Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Living Life to the Fullest

Oprah's gained weight again. So much so that the gown she was planning on wearing to the Obama inauguration balls -- the gown that she had a photo of on her "vision board" -- probably won't fit. The first week of her 2009 season will be devoted to makeover after makeover: body, money, sex, relationships. It'll be a "your best life" fest. The cover of the January issue of her magazine is devoted to a reversed before and after picture of herself: the before is the skinny athletic look of 2005 and the after is her more robust and stout self of recent months.

What Oprah doesn't seem to understand is that her preoccupation with her weight and her public self-castigation over not fitting the skinny ideal is a disservice to us all. Kate Harding at Shapely Prose has written an open letter to Oprah about just this, and I strongly recommend reading it. Elizabeth Tamny at Cahiers du Moment has also penned a pal letter to Oprah. And Rachel at the F-Word (for fat, food, and feminism) has weighed in as well.

What worries me is how Oprah makes her weight a moral issue, with thinness a sign of virtue and fat a sign of all manner of bad: avarice, gluttony, moral dissolution. Given that body size and shape is as much an outcome of genetics as is skin color, I wonder why Oprah would buy into this last acceptable prejudice. When Oprah castigates herself for not starving and exercising herself into some smaller version of herself, she makes it that much harder for the rest of us to live our lives to the fullest.


Anonymous Kelly K. said...

Can't wait to see if the one week makeover devotion will see her fit in that Obama inauguration ball dress in 2009. She may surprise us all!

7:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We get very little of this woman over here in the UK - thank goodness.

She seems rather vaccuous and self obsessed to me. I doubt her genuineness and authenticity, and I find she has nothing of any lasting value or real interest to say.

To be quite honest, I don't give a toss whether she fits into her poxy dresses or not.

5:52 PM  

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