Tuesday, December 9, 2008

My Letter to Oprah

so i'm sure many of you have seen this or a similar article about oprah reaching 200 lbs and basically feeling like a failure. kate and the shapely prose family said this amazing thing but i felt the need to write something too. so i did. having a blog is fun...

why does this amazing, succsessful, wealthy woman who has beat sexism and racism to become a very powerful force hate herself and her body? why does she want to make herself dissapear? women aren't supposed to take up too much space, or be too loud, or too smart, or too succesful. or too ethnic. and while she has broken through most of those barriers she still wants to make herself disapear. her weight isn't a "sorce of shame," as she herself said. i'm quite sure she has more than enough willpower.

but she began to "eat what she wanted", and that wasn't good? not good for her to want? why are we still allowing ourselves, as women, to be told that we are not allowed to want, that we have to put the needs of everyone else before our own, that if we want anything at all we're selfish? and serriously, not every fat person is sitting around stuffing their face with junk food. and before you trot out your friend/co-worker/classmate/aunt eillien as your anecdotal evidence please remember that fat people are not all the same. just like not all black people are the same.

the disservice she's providing for the millions of women who hold her up as a role model is her re-enforcement that if you fail at long term weight loss it's your fault. which is a totally false statement. 95% of people who losse weight gain it back. period. and it's not becuase they don't want it enough, it's because our bodies are not designed to do that. she is clinging to the false hope that she, with all her money and support will be able to be part of that narrow margin. and the false statment that the only way to be healthy is to be thin. and the only way for her to be an acceptable person is to weigh a certain amount, that no other accomplishment is worth anything if she weights 200 lbs.

what i would wish for opera, and everyone who reads this blog, is an opportunity to stop hateing herself and her body. i would wish her the chance to learn about health at every size (HAES...google it, serriously) and the growing size acceptance movement. i would wish her self-love based on her accomplishmnets and strength not on the numbers on a scale or in her clothes.

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