Living Oprah by Robyn Okrant (Harper Collins)

Wednesday, April 28, 2010 0 Comments A+ a-

I am probably one of the only women to say this, but, I never have been part of the ‘Oprah’ hype. Unlike most women, I don’t read her magazine or watch her show religiously. I think it’s great that she does so many wonderful things for people and appears to be a great role model….however I guess I feel she is on another planet altogether (Celebrity rich planet) so I’m unable to relate.

Being somewhat still intrigued by the multibillion-dollar business woman and chat show host I decided to read Robyn Okrant’s ‘Living Oprah’ a blog memoir of her ‘one-year experiment to walk the walk of the Queen of talk’…to get some more understanding of ‘O’ herself, through the eyes of a regular woman.

The Chicago blogger’s mission was to eat, exercise, shop and do anything the chat show ‘Queen’ requests, dictates to her audience while following Oprah’s mantra; ‘to live your best life’.

I believe Oprah to be the single most influential person in the media today – especially when it comes to impacting women. And many of the women in my life were judging themselves against the high bar Winfrey sets for her audience. I’ve always been skeptical whether it’s truly possible to find happiness when attempting to live up to someone else’s ideal, and yet, I realized that I too would look to television, magazine racks, and the Internet to “fix” myself emotionally, physically, and spiritually. Because Oprah, in my opinion, is at the epicenter of the self-help and personal growth movement in the media, I thought I’d put her advice to the test -- to see if following every suggestion, every “must,” every “gotta,” would actually lead me to my “best life.”
                                              -Robyn Okrant

By watching every episode of the Oprah Show, following and reading and O magazine, she discovers the true meaning of ‘Living Oprah’. There were movies to see, books to read, self-help quizzes to complete and recipes to follow, to help gain the ‘best life’. However at times Okrant finds it hard living up to some of Oprahs’ ideals as well as some contradictions in advice. One day Oprah is saying to eat only healthy food, the next she telling viewers to eat ice-cream, showing that the ‘Queen’ doesn’t always practice what she preaches. 

While Robyn did benefit from some tasks her somewhat ‘light-hearted’ project began to take over her life in unexpected and not entirely welcoming ways…..the bedroom and politics. Okrant also found herself spending huge amounts of money (that the Chicago yoga teacher didn’t have!) on items such as; clothes, cosmetics, garden tools, furniture or anything that Oprah deemed essential to ones ‘best life’.

In the end Okrant does learn to live a more fulfilling a better life through Oprah’s methods, but urges us not to feel we have to abide to all of Oprah’s rules and regulations.

Instead Oprah is here as a guide us…..kind of like a fairy godmother.
If you are looking for an intriguing read or wondering if Robyn Okrant got to meet Oprah in person, pick up a copy of ‘Living Oprah’.

Inspired by Robyn Okrants ‘Living Oprah’ I decide to list all the things I currently do or have done that Oprah encourages us to see do!

- Give yourself time outs/ read a book or magazine: I can't go a day without reading a good book or reading....and buying a glossy magazine.
- Reinvigorate your appearance with advice on looking younger: OK. not what Oprah asks but I did this in reverse. Sick of people mistaking me for a sixteen yr old, instead of 26 (my age). I cut my hair short, which makes me look older.
-Use reusable bags at grocery store, no more plastic: Saving the world here!
-Put stuff on walls that make art: Did this with my motivation heart, made with photo's (see left side of blog).
-See movies Juno, Horton hears a Who, Across the universe, Sex & the city: Done
- Read and buy Peter Walsh's book 'it's all too much': Done, ironically though it's now hoarded on my study bookshelf....does this count??
- Purchase new make-up: Did this as was getting married.
-10 things every woman needs in her closet: The items I already have include; trench coat, white T-neck, leopard print flats, dark-wash jeans, black skirt, oversized bag...key pieces of course!
- Think about how much you consume, don't be wasteful: This is any 'Queens of cheap' everyday motto. My family raised me right! It's not about being cheap, but being smart.
-De-clutter: Coming from a family of hoarders...sorry fam! I did this when I moved out!
- Make your own vision board: See my inspiration board left blog column.
-Find out how to get paid doing what you love: Still really working on this...magazines is a hard business to crack into. Will not give up on my matter how many years and volunteer work it's already taken me. Maybe this motto should be changed to; "It's not about how much a job pays, but how much you love it, that it doesn't feel like a job"...still would be nice to get paid some money to get by!
- Do what you love and money will come: Where's my money Oprah!!! because the first part of this motto seems to already have been covered!