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Speaking at a literary festival in Bhutan’s capital city, Thimpu, India-born American author and television host Padma Lakshmi slammed United States President Donald Trump, saying he was unfit for the seat he holds.
“I think he is a menace to our society, I apologise but I actually tried everything I could to stop him from soiling this most sacred seat in our country,” she said at a session titled, ‘Mistress of Spices’ at the 8th Mountain Echoes Literary Festival.
Not an Ideal President
“I really find him to be a plague on the very basic human decency that America was based on. I don’t think he has any ideology except the ideology of Donald Trump and that’s a very dangerous thing,” Padma Lakshmi, who supported Hillary Clinton and campaigned for her in the presidential elections, said, according to PTI.
Lakshmi, who has been popular as the host and judge of the American reality show, Top Chef, said she had known Trump before he became the US president. She added that he came across as a “little buffoonish” and that she had hoped he would not get elected.
“Earlier I thought Donald Trump was tacky, showy and nouveau rich and he was like many men with a little power trying to get as many chicks as you could with it,” she said.
Making Way in the Male-Dominated Industries
Before the ‘Mistress of Spices’ session, Lakshmi attended a session titled ‘Woman Up’, in which Indian journalists Barkha Dutt, Amrita Tripathi and archaeologist Kuenga Wangmo spoke about the issues women face in their respective professions.
Using instances from her career, Lakshmi emphasised on the need for women to get recognised for their work and not looks.
The model-turned-author, whose cookbook went on to win the Best First Book at the 1999 Gourmand World Cookbook Awards, traced her journey from the female-dominated fashion industry to a male-dominated food industry where she was continuously judged on the basis of how she looked.
“I am a brown woman working in a white man’s world. And in fact, when I first started, they used to say what would a model know about food. But, now I work with big international chefs on my show. But it is true that you have to earn your place at the table,” she said at the session.
Highlighting the importance of self-acceptance and the need for women to be acknowledged for their work, she said, “My skin is brown and I love the way it looks. It is my identity. We live in a body we have been given. And then there is a lot of focus put on my weight… It just makes me a little angry.”
She added, “I want to be counted on for my work and not because of my mere presence. My presence is there because I earned it.”