And yet all of this is not apparently not enough. It still comes down to weight and body image. She talks incessently about this on her TV show. She has been forthcoming about her weight struggles and over the past decade of her roller coaster relationship with her body, she has reframed the issue and served it up in many different flavours -- health; self esteem; living the best life; being the best version of yourself, and it goes on.
I can understand anyone wanting to be healthy and live an active healthy lifestyle. However in Oprah's case, she has lost weight down to the skinny several times and she seems to gain back to a full female figure. Maybe she was never meant to be a slim woman. She once said that to maintain her size 12 body (not tiny by any means) she had to run on the treadmill for an hour each day .... r u n.
My disappointment comes with the mixed message Oprah represents. If you are the most well known, powerful, successful woman on the planet and achieved a monumental body of work - and you still can't be happy with yourself because of your weight - it represents everything we (and the Dove campaign) try to teach our girls not to be. I wish Oprah would be contented with her personal success and phenonmenal contributions to humankind and not focus on the one thing she does not have -- a slim body. For millions of women around the world, struggling with the many issues she discusses on her show, Oprah is an icon - a symbol of possibility.
But the message is clear -- no matter how successful you are -- if you aren't slim -- it's not enough.
Perhaps Oprah needs to revisit the poem of her mentor Maya Angelou ....
Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.I'm not cute or built to suit a fashion model's size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I'm telling lies.
It's the fire in my eyes,
And the flash of my teeth,
The swing in my waist,
And the joy in my feet.
I'm a woman
[Excerpts from Phenomenal Woman, May Angelou]