Monday, February 17, 2014


Why do I love this recent photo of Oprah?

Is it the calm wise eyes, almost no makeup, the quiet, listening look of her?

It was published with a statement she made recently, to the Hollywood Reporter.

She said, "I never wanted to have kids."

Whoa, that's quite a statement from a woman who is a heroine, a leader -- a woman we women pay attention to.

She told the reporter that growing up in poverty in Mississippi, she always believed in putting her career first, and knew -- "If I had kids, I'd never have had enough time -- they'd hate me -- they'd have ended up on the equivalent of the Oprah talk show talking about me because something would have had to suffer and it would have probably been them."

Hmm. When I was coming up in the world of dance, I also thought, for similar reasons, "I never want to have kids."

Oprah has found a different outlet for her maternal instincts, by opening and maintaining a girls' school in South Africa. She has mentioned her daily chats with the girls, about everything -- from boy troubles to handling success -- most of them will become the first members of their families to go to college.

I have never been an Oprah fan -- her know-it-all confidence. her power, and her huge success bother me, though I admire her very practical, down-to-earth way of connecting with people one by one as well as a huge crowds.

People who have chatted with her have said they feel she truly perceives them -- many have said, "She spoke with me as if we were equals."

Yes, Oprah makes herself seem accessible.  But she isn't really accessible -- she is extremely busy maintaining and expanding her empire. (Empire? Yes it is an empire.)
Aside from her international fame, and all that she has already achieved, (she's reportedly  a billionaire), Oprah Winfrey has to maintain an enormous staff  to stay in tune with the times -- events, new faces, the latest trends in culture and politics. With her sharp eye and instinct for picking positive, talented people, she's produced helpful, fascinating shows and created stars such as Dr. Phil. Suze Oman, Dr. Oz. and Rachel Ray.

Golly, when a famous woman declares she never wanted to have children, I'm sure she will be criticized, and disapproved of by many women and men. Maybe this is just an idea I have based on the world I grew up in -- what my mother, grandmother, aunts, sisters, neighbors, teachers, and many many friends expressed.

I have a career and yes, I have a son with a husband who shared with me all the things of parenting, and enabled both of us to have full, busy, wonderful careers. It was tricky. Like Oprah said -- some things that are considered part of a normal life may have suffered.-- but the three of us  -- Mom, Dad, and son have flourished. 

The beautiful calm, wise-eyed woman in that picture speaks her mind truthfully, and fearlessly, and shares with us something men and woman need to know and understand. She isn't quoting numbers, or proving her ideas with research. She speaks what she truly feels, and shows us, teaches us. dares to tell us to listen to your own inner voice.  

I said I wasn't an Oprah fan. I am now.


Carola said...

You're right, that is an interesting and beautiful photo. I sometimes have mixed feelings about Oprah, but basically I like her.

Unknown said...

Having run SMALL companies and having worked in a signatory position within other companies (of size), I was inundated with the signing of checks for anything from the purchase of copy machine supplies to property acquisitions. It was mundane, tedious and very burdensome- and that was just for a "small" company. Oprah Winfrey, as she has stated on numerous occasions and does so again in a recent "Academy of Achievement" article ( ) STILL signs every check for every single expense for every single entity under her brand. THAT blows me away! Even as I write this, my mind cannot fathom how she undertakes such a task. Yet, it is her responsibility to herself -stemming from the manner in which she grew up- which constitutes the drive that makes her account for every cash outflow. How can you NOT respect such a person? Em, you laid out your presentation nicely and you "hooked" this fish! I was ready to "take you to task" on this one. And then came the last paragraph (therein, the "hooking" unfolds) which led very effectively to your last sentence (reeling me in!)..... Bravo!