I have a new article up at Global Comment
With all of the scandal that broke in Illinois this week, the announcement that Oprah Winfrey now tips the scales at 200 pounds was still considered a newsworthy item. It was reported by the Associated Press, in O magazine and by Anderson Cooper. I understand that CNN has twenty-four hours to fill with news, but really, is a woman’s weight a matter of national concern?
Since Oprah entered the limelight she has battled with the bulge. Over the years we have watched her move from skinny jeans to elastic waist. What has bothered me most about viewing each yo-yo swing is that she only seems to portray satisfaction when she has reached a body weight that she is clearly unable to maintain.
“I’m mad at myself,” Winfrey writes in an article provided early to The Associated Press by Harpo Productions.
“I’m embarrassed,” she writes. “I can’t believe that after all these years, all the things I know how to do, I’m still talking about my weight. I look at my thinner self and think, `How did I let this happen again?’
Somehow the number 200 is viewed as intolerable; however her body keeps cycling this way. Could it not possibly be that this is the weight that she intended to be in the first place? Culturally we have made the skinny, near-to-anorexic body out to be the ideal. Women have died living on chicklets in an attempt to gain the much beloved size zero.
There are some that would argue that Oprahs weight has become the target of conversation because she is an iconic figure; however it is my belief that furor over her weight gain speaks to the ways in which society has invested in disciplining the female body.