This post is gonna take on a bit of a personal tone (I’ve had half a glass of Ramona Singer pinot grigio, guys…get ready). See, I kinda love Oprah Winfrey in a major way. I am one of those “children of the 80s” whose mother had O on the TV every afternoon after school starting in 1986 and so Oprah basically raised me, which explains why I shout-talk everything in a very deep voice. I can remember watching her wheel out that wagon full of meat when she lost all that weight on crazy diet #1947201 and thinking to my young self, “I WANT OPRAH TO BE ON MY TV FOREVER!” Today, my childhood dream is shattering…and I’m left with nothing but this Nate Berkus designed bowl in which to pick up the pieces.
In 2005 I even worked with Queen Oprah herself as a production assistant on O Magazine’s Live Your Best Life tour/convention (see the 2005 photo below for a pic from this event). For three weeks I traveled as a member of the Oprah circus. I bought grapefruit scented candles for her green room and planned menus that she approved and chased after her dog Sophie (RIP) and basked in the O glow. We called her Miss Winfrey and didn’t chew gum in her presence, because Oprah don’t play that. And truly, she was very pleasant and super cool to work for – as was Gayle. (Gayle! Don’t even get me started on Gayle). In every city Oprah would speak for 2+ hours; she’d enter the auditorium reciting Maya Angelou‘s “Phenomenal Woman” (guys, I just got chills remembering this) and all the audience, dressed in their Sunday best (so many hats!), would cry and clap and dance. Each time she would ask the crowd to raise their hands if they were doing what they truly loved, and each time my co-workers and I would stare at the ground with our arms awkwardly by our sides. When the tour finished, a bunch of us changed careers. Now, every time I create a photo gallery of Kristen Stewart‘s shoes, I thank Oprah. Because today, I would raise my hand. *Cue my own self-absorbed tears*
Oprah is not perfect (don’t tell her this). The Secret is weird and she’s a little too obsessed with the Scientology clique (Really? Is John Travolta that great?). But isn’t that why we love her so much? She always embraces her human side and admits when she screws up — and we’d argue her biggest mistake is leaving us with this giant O shaped hole in our heart.
Let us speak her name with 25 photos of our favorite, most ridiculous Oprah faces — one from each year of her show. Thanks for everything you’ve given us Oprah: your favorite things, a hatred for Jessica Seinfeld, a new appreciation for bras that fit, Kirstie Alley in a bikini…but most of all: YOU.