House of Paula

Would Oprah Make a Good Friend?

Posted on: January 13, 2009

A couple weeks back, Living Oprah asked on her weekly poll “Would Oprah make a good friend?” My response was “nope”. LO asked us to write about why or why not we thought Oprah would make a good friend. It’s taken me a couple weeks to sort it all out, but here’s my thoughts on the topic.

The biggest reason I don’t think Oprah would make a good friend is because at some level she isn’t very authentic. A few weeks back, they re-ran the show where the cast of the Mary Tyler Moore show had a reunion. While it was a good show – although I’m not sure who thought it would be a good idea to let Cloris Leachman go out on stage in a pumpkin orange frock – it seems as if a lot of how Oprah defined herself came from The Mary Tyler Moore Show. When she said that she had a big O on the wall of her office, like Mary Stewart had the “M” on her apartment wall. I thought it was a little strange. Why would someone who’s a billionaire (or pretty darn close to it) let a show from when they are teenager be that defining of her? It would be like me defining myself because of something I saw on Star Trek The Next Generation.

The other reason I think Oprah wouldn’t make a good friend is that she’s a control freak. Granted, paying attention to detail is good, but I think that everything in her life is so scripted, that she whigs out when things go wrong. It wasn’t in her mind that the weight gain would happen yet again and now that it has, Oprah’s beating herself up.

That reaction in and of itself is very telling. Oprah can’t be a good friend because she’s not a good friend to herself. One of the things that I strive for is to love myself right where I am at. It isn’t always easy, and I would be lying if I told you there aren’t times I call myself names, but I don’t beat myself up because I don’t weigh 160 lbs.

The final reason I don’t think Oprah would be a good friend is related to something that happened while I worked for a national support organization. We were trying to figure out how to get the medical condition I have featured on the Oprah show. One of the things we were told by someone who had tried to pitch something to the show before is that in order to get Oprah to even look at something like that, you basically have to put on a dog and pony show and make a HUGE deal about Oprah in the process. While I understand that Oprah can’t feature every little condition on her show, I don’t get why you’d have to pander to her so much to even get her attention – especially if it might help thousands get the help they need.

It’s things about how she conducts herself that make me feel that she wouldn’t be a good friend to have.

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