Donald Trump makes headlines for just about everything, including the comments he makes about women’s bodies. (Photo: Getty Images)
Donald Trump has been called out for all kinds of sexism — from his declaration that Carly Fiorina is too unattractive to be president to his apparent reference to Megyn Kelly’s menstrual-induced anger. But a long-running theme with him has been body-shaming — appearance-based slams that revolve around a person’s weight. The New York Times reminded us of this pattern on Tuesday, when its story about female Trump supporters quoted a former employee of his, Louise Sunshine. She had earlier divulged that Trump kept a “fat picture” of her in a drawer and that he would pull it out when she screwed up — “a reminder that I wasn’t perfect.”
Sunshine, believe it or not, didn’t mind. But there are plenty of women who have taken umbrage to Trump’s preoccupation with body size.
Take Rosie O’Donnell, who has perhaps been Trump’s most consistent, long-term target when it comes to his fat-shaming habit. He has referred to her over the years as “my nice fat little Rosie,” a “slob,” and “worse off than most of us” when it comes to being “chubby.” He said of her in 2007, referring to his nuptials to Marla Maples, “She was at the wedding and I got extremely angry because she ate almost the entire wedding cake” — a joke he’s apparently very pleased with, as he repeated it in a tweet on Tuesday.
It was Rosie O'Donnell who ate the cake in the vicious Hillary commercial about me, not Crooked Hillary! @marthamaccallum— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump)May 10, 2016
He made the original jab during one of his locker room talks with Howard Stern — chats that have occurred with regularity over the years and during which some other gems were uttered.
Carmen Electra and Alicia Machado have each been on the receiving end of Trump’s body-based insults. (Photos: Getty Images)
Regarding Kim Kardashian, Trump said, “Does she have a good body? No. Does she have a fat ass? Absolutely. If it weren’t Kim, they’d say, ‘Wow, I don’t want to go out with her.’”
Of Nicollette Sheridan, he told Stern, “A person who is very flat-chested is very hard to be a 10.” Of Carmen Electra, Trump noted, “The boob job is terrible — they look like two light posts coming out of a body.” He stayed away from Angelina Jolie’s physique, opting instead to focus on other details. “I never thought she was good-looking. I don’t think she’s got good skin,” Trump declared. “I don’t think she’s got a great face. I think her lips are too big, to be honest with you. They look, like, too big.” (He went on and on about Jolie another time, adding, “I really understand beauty. And I will tell you, she’s not — I do own Miss Universe. I do own Miss USA. I mean, I own a lot of different things. I do understand beauty, and she’s not.”) His dis of Heidi Klum wasn’t body-part specific, but he did feel it was necessary to point out, “Sadly, she’s no longer a 10.”
In 2012, Trump offered this oh-so-clever tweet regarding Bette Midler: “While @BetteMidler is an extremely unattractive woman, I refuse to say that because I always insist on being politically correct.” He went on, “@BetteMidler talks about my hair but I’m not allowed to talk about her ugly face or body — so won’t. Is this a double standard? You look great, Donald.”
Rosie O’Donnell and Kim Kardashian have also been body-shamed by Trump. (Photos: Getty Images)
Way back in his 1997 book Trump: The Art of the Comeback, he wrote the following passage regarding 1996 Miss Universe Alicia Machado: “From my position offstage, I was able to glance up to the greenroom occasionally. I could see Alicia Machado, the current Miss Universe, sitting there plumply. God, what problems I had with this woman. First, she wins. Second, she gains fifty pounds. Third, I urge the committee not to fire her. Fourth, I go to the gym with her, in a show of support. Final act: She trashes me in the Washington Post — after I stood by her the entire time.”
Last year, he picked on Hillary Clinton’s new hairstyle. “It really was shocking to see it. Because, you’re right, it was massive,” he told radio host Mark Levin. “Her hair became massive.”
Men are not completely immune from Trump’s body obsession, as he fat-shamed a male heckler in November with the following quip: “You know, it’s amazing. I mentioned food stamps and that guy who’s seriously overweight went crazy. He went crazy. It’s amazing.” But female Trump supporters who claim he treats men and women equally, whether he’s doling out compliments or insults, are missing the point: Body-focused comments are extremely rare when Trump is focused on men. With women, it’s the topic du jour.
Of course, in his recent Twitter back-and-forth with Elizabeth Warren, he repeatedly called her “goofy” — an insult that Warren herself has called “weak” and does not, admittedly, reference any specific aspect of her body. But give it time, folks. Give it time.