Expanding Miss Universe works to shed pounds
January 29, 1997
Web posted at: 4:15 p.m. EST (2115 GMT)
From Correspondent Jeanne Moos
NEW YORK (CNN) -- When Alicia Machado of Venezuela was named
Miss Universe nine months ago, no one could accuse her of
being the size of the universe. But as her universe expanded,
so did she, putting on nearly 60 pounds.
Indeed, the reigning Miss Universe learned the hard way that
an extra 15 or 20 pounds can gain you a ton of publicity. But
now she's determined to shed at least 15 pounds, though the
loss of her Miss Universe crown is no longer an issue.
"Some people when they have pressure eat too much. Like me.
Like Alicia," said Donald Trump, the executive producer of
the Miss Universe Pageant.
Since winning the crown, the former Miss Venezuela went from
118 pounds to -- well -- a number that kept growing like the
size of the fish that got away.
And as her weight grew, so did reports that Kellogg had
canceled a deal for her to appear on boxes of Special K in
Venezuela or that Kellogg modified her body on the box. But
a Kellogg spokesman said the contract simply expired in
December and that they were "real pleased" with the
"I don't eat Kellogg's and for this maybe I gain weight," the
young Machado said simply.
Rumors also surfaced that she might be forced to give up her
Miss Universe crown.
But Trump, as co-owner of rights to the pageant, said he
would never let that happen. "We had a choice of:
termination or do this," he said. "We wanted to do this."
The pageant's meaning of "do this" was for Machado to get her
weight down to about 130 pounds. At a recent photo op,
Machado -- hardly a blimp at 5-foot-7 -- pedaled a stationary
bicycle and jumped rope in front of a pack of photographers
and reporters who could themselves use a little training.
"A lot of you folks have weight problems. I hate to tell
you," Trump told the rowdy pool of reporters.
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