Tuesday, December 09, 2008

What I said


Nearly a year ago I wrote a post about Oprah's public battle with weight. Back then I wondered whether anyone could "win" the "battle of the bulge," if Oprah with all her money and resources couldn't.

Now the comment is a bit different: If Oprah, with all her ups and downs, her struggles to accept herself as she is, her repudiation of her body and her appetite, can't learn to love herself, then who can?

The answer: You can. I can. Even Oprah can.

But to do that, you've got to let go of the fantasy image of yourself as you wish you were.

You've got to grieve for the vision of yourself you've held dear for so long. You've got to grieve for that perfect you, the one who floats effortlessly through the world, svelte, unsinkable, emotionally airbrushed. You've got to learn to love instead what you've got: your thighs and your big heart, your dreams and your pores, all of them part of the same imperfect and vastly more interesting package than any airbrushed toothpick-thin fantasy could ever be.

Oprah, if you're reading this, I'm rooting for you--not to lose that weight again, but to gain something infinitely more precious: yourself.

9 comments:

Kim said...

Great post! That's all I have to say :)

Anonymous said...

I agree.... if oprah can't accept herself and the body in which she resides... what hope is there for the rest of us. Perhaps as women we just set our standards too high... creating impossible goals (especially when it comes to body image and weight)

more of my thoughts on this here
http://opinionatrix.wordpress.com/2008/12/10/oh-oprah/

Sarah said...

I'm very disappointed about her magazine focus. I agree very much with your post.

alliterating said...

I love this. Everyone, in his or her own time, has to come to a point of readiness to let go of the fantasy.


Thanks for the facebook birthday wishes!

Rosalie

Pamalamb said...

I've always considered Oprah to be a dangerous person. She is given way too much influence. AMEN on everything you have written. Love yourself folks!!

Anonymous said...

You are absolutely right! It would be revolutionary if Oprah started preaching radical acceptance instead of feeding into the whole diet industry complex. She's brave to share her struggles loving her body and her personal evolution. I just wish for her sake that radical acceptance is the next step.

mary said...

I too wish her well on her journey to find self acceptance. I do get where you are coming from Harriet.
I also understand that without setting limits and making time to move every day some people have a tendency to gain easily, making it difficult to maintain a set weight. My own thyroid is slow but seems to be improving so I am curious to see research that will help. I have some theories. :) Just as those who don't eat enough need to be mindful and make sure they eat, A LOT if their metabolism is fast, some of us need to make sure we are eating food that is right for our body chemistry and nourishment. Science can back this.
Oprah gets to do what she wants to in order to be comfortable. I can respect that and I think she might actually like herself. (though I kinda wish she'd leave us out of her get in shape programs) Ideally though, she will like herself well enough no matter what the damn scale says. I agree that we need to love what we do have! TODAY!

Anonymous said...

This comment is the one that caught and has KEPT my attention:

You've got to grieve for the vision of yourself you've held dear for so long. You've got to grieve for that perfect you, the one who floats effortlessly through the world, svelte, unsinkable, emotionally airbrushed. You've got to learn to love instead what you've got: your thighs and your big heart, your dreams and your pores, all of them part of the same imperfect and vastly more interesting package than any airbrushed toothpick-thin fantasy could ever be.

I am thinking about that because today (before I read your blog mind you) I decided to NOT go for LapBand surgery next year as I previously planned and to start an excellent self care campaign for my life. I like my body, I just have not moved it in a while. It is time that I chose to love my body and me well. I hope that Oprah reads your blog statement and gets that same message too.

Nikita

Harriet said...

Nikita,

Good for you. You can't go wrong by loving yourself and your body. Keep me posted on how things go!