Are Oprah’s Weight Issues a Negative Influence on Young Females?Email This Post
Is Oprah narcissistic or what? Why the need to divulge all about the bulge. It is as if she defines herself in a much more shallow way then I think she'd like us to believe.
Oprah is an icon. Women look up to her. Young females look up to her. I am sure the girls in the school she built in Africa look up to her. Are Oprah's own self-judging statements going to negatively impact other females?
Saying things like she felt like "a cow" and wanted to "disappear" when interviewing Tina Turner and Cher casts such a fat-phobic shadow of self-loathing that may well lead more heavy females to be even more self-critical.
Oprah's embarrassment about her weight is also something that is likely influencing other females to feel worse about themselves.
I remember when Oprah first got her show and I first saw it and her. I found her body size to be quite a refreshing and empowering sight for women of size. You really don't see that very often on television. I thought, wow, this woman has really got courage and talent and isn't afraid to be who she is.
Turns out that talent, stardom, wealth, and power aside, Oprah isn't that courageous after all. She talks about "talking the talk and not walking the walk" with regard to her weight issues in her article in January's O Magazine. However, I wonder, why she isn't more concerned about not walking the walk when it comes to being authentically who she is and accepting of that person regardless of size?
Oprah is such a unique force, really, and to think that this otherwise pioneering and strong woman can still sabotage herself in the ways that she has shamed herself in this latest public confession are confusing.
If Oprah finds life and herself so terrible at 200 pounds that she is ashamed of herself, mad at herself, and wonders how she could let that happen to her again, how is that supposed to leave a woman of 250, 300 or more pounds feeling?
I wonder if Oprah's need to be the centre of attention doesn't win over her capacity to be sensitive and caring about others who are heavy and heavier than she is? I have often thought it nothing short of narcissistic that she would appear on every single cover of her own magazine but then comes the issue for this January where she is on her own cover not once, but twice. When is enough, enough?
Maybe there is an element of Oprah not being able to get enough that fuels her "food addiction"? Here I am doing another blog on this topic when really haven't we all paid enough attention to Oprah and her weight struggles?
I think the real issue in all of this too that women of size could well be offended by is just how absolutely cocky Oprah was – self-righteous even – when she lost the weight she lost some years ago. I think Oprah should have had the Grace and dignity to just deal with her weight and her own feelings without plastering this all over the cover of her magazine. Lets not forget she will be talking about this, apparently, in one way or another for a week on her show in January.
Now, I don't know about you, but how many people are going to be interested in that after their own Christmas/Holiday Season eating binge? Must we be made to feel guilty for everything? Does Oprah think that everything she experiences and feels is therefore the experience and feeling of her viewers and readers of her magazine?
Well, given people's fixation with "Oprah's Favourite Things" perhaps there is just as much focus, obsession and interest in her latest publicity about her weight struggles. She apparently isn't going to go on that high and mighty hey-it's-easy-look-at-me-getting-thin-you-can-do-it soap box again, or so she says now.
I remember some months ago I blogged about Oprah appearing to be gaining weight and the tight head shots and how she began her show sitting down and not walking in as usual. Then comes her admission in her O Magazine article "I can't believe I let this happen" that she didn't have full-body shots of herself on may recent O covers because she didn't want to be seen. Does Oprah have to shame women everywhere because she has not resolved her own shame issues?
Oprah's own discomfort with her body image/size has likely negatively impacted the already difficult feelings of many heavier females of all ages. This is not a positive contribution. This is not helpful. This is all about Oprah being about Oprah. Don't we know enough about Oprah already? Doesn't she get enough attention? Does she crave this kind of negative attention?
© A.J. Mahari, December 12, 2008
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