In the past few weeks, the media has experienced the whining musings of my personal icon maven, Oprah Winfrey. Yes, she is my shero. Yes, she is an icon to me and to a lot of other women. But what we have been subjected to as loyalists, is definitely unwarranted and borders on the line of pitiful.
For about two decades, loyalists of Oprah have followed her meteroic rise from local Chicago stardom, to the international mega star status she has worked hard for and enjoyed. The Oprah Winfrey Show is seen all over the world and people every where, majority of these women, love her. O Magazine is top-notch and is a great extension of the television experience at your finger tips. We applaud her good heart, giving spirit, warm laughter and life-changing fortitude.
The weight loss issue has been just that for years. An issue. An Oprah issue. We fell in love with Oprah back in 1986, not because she was 200 plus pounds, but because she was cool! She was fun! She represented the woman we all associated with and loved every single day. Oprah looked like us. We were overly excited when she lost the weight and I cried when she came onto the stage in her skinny jeans, dragging a wagon of meat fat.
This moment inspired me and a whole nation of folks to get fit. But right before our eyes, Oprah blew up again, and it was discouraging for a lot of us, but we still loved her and watched the show. Years have gone by and Oprah is preoccupied with an issue that hardly anyone cares about. This is Oprah’s issue and because she brought the public into a private place, she is making Oprah loyalists suffer right alongside her, and giving the press legitimate gossip to feed its’ celebrity-fueled engine.
Oprah once said that it is not what you are eating, but what is eating you. Oprah is still, at 50 something, not happy with herself. She says she’s happy as a clam. Obviously, that isn’t true. Oprah is not who she is based on her looks. Oprah is an icon simply because she took a dream she had for herself and implemented it. She took sistafriend conversations public. Then over the years, she developed her medium into a platform to really help her viewers orchestrate change in their lives.
However, instead of helping her viewers, maybe Oprah needs to tune into her true self. It is obvious that she has a lot irons in the fire and it can be difficult tyring to juggle a multitude of ventures. Yet, she is Oprah. She has the resources and the fortititude to, instead of micromanaging, allow her talented team to do what she pays them handsomely for.
And Oprah, please stop making excuses for your weight gain. We already know and understand. America has had this weight discussion for years now and though we’re not sympathetic, we are able to be empathetic. We as in America ‘we.’
The true moral of this column is simply that it is okay, Oprah. You re-gained some weight and unhappy and ashamed about it. So am I. I’m going through the exact same thing. So are a lot of those who have lost weight only to put the pounds back on. The key is to not dwell on the obvious but create an alternate outcome.
Perhaps this time around, Oprah, you will recognize that the journey to weight loss country is never ending. It is a lifelong quest. There is no need to be apolegetic about it. It is okay to be in the trenches with the rest of us. We don’t eat each other. We’re just human.
So are you.