Sleb Safari: Oprah Winfrey has life figured out and then some
DO YOU remember when you used to catch The Oprah Winfrey Show at odd hours in your student house courtesy of the NTL box you had installed once you left home and learned there were more than seven TV channels available?
There was no need to go to the library when you could learn all you believed you needed to know from Oprah.
"Turn your wounds into wisdom," was one of Oprah’s aphorisms; along with "Lots of people want to ride with you in the limo, but what you want is someone who will take the bus with you when the limo breaks down."
Oh Oprah. So enlightened. So empathetic. So encouraging.
Jamie Foxx says her intervention saved his career when he was partying too hard. His phone rang one day and a voice said "You’re blowing it, Jamie Foxx". It was Oprah.
And then there’s Oprah’s favourite things which are the stuff of legend and if you haven’t seen her guest appearance on 30 Rock you need to YouTube it, stat.
To Sleb Safari’s knowledge, the only time Oprah has been wrong was when she confused herbs and was called out by Jamie Oliver.
"What to do with all this dill?" she asked on Instagram, and Jamie Oliver replied: "That’s fennel, mate".
Oprah is connected. She could have had a sniper mobilised within three minutes but she’s a lady and Jamie lived to Instagram another day.
Vogue magazine caught up with Oprah for its September issue and rest assured she’s been living her best life since you graduated from university and stopped watching her show at odd hours of the day and night.
"I’ve tried to talk to other people about this thing: I have no angst. No... nothing. No regret, no fear. I mean… just absolute joyful contentment," was how she described her state of mind.
Honestly, Oprah will always beat you hands down at everything. You’re still striving for happiness but she’s sailed past it and dropped anchor at “joyful contentment.”
The Oprah Winfrey Show ran for 25 years and she says the one thing which united the thousands of people she interviewed was a need to feel they mattered.
"There’s not a human being alive who doesn’t want—in any conversation, encounter, experience with another human being—to feel like they matter. And you can resolve any issue if you could just get to what it is that they want—they want to be heard. And they want to know that what they said to you meant something."
Vogue asked Oprah about what her 63-year-old self knew that her younger self didn’t.
"In your 40s, you’re coming into it, you’re intellectualizing things, and you kind of know it and you feel it.
"But there is a deepening and a broadening and quickening of the knowing that happens in your 50s. Maya Angelou used to say to me, ‘The 50s are everything you’ve been meaning to be.’
"You’d been meaning to be that person. By the time you hit 60, there are just no… damn… apologies. And certainly not at 63."
Sleb Safari loves the idea of two eloquent and powerful ladies like Maya Angelou and Oprah Winfrey hanging out together, cracking the code, becoming who they want to be and relaxing into joyful contentment.
How liberating does that sound?
The book club to end all book clubs
Look at that picture. Doesn’t it make you want to be a fly on the wall and listen to these four chat? Maybe sneak a blueberry and pour a glass of wine when no-one’s looking?
Jane Fonda, Diane Keaton, Candice Bergen and Mary Steenburgen are on the set of an independent comedy called Book Club which is due for release next year.
It’s about a group of lifelong friends in their sixties who read Fifty Shades of Grey for their monthly get together and it changes their lives.
What a cast. By the way, how long do you think those blueberries have been sitting there?
Hollywood can be horrible to women: Discuss
CONTINUING our series on how horrible Hollywood can be to women, Gemma Arterton has shared a story about a toxic experience she had with film producers who took her measurements on set and commented on her food intake.
Gemma told the Guilty Feminist podcast about her “traumatic” experience.
"There was one film that I was on and we were out in Morocco and a couple of weeks went past and they literally were like, ‘we need a personal trainer – stat," she said.
"And they flew someone out overnight that gave up their whole life to be with me and be my personal trainer."
It gets worse. Gemma said producers on the film would monitor her exercise regime and food intake.
"They’d measure me and they’d call up the personal trainer at like nine at night going: ‘Is she in the gym? And if she isn’t, why isn’t she in the gym?’
"And there was one day when I went to get some snacks, they have like snacks on set, and I went to get some apricots, some dried apricots, and the man went, this big, fat, obese producer went: ‘I hope you’re not going to eat that’."
Gemma, Sleb Safari hopes you ate all the dried apricots you could get your hands on and continue to do so to this day.