Oprah Can't 'Accept' Herself at 200 lbs -- That Doesn't Mean You Can't

Oprah Winfrey
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Oprah has been a guru to many people for many reasons over the decades. Her words have been treated as scripture to the ears of the millions of people who support her endeavors, watch her network, and read her magazine and books. But like all of us, Oprah is human -- specifically a woman, who's struggled to love her body over the years. However, Oprah's latest public comments are more than disheartening -- they are detrimental. 


During a recent New York Times interview, the 63-year-old media mogul opened up about her recent weight loss since joining (and subsequently owning stock in) the diet empire Weight Watchers. 

It was here that she admitted she is unable to accept herself if she reaches a certain weight on the scale.

"So all of the people who are saying, 'Oh, I need to accept myself as I am' -- I can't accept myself if I'm over 200 pounds ..."

Winfrey quickly defended her stance by saying:

"... It's too much work on my heart. It causes high blood pressure for me. It puts me at risk for diabetes, because I have diabetes in my family."

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Oprah isn't wrong for setting goals and aiming to lose weight, especially when health is a concern for her personally. However, tying her identity to a specific number -- and diet fad after diet fad -- with such a hyperfocus on weight can be dangerous, as it suggests to Oprah's followers that weighing over 200 pounds somehow guarantees you automatic health issues (as if those who weigh less are completely free of worry).

She also delivered under the guise of "healthy living" her problematic understanding of body positivity.

 "This whole PC thing about accepting yourself as you are -- you should 100 percent," she said.

She then reveals that this "way of thinking" (i.e., body postivity and self-acceptance) led her to decide to invest personally and professionally in Weight Watchers. "It's a mechanism to keep myself on track that brings a level of consciousness and awareness to my eating. It actually is, for me, mindful eating, because the points are so ingrained now.'"

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Body positivity and self-acceptance aren't a final destination you reach once you weigh a certain amount. It's a constant state of awareness that makes you love all of who you are -- and feel deserving of love -- regardless of achieving a particular weight or conforming to the imagery society projects as standard.

Calling it a "PC thing" is dismissive, and it especially hard to swallow from someone who's seemingly struggled with truly loving herself throughout the years regardless of her size. The world and Barbara Walters alike were completely taken aback during the 10 Most Fascinating People of 2014 special when Oprah admitted she needs to "make peace with the whole weight thing" in order to feel satisfied leaving the earth.

"What?!" Walters shockingly questioned Oprah after hearing her reveal. "That's still on your mind?"

It's also fair to say her motives are questionable, too. Her shares in Weight Watchers' stock are dependent upon her followers' wanting to change and also not "accepting" themselves at a certain weight.

Hopefully, Oprah can come to a point on her journey to self-discovery and embrace where her health goals aren't so tightly wound around a specific number on the scale in order to accept herself.

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