Yesterday on CNN, I watched aghast as Oprah Winfrey tearfully confessed how “embarrassed” she was to attend a photo op with Tyra Banks and some other woman. Or maybe some other two women; I was a bit distracted by sheer irritation.
Because Oprah's shame was because she had—wait for it—gained weight. Never mind that she is one of the wealthiest, most powerful, and yes, the most glamorous women in the known universe! The fool wants to be Chanel Iman in the bargain.
Oprah, dahling, if I were sitting opposite you on the set of your show, I would have one thing to say to you about your weight:
Well, maybe more than one thing:
You were not meant to be thin. Haven’t you learned that by now? Hasn’t the fact that you have to work harder than a Roman galley slave to stay below 200 pounds made you realize that you were not intended to be waifish? Or even slim? Both of these photos are less than a month old.
Why do you keep punishing yourself? Why do you keep hating yourself? And more important, as a voice that influences millions of Americans, why do you persist in helping other large men and women feel horrendous about themselves?
What is WRONG with you?
Why can't you be comfortable with your body, like Queen Latifah?
(Yes, I know she did those awful Jenny Craig commercials, that still baffles me.)
Enjoy your flesh, like Pierce Brosnan's wife Keely (and, it seems, Pierce)?
Since I am talking to Oprah, I shall make a personal confession at this time. I too have fought the battle of the bulge. I too have given in to the whims of fashion, starving myself and exercising constantly. I was exhausted, and photographs from that time show a rather unhealthy looking young woman. For obvious reasons, the instant I relaxed my Draconian regimen, the weight came back.
Then, about eight years ago, for medical reasons, I had to lose some poundage, so I did. Slowly. It quite literally took years. But here is the crucial difference: my aim was not to be thin. I am still luxuriously plus-sized, with a beautiful décolletage and a comfortably curvaceous figure. I was never meant to be thin, and I have the common sense to realize it.
Oprah, there is nothing wrong with being “fat,” as you define fat. It is so easy to predict your future: months of hard work, following your new program for 2009, success, posing for happy pictures.
And by 2010, the weight will be back. And it will be time for yet another round of annoying interviews with a woman who refuses to accept herself for who she is.
Oprah, no matter how much you achieve, how much money you make, you will never truly love yourself until you learn to love the shape you were born to have.
Hmmmmm...Methinks I should have my own chat show, don’t you?
Elisa & Bucky the Wonderdog