Dear Oprah: Please Stop Projecting Your Insecurities Onto Me

Dear Oprah:

I just saw your Weight Watchers commercial. I got really angry when I heard the opening line: “Inside every overweight woman, is a woman she knows she can be.”

Being an overweight woman yourself does not qualify you to tell stories about what is inside EVERY overweight woman. Being you only qualifies you to tell stories about YOU.

Let me tell you what is inside THIS “overweight” woman (I prefer the term “fat,” by the way).

A woman who knows who she is. Not who she can be. Who she IS.

A woman who knows that she was, is, and always will be the same woman for all of her days. And that there is folly in believing that her weight means that she is “less than she can be” or “should be hidden.”

A woman who used to believe what you currently seem to believe about yourself, in spite of your professional and financial success….that changing her body weight was the key to fixing her insecurities, and therefore worthy of copious amounts of time, energy, and money. A woman who knows that those insecurities were much more crippling at her lowest weight than at her highest.

A woman who is happier and more fulfilled at her highest weight than she has ever been in her entire life, because she focused on the INSIDE, and not her weight.

A woman who has seen family members and friends give Weight Watchers loads of money. Who has seen most of these family members and friends lose weight, gain it back, and become even more psychologically shackled than ever to the idea that losing weight for good will make them happy.

And a woman who can lift heavy stuff off the ground and throw it over her head.

So, Oprah, please stop talking about “every overweight woman,” as if we all have the same story, a story which you intimately know because you are one of us. I never thought I would feel pity for someone as successful and influential as you, but today I am proven wrong. I pity you because I used to BE you, and I know what THAT is like. I used to tell myself the same story. And now I don’t, and  I know the peace that comes from a different story.

I wish you the same peace, and I know that it won’t come from dragging other women with you into the body shame circus that is Weight Watchers.

Sincerely,

A Fat Woman Who Knows Who She Is

 

28 thoughts on “Dear Oprah: Please Stop Projecting Your Insecurities Onto Me

  1. It’s a sickness (weight fixation) that few escape. Glad you did. I fight tooth and nail every day to rid it from my cells. I’ll take my HEALTH fixation any old day.

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    • So very true! If she only practiced what she preached on those amazing super soul sunday shows. So sad for her and every woman believing they are less of a woman because of her weight.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. This is an amazing response. Well done, thank you. I’m sharing it and hope everyone else does. Great that they are a resource for some people, but damn right with getting out of the body shaming mentality.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This perfectly sums up my frustration with that commercial. I love Oprah, but she is not us, and I found it presumptuous of her to speak on behalf of all fat women. And she makes a few million more, the more of us she can convince to hate ourselves enough to join starvation nation. Thank you for writing this!

    Liked by 1 person

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  5. Great response! I have battled my weight for as long as I can remember (I am 50 now) and I love Oprah and her Super Soul Sunday guests, but the message Oprah’s commercial gave me is that if she struggles with weight with all her money and resources (cooking gurus, personal trainers, gym equipment, etc.), than I am doomed. I am choosing to make 2016 about loving my body and nourishing it with healthy real and whole food.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Oprah, all your past GURUS must be shaking their heads. MOnEY> MONEY< FOOD< SEX< You have lost a great number of folk who admire you. By your assumptions, that the way to WAITING/WEIGHTING Challenges for US Rubenesque women isSolved by COUNTING POINTS. Loving Oneself in Our Wondrousness. You Have lost me.By buying into this Company. It will loose many members.
    Give/ or Start a Centre for Folk who have had Challenges, support , love etc. . ETC ETC Afterall what your profits from weight watchers could do to help people. what a concept.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  7. I enjoyed reading your response…until you did the exact same thing you accuse Oprah of doing….you presumed to speak for how someone else feels. “I pity you because I used to BE you, and I know what THAT is like.”. Nope, you have never been her so you should not presume to know how she feels just as Oprah should not presume to know how every overweight woman feels.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. We all have issues and insecurities. She wants to be at a healthy weight and recognizes that she has not lived her best self because of it. She refuses to hold herself back anymore and is taking ACTION to fix it. Don’t deny her that or take it so dang personal that she admits her truth. Many women are trying to be ok with it and are not. I also seriously doubt she is foing the commercial “for the money”.

    If fat doesn’t affect you or hold you back and you are living your best self with it then good for you. Work on something else for yourself – maybe judgement.

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    • She is absolutely doing it for the money. She acquired a 10% stake in Weight Watchers. Shares have gone up 170% since Monday and gained another 30% on Tuesday. Her 10% stake is now worth about 110 million.

      Also, doesn’t it seem kind of ludicrous that one of the most successful women in the WORLD, who is a generous philanthropist, has helped launch several careers, speaks at educational institutions of high regard, is a billionaire – says “inside every overweight woman, is a woman she knows she can be”?
      Would all her extraordinary accomplishments been so much better if she’d had a smaller dress size?

      As Melissa Harris-Perry said of Oprah: “I, for one, don’t care if you never reach a goal weight because you have already achieved such weighty goals.”

      If Oprah has a goal of losing weight, more power to her, but in this day and age, it’s very sad that a woman as phenomenal as Oprah, is still not enough unless she is thinner.

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  9. I’ve never been an Oprah fan either and I completely agree that she can not speak for anyone but herself. To assume that all overweight women even want to lose weight in the first place just isn’t right. But I must say that personally Weight Watchers has been the best thing I’ve ever done for my physical and mental health. I’ve been following the program for a year and am now doing things I thought I’d never be able to do – not just because I’ve lost some weight (although that sure has made some things more comfortable) but because I have leaders who inspire me to be my best at every weight. Not everyone who signs up ends up with an experience like mine , but Weight Watchers can really change things for some people. I chose to join WW based on medical advice to lose weight so that I can have an easier time conceiving (not because I didn’t like my body), but I got so much more out of it over the past year than weight loss! I don’t at all feel as though it is a body-shaming circus – I felt beautiful a year ago and I still do today. I have never hated my body at any point in the process, even though I’m still not even half way to my “healthy weight”. I’m still a plus-sized woman but I’m a plus-sized woman with more confidence than I’ve ever had before. Please don’t think that all WW members are brainwashed, miserable and hating their bodies!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Imagine, loving yourself for who are and being happy knowing you are beautiful inside and out, no matter what you weigh. Oprah wasn’t happy when she lost a great deal of weight. I hope she hasn’t convinced herself Stedman will marry her IF she gets down to his or hers ideal weight. He’s not going to. It’s really sad.

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  13. I will just say that while I’m no fan of Oprah, I am one person who discovered that shedding an extra 30 pounds did entirely change my entire life for the better.

    While a lot of people are saying that it isn’t a panacea, or a cure for insecurities, or what not, it actually was for me. I just had to put that out there, because yes many people lose weight and discover that they are still miserable, still single, still crazy or whatnot… not everyone does. My weight was holding me back and I am very happy to have lost it, be pursuing the life I love which would not have been possible without weight loss several years ago.

    If your weight is holding you back from what you want to do with your life (and mine certainly was.) then I think it’s fantastic to make a reasonable plan and lose it. The thing in the end has to be that the number on the scale can not be the end goal… just as the poster above said she is using WW to lose weigh too help her conception chances, in the end it isn’t “I’m thin” as her goal, it’s “I’m a parent!” For me, I wanted to run and swim faster…and part of that is not dragging around extra pounds that put stress on my heart.

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    • I completely respect Oprah’s (and your! And anyone else’s) right to want to lose weight, and to use Weight watchers, and to like Weight Watchers, and to enjoy the benefits if they are one of the 5 percent of the population who experiences lasting weight loss. What I do not respect is any of those people attempting to speak for all fat people. No matter how reasonable one’s own desires are, it does not mean that everyone will share them….and that is okay! People have different priorities in life, and we can all speak for ourselves if we wish🙂.

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