Oprah Winfrey Opens Up About Decades Of Weight Mockery; Says 'It Was A National Sport'

Oprah Winfrey opened up about the relentless body shaming she endured for decades in the public eye.

Published on Jun 28, 2024  |  10:01 PM IST |  34K
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Oprah Winfrey (P.C.- Instagram/oprah)

Famous TV personality Oprah Winfrey got emotional. She has faced a lot of criticism over her weight and now in a recent interview, she described how much public scrutiny and weight shaming she has been facing. The media mogul has always been vocal about all these issues and what she has been going through personally over the years. In a recent interview, she candidly said that her weight has become a national obsession for people and it’s not a new thing for her. 

Oprah Winfrey about her weight being mocked 

The renowned media mogul and cultural icon Oprah Winfrey has stood through decades of intense public scrutiny and is often the target of crude comments about her weight. During the first episode of The Jamie Kern Lima Show, Oprah opened up about her struggles with body shaming that have plagued her personally and professionally.

Reflecting on this painful period, Oprah disclosed how mocking her size had become almost accepted in the entertainment industry. She recounted how for the last 25 years, in whatever way, she was targeted by the tabloids every week on her weight. 

"Making fun of my weight was a national sport for 25 years." This pervasive ridicule was not limited to tabloids, as comedians and TV shows often used her body as a punchline.

Oprah revealed a particularly upsetting memory of a skit from the hit television program In Living Color. To the amusement of the audience, a character portraying her was shown in this segment eating nonstop until she finally exploded. The funny part was when she finally lost control and the audience started laughing uncontrollably. And she was the woman as she recalled. It was just agreed upon. That was considered to be acceptable.

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She talks about her resilience and moving forward 

Oprah carried this burden with grit and grace despite the great pain these depictions caused. She has decided to move past this traumatic past as she recently stepped into her seventieth birthday. "I’ve just recently turned 70 and I’m not carrying it into the next decade. I’m done with it," she declared.

Despite Oprah's weight loss, challenges were still there. She gained popularity in 1988 when she famously wheeled a wagon filled with fat onto her show, representing the 67 pounds she reduced while following a liquid diet. The outcome, though, was temporary. 

Winfrey revealed that after three days she again gained five pounds and after a week, she weighed ten pounds more. And that was the reason she felt embarrassed to go to a star-studded Christmas party as she felt "too fat to go", according to a PEOPLE report. 

Her experience serves as an important reminder of the negative impacts of body shaming as well as the value of respect and kindness. It also highlights how the media landscape has changed, with many celebrities now openly discussing their personal stories and calling for a more respectful and compassionate conversation.

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Many people who have experienced similar challenges find inspiration in Oprah's willingness to share her story. Her story gives hope and serves as a reminder that everyone deserves to be treated with respect and dignity as society continues to move toward greater acceptance and understanding.

ALSO READ: The Shame started': Oprah Winfrey Discloses Skipping Don Johnson’s Party Over Body Image Struggles

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