Mariana Atencio says her boss told her to dress ‘less Latina and more Ivanka’ for White House dinner

NBC correspondent Mariana Atencio says her boss told her to dress ‘less Latina and more Ivanka Trump’ for the White House Correspondents Dinner in 2017

  • The Venezuelan born journalist said the unnamed woman made the comment after she decided to wear colors associated with South American nation’s flags
  • ‘Why don’t you go to Saks Fifth Avenue. Think Ivanka Trump, okay?’ the boss said
  • Pictures from an after party that year show Mariana in a gold and white dress
  • Ivanka had previously worn a full length red dress and a black and silver gown
  • Atencio says the boss ‘was making me feel smaller and smaller with each word’

NBC correspondent Mariana Atencio says her boss told her to dress ‘less Latina and more Ivanka Trump’ for the White House Correspondents Dinner in 2017. 

Writing in her new book, the Venezuelan born journalist, 35, said the unnamed female manager made the request after she decided to wear colors associated with many South American nations’ flags. 

In Perfectly You: Embracing the Power of Being Real, Atencio writes she was excited to ‘represent our people, proud of having a seat at the table, literally and figuratively’ and was hoping to wear yellow, blue and red. 

But in a call with her superior Newsweek reports she was asked what she intended to wear, with the unidentified woman adding: ‘Mariana, I just wanted to make sure you’re prepared for such a prestigious gathering.’

Atencio explained: ‘This person said “please don’t look too Latina.”‘

Mariana Atencio attends the White House Correspondents Dinner MSNBC After Party in 2017. She says her boss told her to dress ‘less Latina and more Ivanka Trump’ for the main event 

Ivanka Trump at the 101st Annual White House Correspondents' Association Dinner in 2015

Ivanka Trump attending the 98th Annual White House Correspondents' Association Dinner in 2012

Mariana’s unnamed manager told her to ‘think Ivanka Trump’ when dressing for the White House Correspondents Dinner. Ivanka is pictured at the event in 2015 left and 2012 right 

When Mariana questioned her response the manager added: ‘Why don’t you go to Saks Fifth Avenue and have someone help you out. Have them pick out something demure. Not too colorful or tight. Think Ivanka Trump, okay?’ 

Pictures from the the White House Correspondents Dinner MSNBC After Party show Mariana in gold and white dress.   

In 2015 Ivanka, 37, wore a vintage style red dress with red lipstick and a diamond necklace.   

In 2012 the president’s daughter opted for a black and silver gown teamed with hooped earrings. 

Atencio writes: ‘This person was making me feel smaller and smaller with each word.’ 

Mariana Atencio attends the 2018 White House Correspondents' Dinner

Mariana Atencio attends the Billboard Latin Music Awards at Watsco Center in 2017

Mariana Atencio attends the 2018 White House Correspondents’ Dinner, left. She is pictured at  the Billboard Latin Music Awards in 2017 right 

She adds: ‘Can you imagine someone in your field asking you to please not look so African American? Or Asian? Or white? Don’t look so Muslim or Christian? How do you change who you are?’ 

Speaking in an interview with NBC News series Know Your Value, she added: ‘I wanted to tell the anecdote [in the book] not to harp on the negative, but to remind readers that these things still happen and that we have to call them out and have conversations as adults about how we can get past them.’ 

The annual White House gathering is known as ‘nerd prom’ and is attended by Washington journalists and traditionally by president, although Donald Trump skipped the event for a third year in a row in 2019.

DailyMail.com has reached out to NBC for comment.

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