Why Did Oprah Have to Go There?

I was very excited to tune in for the Adele special this past week. Her voice sounded as good as ever, and I rather liked how they broke her songs up with the Oprah interview. (Random observation- two women who just go by their first name). The conversation wasn’t deep but it was enough to connect her to her fans. Sadly, halfway through the interview Oprah had to go there. “Let’s talk about your weight loss.” Why Oprah, why?

I suppose our weight obsessed society wants to know, “What diet did she follow? How much weight did she lose? How long did it take?” on and on with the questions. It made me sad. It made me sad that from one woman to another they had to talk about the very thing that leaves so many women, and some men, feeling less than- weight. And of all people Oprah, who has been scrutinized for years because of her weight. Anyone remember the wheel barrel of fat? Sad. And after all that, she’s still talking about weight loss as though she’s hoping to find the secret. There’s no secret.

Data shows us that diets of any kind, DO NOT WORK! The only thing that diets do is mess with our head and our body. If we can turn the conversation simply to healthy eating with no agenda other than to take care of one’s temple, that’s a start. Diets are the result of marketing, societal pressures and of course , social media. (If I see one more headline about some female actress looking so hot in a bikini I’m going to lose it). I wish Oprah didn’t go there.

To be honest, one’s body is one’s business, period.  What we do with it, how we carry it is our own thing. But weight loss is a huge money maker, and now that Oprah’s invested in Weight Watchers I can see why she keeps the conversation going. At what point however do we all say enough is enough? Enough with the diets, enough with the obsession with other people’s weight, with our own weight, enough. It’s destructive.  

I’m happy there has been more discussion about body positivity in the past few years. Sad that it’s taken this long just to talk about it. Adele did say that she was body positive before the weight loss, and she feels the same now. I hope that’s true because her fans are looking to her for their weight loss answers. The only way one can be healthy, not skinny, not thin, but who they are meant to be, is by eating well and moving more. I’ve been saying this for 25 years but it hasn’t stuck because it’s boring. People don’t like boring, but it’s the truth.

I dream of a time where we stop commenting on people’s bodies, stop talking about diets and shaming our bodies. I dream of a world where we stop comparing our body to someone else’s and stop thinking that thin is good and fat is bad, or whatever size one is. Other people’s weight or appearance has somehow become everyone else’s business. Women get hit the hardest with the weight loss narrative and it has become an obsession, a time waster, and brain space usurper. Saddest of all, it’s just one more thing that contributes to women standing back versus leaning in. I wish Oprah hadn’t gone there.

Thinking Out Loud,


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