Here’s what the beauty experts at Allure Magazine reported;
It’s hard to imagine a better corporate fit than Oprah Winfrey and Weight Watchers. She is the patron saint of self-improvement, and her personal narrative has always included her struggle with weight. If her legion of fans would follow her onto the points system, she might be able to turn around the company’s declining profits. And when Winfrey announced this corporate partnership last fall, it wasn’t as a paid spokeswoman but rather as someone who’d bought a 10 percent stake in the company. It was the ultimate Oprah move: Reach a goal, help some ladies, and reap the profits like a boss. But when her first Weight Watchers commercial debuted yesterday, it didn’t feel to me like a message of empowering possibility. It felt like a setback.
“Inside every overweight woman is a woman she knows she can be,” Oprah tells us. In other words, your real self (or authentic self, to borrow a phrase Winfrey loves) is some ideal thin version who is trapped, waiting for you to finally get it together to lose the weight. In addition to Winfrey talking to the camera in a sun-dappled clearing, the ad features vintage footage of the icon struggling on a treadmill and jogging miserably in slo-mo. These are her failed attempts at releasing this inner thin person. And failure isn’t my word—it’s hers. “Every time I tried and failed,” she says, “every time I tried again, and every time I tried again, has brought me to this most powerful moment to say, ‘If not now, when?’”
The Internet apparently felt a lot of feels upon seeing this advertisement. Here’s what I felt: sad that this hugely successful woman has yet again assembled a chronicle of her weight-loss failures—sad that Oprah believes, despite everything else she’s accomplished, that her true self lies “buried in the weight,” as she put it.
Many have speculated that Weight Watchers’ corporate troubles are due to the fact that people aren’t going on diets they way they used to. They’re embracing a more holistic, health-based approach to weight maintenance. (Apparently the readers of Women’s Health don’t even want to see the word “diet” on the magazine’s cover.) Bad news for Weight Watchers is good news for womankind. I’m cynical enough to worry that we’ll ping-pong back to thinspo and food-as-the-enemy diet tricks in a year or two, but for now anyway, we seem a little bit less obsessed with the idea of perfect—or at least open to the idea that perfect comes in a lot of different sizes, shapes, and colors. Crucial to this attitude is the idea that self-loathing isn’t the best motivator if your goal is happiness.
Here’s what I wish Oprah had said: I’ve been a lot of things—fat, thin, beloved, reviled, celebrated, successful, down, up again. Losing weight won’t solve your problems. If you want to do it, go for it—find something that works, that makes you feel good and improves your health. I know you can do it. If you don’t want to, that’s fine, too. Fuck it. Find a sun-dappled clearing, sit and read a book, count your money, think about how you helped get a president elected. There’s no perfect version of you. There’s just who you are right now.