Oprah’s Very Special Your Fattest Self Season

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On a recent episode of Oprah, Ms. Winfrey brought back semi-frequent guest Kirstie Alley to discuss Ms. Alley’s horrible affliction:  she got fat!  Again!  Sound familiar?  Probably because a tone was set this season when Oprah basically let herself be crucified for the masses, and Christilike as always, did it with overabundant joy and love for her fellow fatties.  Oprah, too, got fat after being not so fat, and in one of the more disturbing episdoes of Oprah in recent memory (and this woman reguarly talks about lots o’ fucked up shit like worldwide genocide, domestic abuse, fundamentalist Mormom compounds, sometimes John Travolta shows up…disturbing is commonplace), Oprah sat for the entire hour talking directly to the camera about how much her current self disgusted her.

Look, weight loss can be a really good thing.  Oprah’s insane amount of intimacy with the audience can also be good.  But I just felt really awful watching this, in large part because it followed a wave of negative publicity with Oprah as its huge and unmissable target.  Entertainment news shows were all a-buzz with how much Oprah might weigh while showing unflattering pictures of her with comparisons to Oprah of a few years ago, and the general consensus, sadly, was that Oprah, despite being an insanely successful and culturally important iconic figure, was deemed a FAILURE.  Even more gross, a FAT FAILURE.  And she seemed to agree wholeheartedly.  She cried, and said basically as much.  It was a sad spectacle, and I wondered why she wasn’t being more defensive.  Maybe a more measured and slighly less psychotic version of Tyra Banks’ “KISS MY FAT ASS!” speech on her own talk show could have worked?  It was pathetic capitulation for the most part.  

Maybe Oprah is genuinely upset with herself for gaining the weight back (I can’t imagine going through my cycles of weight gains and losses with everyone watching and taking notes and following my advice…seriously people reading this, resist the urge to elevate me to media god/international guru status, I’m just not ready for the pressure).  But it’s complete and utter wackitude that she was so extreme in her delivery of this message.  She means well, but I fear she’s causing more harm than good without saying something like “Jesus you goddamn media vultures I’m not a fucking whale shut the shit up!”  Again though, less psychotically, and perhaps with a tad more class than my choice of words.  I believe Oprah would be so totally capable of this. (The message, not just out-classing me, that’s cake.)

Kirstie Alley’s reaction to her own weight struggles was entirely more palatable.  I realize not everyone might immediately think palatable when it comes to Kirstie, but I have a soft spot for a sarcastic, brash, drag-queen-without-balls-in-pantyhose kind of lady. (I related to Gnatalby a story a couple months ago about the first time someone openly achknowledged that I have the gay, and it was totally this kind of person.  My mom’s wonderfully drunk, loud, opinionated friend laughed as she poured herself another 7 and 7 and said to me “You know what, if you’re gay, it’s all right with me!  I love gay people!”  Awwwwwwwwwwesome.  Although, when 11 years old and with your parents in the same room, not so much; obviously awesomeness was obtained in retrospect.)

Kirstie laughs about the whole thing and talks about how horrifying it is to step off planes and have to try to hide from the paparazzi  because you don’t want to be, like Oprah, the celebrity who said “It’s easy to lose weight just do this!” (Jenny Craig commercials with Kirstie) then their evil fatty inner self explodes through their newly toned skin.  (I made up that wording; Kirstie, as much as she tries, is not as funny as me.  Gurrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrl.  <pursed gay lips and finger snap>)

She was also honest in that she said she did not know if she would get unfat.  She would like to be, of course, but it might not happen, and she didn’t seem devastated by that.  Is this not an okay way to feel?  Does this have to seem defeatist?  Why can’t it  be ok for even the gods that walk among us and tell us how to live our lives to just be sort-of-fat people?  ARE WE SO VAIN?

Ok so we are.  But Oprah, you have enough (success, money, a beard and a foxy mistress) to be vain about.  Next season’s mantra:  Get ready for this jelly America!

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One Response to “Oprah’s Very Special Your Fattest Self Season”

  1. gnatalby Says:

    It makes me feel so sad how Oprah is about the fat. Like a few years ago when she said that getting thin was her greatest accomplishment, I was like, “Holy Crap! Seriously, out of everything you’ve done? I think our national priorities are askew.”

    Oprah is one of the hardest working people alive, with the greatest amount of resources at her disposal, including a personal chef and (probably, I’m not sure about this) a personal trainer. I seriously think it would be great if Oprah was like: “The amount fat people are expected to overwork themselves just to be smaller is insane and I’m not going to take part in it anymore. Health is a great goal, but sometimes you can be as healthy as can be and still not achieve tininess.”

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