Thursday, June 11, 2009

Does Oprah make you sick?

On the most recent Newsweek cover was none other than Miss Oprah and the title was "Crazy Talk: Oprah, Wacky Cures and You" and on the inside is an article stating that if you follow Oprah's advice it might make you sick. I had read the article online and was quite intrigued by it. The authors are very critical of Oprah and her pseudo experts that she has had on lately.

I have written before about Oprah and I have said I generally always get something out of her shows (find a nugget of information or wisdom). I'm not a cult follower though I do DVR the show and watch most of them. I do believe that she has a calling to help people but she's not perfect. I don't read all of her books, or buy her favorite things. I just have found that generally there are things one could learn from the show that other shows just don't touch. (And my personality is one of information seeking, and Oprah does disseminate some information...) Yet this doesn't include her celebrity shows - they are generally just fluff, yet I do realize there are a lot of hours of showtime to fill!

Some of her shows have been profound for me and have made me not feel alone, such as the ones on motherhood, either talking seriously about how hard it is and the very real dark side of it or the funny ones about mom secrets that you don't want other people to know you do. Or when Brooke Shields came out with her book, "Down Came the Rain" about Postpartum Depression which took away some of the shame that one feels about experiencing PPD as I did. Or the time a few years back when a mom, whose son was in the car, while a carjacking was occuring. The mom had tried to get him out as the person was stealing the car. She watched her son die a horrible death and I will never forget that episode. The lesson I learned was never leave your child or children in the car alone and even also if something horrible happens to you, life can go on. Another episode was about a mother who knew she was dying and recorded videos for her young children to watch at specific milestones to give them the advice she would have wanted to. What foresight and it made me think, I'm still here and I need to work harder at sharing with my children what I want to impart to them.

She has everyday people on who experience extraordinary life experiences and how they get through, rise above. Most of the time, I feel she gets it right but not always. The question that was raised by some of the "Crazy Talk" article readers who commented online was what is Newsweek's connection to pharmaceutical companies that would benefit from slamming Suzanne Sommers and now Oprah who has embraced and is taking bioidentical hormones? I don't know the answer but money and politics are never far behind some people's motives. And people love to go after Oprah and try to take her down a notch.

When I read the article it just reminded me of feeling dismayed by Oprah and some of the guests on her shows. Such as when Suzanne Somers was on the stage sitting next to Oprah touting her bioidentical hormones with the medical experts sitting down below in the front row. Oprah just cut the M.D. off short as she was explaning a complicated medical fact about the dangers of giving one hormone unopposed and Oprah didn't want to hear any of it. I did.
One recent show was Kirstie Alley revealing she had gained weight and all she did was flip her hair and crack jokes about it and say she was going to lose weight, but with the help of a "supplement" that she was developing and then going to make money on??? What was the point? How about learning what is behind the addiction to food?

I think she really does want people to live their best life, but I also think she is caught up in her own celebrity and with celebrities at times. I was disgusted that she interviewed Tom Cruise for two solid hours many months back. (Did I tell you how much I like him now??!!!) The interview was huge for him to improve his badly tarnished public image, but he is a powerful celebrity and Oprah needs the celebrities to do her show. They are juggernauts of ratings and that is how the entertainment business works.

These and other recent shows, I had fleeting thoughts and gut reactions that I had not brought to the forefront of my mind until I read the article. Okay, it is just Oprah and does it really matter, but in the bigger picture of my life, I am learning to listen to my gut, more and more. I can't go wrong with my gut, I'm learning to trust it. I'm letting go of worrying about what others think more and more and it is freeing. So thank you Newsweek, thank you Oprah. I can read and watch, and pick and choose what I want to believe and listen to my gut more and more. If I learn something along the way, great, and if not I can turn off the show or find my own experts.

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