Friday, December 12, 2008

I Could Give a Shit How Much Oprah Weighs

If you’ve read Practically Perfect, you know that I like Oprah, despite some of our deeper philosophical differences.

But I really hate that her weight is in the news again. (And she put it there.) She could have framed the issue like so: I’ve been sick with thyroid problems, and here’s how I started to feel healthier. But, noooo. It’s all about 40 pounds more, 200 hundred total, two years, embarrassment, can’t stand seeing myself in pictures. If there’s anything I’m not interested in, it’s math-shame milkshake.

I know. Even Oprah admits that she’s a food addict, and I believe I’ve watched enough Celebrity Rehab to know that sometimes it’s not her but her addiction talking. But I do feel compelled to put out some karmic balance here:

Weight is not a moral issue.

Barbara said it really well here.

Dodai on Jezebel said it well here.

Rubens said it well here.

Weight is influenced by many things, including genes, metabolism, diet, exercise, how one deals with stress, shifting priorities in one’s life, age, and the ratio of satin monstrosities to regular clothes Lane Bryant is peddling. With apologies to Dr. King, it’s the content of your character, and not the junk in your trunk that I’m judging. Well, that, and if you're willing to play Scrabble with me on Facebook.


MemeGRL said...

Completely agree but be fair: she talked about lots of stuff but media keys on her weight. There was another super post on this (I'm sure there's tons, no pun intended) I'll send you if I think of it.
I also keep thinking of the nugget of adolescent psych I took from an ed class: the trouble with adolescence is that you think everyone else thinks about you as much as you think about you. And while the case could be made for Oprah that this might actually be true, I don't know a single person other than the Living Oprah blogger who actually cares about O's weight.
Hope you're well!

Jennifer said...

I'd love to see that post!

Even her own media (O magazine) trumpeted the weight stuff on the cover. I need to get my ass to the grocery store to pick up the actual issue (I read what's online). I guess I'm really arguing with the framing of it.

All's dandy here--hope things are good with you, too!

Gina Kelly said...

Oprah is in a better position than anyone to set an example for women everywhere about not obsessing about weight. It's so surprising to me that someone with the kind of smarts and power that she has is hung up on weight to the degree that she is. I don't get it!

Anjali said...

I'd be interested in reading the full article, too. immediately headed with the weight line, which I sure got them the requisite number of clicks for the day.

Lin said...

Why does ANYONE care what Oprah says, does, thinks, fails at, is? I thought we were empowered now as women and can do anything! Guess not--we have to look to Poprah (Pope + Oprah) to tell us how to think, act, read, etc.

Why is this news that Oprah's got a fat hiney? I could have saved her some time and told her myself a loooonnng time ago. Ugh.

Jennifer said...

Aah, shoot. Brandon did the grocery shopping this weekend and asking him to buy a copy of O is not unlike asking him to buy tampons: Not a big deal, but easy to fall off the list unless it's seriously needed, if you catch my drift.

fer said...

Man, Oprah, those of us who work with adolescents DO NOT APPRECIATE your public self-flagellation over your weight. Nor do those of us who are still trying to work out our inner fourteen-year-old. Thank you, Jennifer, for your eloquent post title. Pretty much says it all.

Steph said...

I've got that copy of O and a lot of the content this month is about people who are facing adversity of one sort or another -- they've probably taken this route as a result of the economy.

Frankly, Oprah's struggle with her weight is one of the very few things in common she has left with "normal" people. I always cringe when she starts talking about how to save money, for example. I'm guessing they made a big deal out of her weight in this issue in order to make her seem more "real," more like the struggling rest of us. Or maybe I'm too cynical. I like her too, for what it's worth.

wrh said...

I will totally play scrabble with you on facebook anytime.