• Ana de Armas
  • Laurie Hernandez
  • La Borinqueña
  • Diane Guerrero
  • Rosario Dawson
  • Mónica Puig
  • Eiza González Reyna
  • Julissa Arce
  • Melissa Villaseñor
  • Alexa Moreno
  • Alicia Machado
  • America Ferrera

Former Miss Universe Alicia Machado returned to the U.S. cultural zeitgeist in a major and controversial manner in 2016. On September 23, 2016, during the first presidential debate, Hillary Clinton named dropped Machado. Recounting how her adversary Donald Trump subjected Machado to workouts in front of a press corp., called her names such as “Miss Piggy” and “Miss Housekeeping” during her beauty queen reign. Trump of course denied making the statements, yet nonsensically doubled down on the matter subsequent to the debate, characterizing Machado as impossible to deal with and accusing Clinton of failing to investigate Machado’s past. Like it or not, Machado was now caught in the cross hairs of presidential politics.

Some would characterize it as exploitive, a prop for political gain, yet one can’t deny that Machado made positive use of the moment. No longer beholden to her then employer, we received an unfiltered view of how events transpired, which by all accounts even some 20 years later can be characterized at the very least as exploitive and culturally insensitive.
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Trump continued his verbal assault, however, this go around Machado refused to be bullied. She stood by her version of the events, shared with the world the trauma it caused and went on to actively campaign for Clinton. For her willingness to stand up and fight, we applaud this wise Latina.

Image Credits:
© John Lamparski/Getty Images
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