Alicia Machado posted a picture she dusted off from her old photo albums to her Instagram last Friday. But what the former Miss Universe thought would be taken as a joke quickly sparked a barrage of insults, complaints and accusations.
Two years after the Venezuelan beauty queen was news fodder during the U.S. presidential election campaign because of an old beef with President Donald Trump over her weight, she published an affectionate image of them.
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Then a New York tycoon and executive producer of the pageant that catapulted Machado to stardom, Trump is kissing her on the cheek while she smiles, posing her hand over the heart of someone who she accused of tormenting her.
“My favorite #TBT.” she wrote in Instagram with her post. “The boss always so affectionate. What happened people!”
Although she appeared to be going for sarcasm, not all of her followers got the joke, especially given how divided the nation is regarding the president. Others called it a thoughtless and rude gesture
“Shame on you. He insults you, you denounce him and for your own convenience you bring it up again,” one Instagram user wrote. Another user said, “I think that what you are looking is for them [the U.S. government] to take away from you the privilege of entering and leaving the country. Where is your dignity.”
The 1996 Miss Universe also received support from her followers.
“I love your sense of humor, we have to put a spotlight on him so that the president also loses a few pounds,” wrote one follower.
“Strong in my conviction! This is the most misogynist government of this era,” Machado wrote in a follow-up Twitter post.
According to Machado, Trump used to berate her for gaining weight after she was crowned the most beautiful woman in the world.
“This is somebody who likes to eat,” Trump once said, according to the New York Times, while posing beside her as she worked out in front of the media. Machado gained around 13 pounds after moving to the U.S.
Having overcome eating disorders, Machado, who lives in Los Angeles, created a weight loss plan, Loose & Slim, which promises clients will “lose weight without sacrificing your taste for food and without doing hard exercises.”