Alicia Machado is a Venezuelan-American actress, musician, and model. She came to the spotlight in 1995 when she won the crown at the Miss Venezuela beauty pageant in 1995. She was just 19 years old at the time. She also went on to snag the bigger crown and the title of Miss Universe, the very next year. This made her only the fourth Venezuelan woman to win that coveted crown.
Alicia has also stepped into the music industry with the release of her self-titled album in 2004. She also kickstarted her acting career when in 1998, she starred as Samantha del Lano on the Venezuelan telenovela, Samantha.
Alicia Machado’s Bio, Family
Alicia Machado’s full name is Yoseph Alicia Machado Fajardo. She was born on December 6, 1976, in Maracay, Venezuela. She was born to a Spanish father and a Cuban mother whose family escaped Cuba before the Cuban uprising. Both parents moved to Venezuela in the mid-90s. Her father owned a toy store.
Machado was an early bloomer; she started showing signs of her talent at an early age. By the time she was 4, she was already performing as a dancer. At the age of 12, she added acting to her portfolio. Her college days were short-lived as she would drop out after less than two years to focus on her modeling career. After this time, she started to appear in commercials.
Alicia Machado Career
Machado’s road to the Venezuelan beauty crown started with her winning the Miss Maracay pageant in 1995. After winning the crown representing her state of Yaracuy, she went on to win the Miss Universe in 1996. She was crowned in Las Vegas, where she took over from fellow Venezuelan goddess, Jacquelin Aguilera, who happened to be the runner-up for the 1995 Miss Venezuela. This marked the moment in history when the first time two Venezuelans won two world titles consecutively, coming from the same pageant.
During her time contesting for the crown of Miss Venezuela, Alicia chose to go the natural route. She avoided plastic surgery augmentation, which was the convention in the Venezuelan beauty pageant culture.
Machado later admitted that while preparing for the Miss Universe pageant she went through an intense dieting plan. When she won she was weighing in at a measly 116 pounds and was suffering from bulimia and anorexia. Perhaps, that is the reason why she started to gain weight after she had secured the crown. She put her weight gain at about 12 pounds, drawing significant attention and even criticism from the press.
While all the relevant pageant officials refuted claims that they were planning to replace her with the runner-up, Aruban model, Taryn Mansell, they did put pressure on her to lose weight.
She finally caved and asked American businessman, Donald Trump, to help her prepare for a healthier lifestyle. Trump then brought in 80 media personnel to cover her gym workout sessions and “watch her sweat”. Alicia Machado considered it in very bad taste.
She got her first movie role when she starred as the lead character in the 1998 telenovela, Samantha. This got her an award for Best New Actress. She followed this up in 2001 with a cameo role in Secreto de Amor, an international soap opera. Alicia also appeared in her first-ever reality show titled La Granja de Los famosos. Her second reality show gig came the following year when she starred in Cantando Por Un Sueno, a Mexican reality show.
In the same month following the Mexican reality show, Machado made history as the first-ever Miss Universe to go nude for a Playboy magazine issue. She graced the cover in February of 2006. She repeated this feat in July 2010. In 2012, she got an opportunity to show her love for dancing in the third season of Mira Quien Baila. She won third place on the show. She would also join Nuestra Belleza Latina 2014 – a beauty pageant arranged by Univision – in a coaching capacity.
She went nude again in 2017 for PETA’s ad campaign for the ethical treatment of animals. The campaign was titled “I’d Rather Go Naked Than Wear Fur”.
Alicia Machado is also politically aware. This was first noticed in 1998 when she publicly showed her support for then-presidential candidate Henrique Salas Romer. In 2010, she did the opposite in an interview with Playboy by heavily criticizing the reign of the then-President of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez.
Machado was equally vocal about Trump’s – in her own words – abusive and racist nature. She announced that she would publish a book to that effect. It was at this time, during Trump’s presidential campaign that she revealed how Trump had slandered her as a result of her weight gain. He had called her “Miss Piggy” and even went a step further, calling her “Miss Housekeeping” owing to her Hispanic heritage.
She also repeatedly compared the American businessman to Venezuelan President, Hugo Chavez and German dictator, Adolf Hitler. She used the term “Nazi rat” to describe him on several occasions.
Hillary Clinton referenced Machado’s statements against Trump in 2016, during their first presidential debate. Afterward, Trump, in an interview and on Twitter, questioned Alicia Machado’s professionalism and attitude, while condemning Hillary’s judgment of the Venezuelan model.
Major editorials such as The Globe and Mail, The New Yorker, and The Los Angeles Times condemned Trump’s tweets. Machado was subsequently used in two online advertisements in support of Hillary’s campaign.
Net Worth, Weight, Body Measurements
Machado’s specs are perfect, considering her profession. She is 5 feet 7 inches (1.70m) tall which is an average height for a woman.
Her body measurements are 36-26-36 inches. This translates to a breast size of 36 inches, a waist size of 26 inches, and a hip size of 36 inches.
Alicia Machado has more than 15 television credits to her name, including reality shows, telenovelas, and films. She also has two self-produced albums, not to mention her Playboy appearances and her two beauty crowns. She is worth $4 million.
Other Facts About Alicia Machado
A Venezuelan judge, who was overseeing an attempted murder case against Machado’s then-boyfriend, in 1998, accused the model of threatening his life. It was also alleged that the model had been the one behind the wheel of the getaway vehicle. She denied both charges and was never charged for any of them.
Alicia was once hitched to Bobby Abreu, a professional baseball player. The relationship disintegrated after they had already been engaged. The Venezuelan beauty who is a mother of one (a daughter) was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2013. She had to have a double mastectomy. Her daughter’s name is Dinorah Valentino Hernandez. Alicia had her with her partner, Rafael Hernandez Linares in 2008.
She memorably made the grievous error of mistaking North and South Korea for China in a tweet in 2010. She would later close her Twitter account. Her reason was that there were now too many psychopaths following her on the social media platform.
Alicia who lives in Miami, Florida, gained U.S. citizenship in May of 2016. At the time, then-presidential candidate, Trump accused Hillary of using her influence to help Machado gain American citizenship. Alicia was a public supporter of Hillary Clinton during her campaign.