I’ve been really into Oprah lately. To be fair, I’ve been into Oprah for most of my life, and not just because we share a last name (I’ve grown to accept that every time I introduce myself to someone, they’re going to say, “Like Oprah?” and then laugh like they’re the first person to point this out). I used to take my nap while my mom watched Oprah (my nap started when Oprah started, and my nap ended when Mr. Rogers came on), and in elementary school I did a report on her. She’s an extraordinary person. We all know her as the successful woman she is today, but she started with nothing. She came from an environment of abuse, then worked her way up entirely on her own. She didn’t have family connections or a famous husband…she just had her work ethic, her talent, and her determination. In her book Unlimited (which I read and loved, thank you), Jillian Michaels said something that really stuck with me: Oprah didn’t have anything you don’t have. Um, whoa. Jillian’s right. Oprah got to be Oprah without money or fancy resources or famous friends or any breaks at all, really. This is something I say to myself a lot when my motivation is flagging, as embarrassing as that might be to admit. Oprah didn’t have anything I don’t have.
A lot of people don’t like Oprah, and I honestly can’t understand why. What’s not to like about a woman who’s devoted her life to helping other people achieve their full potential (while also, of course, making a significant amount of money for herself)? Even if you don’t like all of the books she picked for her book club, isn’t it great that she encouraged so many people to read? Oprah gives so much away and is remarkably generous, so it really saddens me when people focus on her weight or her relationship status. Is an unmarried, childless, successful woman really much of a threat to us? Apparently!
I also know a lot of people who think she’s cocky or pretentious. Well, yeah. But she’s earned it. What some people see as being full of herself could also be viewed as confidence or drive. Even though my dad thought it was ridiculous for her to start her own television station, I found that to be yet another example of what’s so great about Oprah. She could’ve stayed on her daytime show for years and years and years, but instead she went for the challenge.
She’s so great, right?