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.
A Fat Woman Who Knows Who She Is