A Love Letter to the Oprah Winfrey that I Used to Know

Oprah WinfreyOprah Winfrey, you shattered my heart. Today, January 23rd is your 59th birthday, and all I can do is harp(o) on how you betrayed me.  Oprah you WERE one of my favorite things. Although, Oprah, to be honest, if you were to put your name on the list of “Oprah’s Favorite Things,” it would probably be reason enough for me to put you on my list of favorite things, again. I mean, you’re Oprah Winfrey.

You came into my home everyday at 4PM and stayed for the hour. You were always so perky, so full of life. You kept me engaged with your booming timber and your wacky, but evolving hairstyles. You even made pastel colors palatable for me. Oprah, you were a phenomenal woman, and I was just a girl. A gawky pre-teen girl at that, who was almost paralyzed with insecurities. You showed me how to embrace me and all of that self-help nonsense. That is what turned me into the still insecure, but slightly more confident, gawky young woman you read before you today.

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You had this undeniable power, Oprah. No one else could get a troop of white, middle class women to stop sipping their soy lattes, and load up their Land’s End sweaters and go to “war.” But, you could, Oprah. You didn’t need a magic wand or a siren’s song to mesmerize the mass. You had this innate gift. Your magic touch made household names of fame whores like Dr. Oz or Dr. Phil. You made a best-selling author out of a man who died 103 years ago. I mean, really, they should have cast you in Anna Karenina instead of Keira Knightly because you’re the one that really did Tolstoy justice. When someone betrayed you, that person became dead to us. Do you remember James Frey? Neither do we.

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For 25 seasons (okay, I wasn’t around for 25 seasons), but anyway, for 25 seasons you came into our homes and made yourself vulnerable, in front of our eyes. Celebrities can be like real people too! You kvetched about your yo-yoing weight and you revealed your darkest childhood secrets and tragedies. Just when I thought we were the best of friends, you gave me back the other half of our necklace and said you were just going to go hang at the popular kids table.

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On May 25th, 2011 you ended your show. You said you were creating a network, your own network. But, like actually, OWN, the Oprah Winfrey Network.  What you neglected to mention is you would only be present in the name of the network. You would let OWN become a hack version of Lifetime, and well, that’s just, embarrassing. You forgot about the quintessential aspect that made your daytime talk show great, and that was you Oprah. Now, you’ve faded into popular culture oblivion along the likes of Gary Busey and the guy who used to host American Idol that isn’t Ryan Seacrest. Even I, might stop caring about your favorite things. I wish you a Happy Birthday, Oprah. But, I wish you it with a string attached, that for your 60th Birthday you bring back your show because we all know you love your fans even more than you love Steadman, but  just less than you love Gayle. 

(Photo: WENN.com)

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