In our complex world with never-ending surprises and disappointments, there are some things that I am absolutely certain of. Oprah Winfrey will appear again as the biggest billionaire fatso, even if she thins down again. The world is filled with low IQ fans of Oprah that fall for her many sales pitches. In any dictionary definition of narcissism her picture should be shown. When I recently saw her receive the Kennedy Center Honor there she was again: fat and happy with the guy she supposedly loves and is committed to sitting behind her, but who she has never married. In so many ways Oprah is the world’s richest hypocrite and narcissist, which makes her role as life coach to the masses dubious.
Frankly, I could not understand the selection of her for the Kennedy Center Honor; she has been a huge commercial success, but far from an artistic success with a large repertoire of artistic achievements. What seems more significant is that Forbes magazine, in September 2010, said she was worth over $2.7 billion.
Here are some of the main ways that Oprah can be assessed.
Role model: Over the many years of her endless visibility she seems to have become a role model for millions of fans. But for the life of me I cannot figure out why. Put aside her talent for commercial and financial success and what is left? She obviously has rejected marriage and raising children. Though she has contributed considerable money to some worthy causes, she lives the life of a billionaire addicted to material consumption and opulent living, totally dissimilar, for example, to billionaire Warren Buffet. Though at many points she supposedly champions healthy living, as a repeat offender fatso she clearly personifies the overweight and obesity epidemic that Michelle Obama and so many others are rightfully fighting.
Indeed, to a considerable extent, Oprah is a negative role model. Consider the study published in the December issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology that found that 23 percent of overweight women saw themselves as being smaller than they were. This delusional misperception was especially acute for black and Latino women, two groups that are strong Oprah fans. The study found that more than 80 percent of African-American women and 75 percent of Hispanic-American women were overweight or obese, and were less likely than white women to see themselves as overweight. The survey participants tended to be low-income and the researchers noted that overweight women who see themselves as normal weight are less likely to try to lose weight and, therefore, develop complications from obesity, including diabetes and hypertension. If a billionaire with unlimited resources cannot stay at healthy weight, what are regular women to hope for?
Hypocrite: A number of writers over the years have written about Oprah in terms of hypocrisy. Besides the fat problem, she has advocated many lifestyle styles as a means of pitching all sorts of commercial things, often benefitting her own financial interests. But a dose of critical thinking is helpful. What exactly has Oprah demonstrated in her own life that is consistent with some sort of admirable lifestyle? Other than a talent for making money herself, there is no hard evidence that she has improved the nation by spreading behaviors among millions of people that advances their financial success as well as the nation’s. On countless occasions she has touted nutrition, exercise and weight loss programs that obviously have not worked for her.
Queen of narcissism: This is what Oprah’s life has been about: vanity, self-absorption, and egotism. She put her face on the cover of her magazine, names for herself, virtually all the time. Her new cable network is the Oprah Winfrey Network or OWN. Even when she has been fat, which is a lot of time, there was never any hesitancy about plastering her picture everywhere. She has sold herself and her name in every conceivable way; this is her great talent, her great achievement. An article on this topic on her own website said this: “A healthy dose of vanity leads to a comfortable level of self-esteem. Narcissism, on the other hand, is an unhealthy self-absorption that should be addressed. At the very least, it is a serious personality flaw. In worse cases, it’s a recognized psychological disorder.” Her inability to keep a healthy weight and even try marriage, not to mention keep starting new ventures to make even more money can be interpreted as symptoms of unhealthy narcissism.
A 2009 article entitled Finally – People Wising Up to Oprah the Narcissist Nutjob. It made this fine point: “In an age of information overload, she offers herself as a guide through the confusion.” More to the point, Oprah long ago learned how to establish herself as a kind of God, worthy of worshipping, and that is exactly what her loyal audience does. There is no genuine humility. Not content with here TV show, magazine, radio show, and website, her new cable network was designed with an even bigger vision: “I will now have the opportunity to do this 24 hours a day on a platform that goes on forever.” And don’t forget: She has a retail store in Chicago where worshippers purchase used shoes and outfits that she wore on the show. The sad reality is that “Oprah’s audience admires her as much for her failings as her successes.” It is their addiction.
Consumerism: Not only are Oprah’s fans addicted to her, but she spreads her own addiction to consumerism because she is always advancing her own fortunes by getting others to spend money on things. She has a number of incredible mansions around the nation, a private jet, and clearly lives the life of the rich elites while, nevertheless, cleverly maintaining an image of being just another gal. An article on Salon made this critical observation: “One of Oprah’s signature gimmicks has been giving stuff away to her audience… These bits have revealed an Oprah who truly revels in consumer culture, and who can seem astonishingly oblivious to the way most people live and what they can afford. She seems to celebrate every event and milestone with extravagant stuff, indeed to not know how to celebrate without it.”
Addiction: Anyone who has lost and gained back incredible amounts of fat has some addiction to food. A 2008 article in People magazine was headlined with “Oprah Winfrey Admits to Tipping the Scales at 200 Lbs.” In 1990, she hit 237 pounds. Oprah was cited as saying “I look at my thinner self and think, ‘How did I let this happen again?” The answer is simple: With every possible resource at her disposal she must have an uncontrolled addiction to food. Nevertheless, Oprah has always sold good eating and nutrition and a healthy lifestyle to her audience on her TV show, magazine and now her own cable network.
Another article that year was titled Is Oprah a Big Fat Hypocrite? It asked the logical question: If Oprah can’t keep the weight off, who can? She said this: “As I work out, eat healthfully, and reorder my life so there’s time to replenish my energy, I continue to do the spiritual and emotional work to conquer this battle once and for all.” But in 2010 she was a fatso once again. She also looked older than her years. So what can be expected for the millions of undoubtedly overweight and obese fans? The sad truth is that Oprah is surely making it easier for them to stay unhealthy.
If you want detailed facts about the life and impact of Oprah I recommend the Wikipedia site. Perhaps the best proof of the decline of American culture is that Oprah is widely accepted as the cultural icon of contemporary times.