Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Letter to Oprah

If I were to write a letter to Oprah here is what it would say:

Dear Oprah,

I was sad to read in your June issue of Oprah Magazine the very last page. It speaks volumes of your intellectual detachment from the essence of who you are inside and out. One sentence reads…”I know for sure I am not my body”. And this is the kind of stuff you are promoting to your readers.

You have been on a journey for many years to define who you are and in so doing your magazine is always filled with great ideas on embracing oneself, understanding oneself, doing for oneself and so on. Being connected to our inner self should never negate our outer self. In many ways it’s a contradiction of your entire magazine and what it has been for so long. Often in your magazine your writers promote the true embracing of who we are. Understanding the depth and powers we draw from within. We can close our eyes and visualize, ponder, be inspired with each breath that draws us to a clearer and deeper understanding of self.

The reality is we still have to open our eyes and more often than not the world is used as a mirror to reflect who we are. We can’t help but walk through our homes and look all around us, including what we see in the mirrors above the sink to define who we are inside and out. We ARE our bodies. We walk around in them. It’s often the first impression we present to our families each morning. It is who a stranger on the street sees, a coworker, who we are to our children. Life happens and who we are inside and out is who we are.

My life is not so pretty and perfect. Five children have left me a little lumpy and bumpy in places. I was told most of my growing up years that I was not so smart, and not to pretty, only to discover by looking in the mirror that I am one hot mamma. (okay, so my teenagers help in this area too). When we try to pull on our own resources, or the studies of others in the field of specializing in how to go deeper and get away from the physical person we truly lose a sense of who we are. Starting your “Beauty Revolution” as your cover states is also a contradiction to your last page.

I see this picture of you on that back page. Beautifully made up in a gorgeous red blouse and matching lipstick. Beautiful!!! Oprah it appears that you have missed the very boat you are trying to sail. We are not “formless beings”, as you state in this article. It is sad that your new line of thinking is bringing you to this.

When I was sixteen years old I started listening on the radio to a local TV station that aired a new talk show host. Oh how she made me smile with her words and wisdom. I was working for my father’s company and this talk show helped pass the assembly line hours. One day I had to call in sick to see what this woman looked like. I had to give her a face. I discovered it was this beautiful woman who had a lot to say, and often had words that I could identify with. It was you Oprah. Back in those days, you had a lot of extra fluff, but you know people turned on your program, they listened to what you had to say, they watched from day to day and as they say the rest is history. Who you were at that time may have been someone different behind closed doors than what you portrayed on TV, but your body in it’s full figure did not give anyone reason to turn off the TV.

For someone who has so much from the world’s perspective you still have yet to understand and even embrace you both inside and out. Seeking higher powers still has you writing articles about not being satisfied with yourself. Reaching inside and starting a “beauty revolution” is not the next antidote for the lack of acceptance we all struggle with from time to time. It’s not just taking an a person who feels less than beautiful and teaching them better ways to wear a scarf, how to walk in way that states confidence or even ruby red lipstick, although I have my rainbow of colors, and pooh on the scarf. I learned how to wear it, but it blew away one windy day and I was still left with me, my beautiful lumpy bumpy body and no scarf. The scarf and lipstick did not define me.

What defines me? What takes this average person and makes me smile both inside and out? What brings me to tears as I watch my children enjoy a life that I never had? How can I possible smile after gaining such financial status, only to lose it all and start all over? I was an abused child and yet I can wake up each day, look at that frazzled and untamed hair and smile. Sometimes I have to fake it to make it because it’s not my family or my children’s fault if I don’t have it in me to put that smile on my face. But often faking it promotes some good practice which promotes being real.

Knowing and having God in my life gives me that beautiful person in the mirror. I don’t have to run from one specialist to the next and hope that this person has the process needed to complete who I am. God completes me with all my imperfections. One day Oprah I would love to see you walk onto that stage of yours, or have your picture taken in your magazine in what you look like when you wake up and walk your dogs. Look at yourself in the mirror, after being made up for the public you lose a sense of what is real. What would happen if your viewers saw you? Who you are aside from the Hollywood Icon we all see. You know they would still love and adore you. They would still flip on the TV to watch your show and they would still buy your magazine.

Maybe I don’t live in reality. I love my handbags and shoes. I love taking care of myself, but yesterday when I ate the m&m’s that I should not have had I did not let it define me for eternity. It was just a colorful chocolate treat that I admit lacked any kind of self control. Big deal. It’s a choice made not because of my poor childhood, not because I had a bad day I just wanted m&m’s. I am about 25 pounds over weight, and would probably benefit greatly at having some specialist teach me how to dress better, but most of us don’t have that luxury so I can embrace a style that defines me from the outside. Then get to know me and you learn about the inside of me.

Love your body Oprah. When I first saw you I loved you. All of you. God loves you and I love you and that is the way it should be. A little ditty I have sung to all of my children since birth. If you are going to promote inner self and all that your last page reads in your June issue then it would only be fair to remove all your advertisements that have to do with the outside of who we are and the articles that surround it. Love and Blessings, elizabeth


  1. Wow. That's a powerful letter. Are you going to really send it.

    I would hope that she would read it somehow and it would help her.

  2. Oprah strikes me as someone who is never truly happy. Because she is always redifining things. Redefining her definition of body. Redefining her definition of happiness. Redefining her definition of ideal. Redefining her definition of God. Redefining her definition of good.
    When you are always redefining and have no constant to which to compare, you can never obtain a goal and happiness.


  3. Elizabeth - what a poignant letter! I think you have captured what a lot of us are thinking... but I could never have created such a well written letter as you have done. Thank you for sharing this letter with us... so are you sending it?

  4. I will send it once I find the right place to sent it to. My computer has a failing fan, so often my computer shuts down when I am on it, which was the case last night as I was searching where to send it.

  5. I think you should send it. It's well written and she needs to hear it. The light has gone out of her eye's. The TRUE light of the world. Thanks for sharing.

  6. That is a great letter and I think you should send it. It was well written. Thank you for sharing that!

  7. awesome! Love it! Send it! although, I have noticed that major tv networks scan the blog world in search of their name...maybe she'll find you!

  8. awesome! Love it! Send it! although, I have noticed that major tv networks scan the blog world in search of their name...maybe she'll find you!

  9. Awesome post and so true.

    I wanted to thank you for praying for my mom. She passed away unexpectedly yesterday and I just wanted to let you know.


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