Yes, America, there was life and entertainment B.O. (Before Oprah). It was just different. And so I present to you, in no particular order, six ways Oprah Winfrey has changed our lives:
Oprah proved a woman can be successful on daytime television without ever singing or cooking.
She taught us to love ourselves, fat or thin, despite her subliminal message that thin might be more lovable. At least, that is how I interpreted her losing and re-gaining a lot of weight several times over the years, and devoting numerous episodes to weight related topics.
Without ever actually singing “Kumbaya,” Oprah put us all in touch with our inner Fred (Mister) Rogers.
She elevated daytime talk shows from the Jerry Springer string of bleeps and Maury Povich pop paternity tests, to more cerebral discussions of domestic violence (sans the actual demonstrations provided on the aforementioned shows). Self improvement, spiritual awareness, even book reviews were all a part of the Oprah experience.
She gave entire audiences great gifts like cars and trips, and no one even had to buy a vowel.
Finally, we can never forget it was Oprah who replaced one Phil (Donahue) with another – McGraw.
Okay. I admit to having used Oprah’s birthday as an excuse to be cute (read: “smarmily funny’).
Seriously, Oprah and what eventually became her HARPO empire, has had a phenomenal impact on almost all facets of the media. And while her hairstyle and dress size have changed time and time again, her overall message has remained consistent. Oprah’s efforts to teach the world to pay it forward have influenced life beyond the realm of entertainment. Fat, skinny, Black, white – come to think of it, maybe we should break into at least one chorus of “Kumbaya” after she blows out the candles.
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