weigh in . on oprah (or taking over the world)

January 24, 2011

Oprah’s been all over the interwebs today due to her big news about having a long-lost sister. I read some of the comments on the official Oprah.com post, which got me thinking about a few things Oprah-related:
  1. I’d like to be that sister. I’ll bet Oprah gives great birthday presents.
  2. If Oprah ran for president, I really think that enough people might actually vote for her to be the next POTUS. 
  3. She might be taking over the world. 
  4. How much is too much?

Bear with me. I’ve got a [sort of] logical thought-process here. I grew up with a mom who watched the Oprah show regularly. I’ll give her credit – the lady had some great content and heart-wrenching stories. So far so good. 

Well, then she gets Dr. Phil and company. She starts recruiting an army of Oprah-approved experts. She officially has her own team of on-call professionals to tell you and the rest of the world everything you ever wanted to know about everything. 

Then comes the magazine. She’s on the cover every month. If I’m not mistaken, the only one she’s ever shared with anybody was Michelle Obama. Now she’s reaching out to the non-tv crowd and allowing even the most addicted viewers to get their fix while riding the subway, working the elliptical, or getting a pedicure. 

Now what? Well, now comes the Oprah Winfrey Network. Our favorite talk show personality now has an entire television network bearing her name and featuring the aforementioned army of experts. 

I think that this is an odd symbol of our current culture – that one person can rise up through the ranks just by being a charismatic celebrity personality. This one woman holds endless influence over her viewers, and those viewers are also consumers and decision-makers. She indirectly has great marketing power over whatever she chooses to endorse – or not endorse. Don’t get me wrong. I know that Oprah has done some incredible things for the world. 

I just can’t help but wonder – when is it just too much? What do you think?


  1. I agree with you that she has a lot of power over people just as religion and the government do. I like to think that she is a person of some what good judgment but just like everything you need to be able to take the good from the ‘bad’ if you will.
    I still think that she is better then a lot of the other influences out there but I would just like to see her do a lot more with the Millions she has.

  2. I have nothing wrong with Oprah (mostly because she’s so generous) but I DO agree that her being on the front cover of every one of her magazines is a bit odd. I mean really, there’s only so many overly-posed Oprah photoshoots someone can take!
    So I say as long as she’s giving back, give her all the tv shows/magazines/networks she wants. 🙂

  3. I have never really watched the show on a regular basis. I looked at one issue of the magazine when it had been delivered to our house after we moved in because the last tenant didn’t change their address yet. I generally enjoyed these things, but again, not hooked enough to be one of those crazy screamers in her audience.

    I thought “oh no” with the whole OWN thing, but then I caught an episode of her behind the scenes show about the last season of Oprah, and now I’m hooked. I DVR it. haha It’s funny to see what a diva she can be.

    That said, she does a lot for a lot of people. She’s smart in that she’s grown an empire for herself and it only really seems to benefit people, so I suppose that means “more power to ya!”. 🙂

  4. i agree with citizen k, that, way to go oprah. but meh, it all seems the same to me and i don’t pay attention to her army of media.
    i’d rather see what the marthas are doing, it seems more practical.

  5. I, for one, am excited that one woman can have so much success.
    As far as the OWN network and her O magazine, I’ve never participated in those products. She’s definitely selling herself and while I wouldn’t do it that way it seems that she’s doing good things.

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