate and withdraw,” Simon said.

As the spiral continues, the negative words can often lead to suicidal thoughts and serious eating disorders.

“Where they feel that’s the only resort. Diet pills, bingeing, purging, starving themselves. Unrealistic exercise expectations, feeling like that’s the way to control this,” Simon said.

Trump’s campaign said the resurfacing of the nearly 20-year-old issue is a public smear campaign by Machado and the Clinton campaign. 

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