(CNN)Donald Trump has a message for the American people: No fat chicks.
And America has a message for him: That kind of crass sexism may have sold tabloids in the ’90s, but it loses you elections in a more feminist, body-positive 2016.
But a reinvigorated feminist movement and its overlap with movements for fat acceptance mean broader awareness of the harms that narrow beauty ideals can cause, and a more generalized disgust at men who feel entitled to judge women’s bodies. Beauty pageants are on the decline.
Companies increasingly tout the use of “real women” in their ads,
or their refusal to airbrush photos of models. Americans are, in general, larger
than we’ve been in the past.
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That means more Americans know the sting of anti-fat bias, and aren’t laughing along when Trump calls a beauty contest winner
an “eating machine.” There is also strength in those numbers: The more Americans self-identify as fat and refuse to accept that being fat makes them less worthy of love, respect, and being treated with basic humanity, the less public figures like Trump can get away with using weight as a tool of sexist humiliation, and the more antics like this will hurt him in November.
It is not a coincidence that Trump doubled down on his sexist, sizist remarks right as polling showed
that voters crowned Hillary Clinton, and not him, the winner of the debate. Trump is a sore loser who loves to play king. But as any of his pageant contestants could have told him, you don’t show up on stage outgunned and underprepared — and if you come at the queen, you’d best not miss.
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