“At my school, body image is a really big issue for girls my age,” 15-year-old Brennan Leach told Hillary Clinton at a rally in Pennsylvania. “I see with my own eyes the damage Donald Trump does when he talks about women and how they look.”
She asked Clinton, “How would you undo some of that damage so [girls] understand they are so much more than just what they look like?”
Clinton and daughter, Chelsea, whose appearances have both been publicly scrutinized, were visibly heartened.
“Oh thank you! Oh thank you!” Clinton said before telling the teenager, “I’m so proud of you for asking that question.”
Clinton directly addressed Trump’s habit of reducing women to their bodies. “You are right, my opponent has just taken this concern to a new level of difficulty and meanness. And you know, it’s shocking when women are called names and judged on the basis, solely on the basis of physical attributes.”
The democratic nominee then offered Leach thoughts on overcoming body-shaming.
“We have to stand up against [it]. Women, men, mothers and fathers, teachers, everybody,” she said.
Clinton mentioned former Miss Universe Alicia Machado, whose story has further exposed Trump’s misogyny. He called Machado “Miss Piggy” in the ‘90s, and after Clinton referenced the incident at the first presidential debate, he maintained that Machado was a problem because of her alleged weight gain.
“Think about it: My opponent insulted Miss Universe. How do you get more acclaimed than that?” she asked. “But it wasn’t good enough. So we can’t take this seriously anymore. We have to laugh at it. We need to refute it. We need to ignore it.”
Leach, whose father is Pennsylvania state senator Daylin Leach, told the New York Times that Trump’s rhetoric is felt deeply at school. “It’s really hard for me throughout school to see the pain Donald Trump inflicts on my friends, especially at such an insecure time as middle school and high school,” she said.
The complete CNN segment is above.
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