As if her talk show wasn’t enough, Oprah Winfrey’s latest project, O: The Oprah Magazine, made its debut on bathroom floors across the country this week. “O” is Oprah’s latest installment in her feeble attempt to assimilate millions of unsuspecting Americans into her progressive social philosophy: Oprahism.
Oprahism is an especially dangerous because of its inherently insidious nature. Her mission statement for the first issue is “Become more of who you are.” How clever, Oprah, how clever. During this phase of self-realization, Oprah seeks to inculcate her ideas into your sense of self. From the beginning, she claims that “Regardless of how good you feel—and I’m feeling pretty good myself—you can live more intensely, more vibrantly, more meaningfully and more purposefully.” This seemingly positive statement has a provocative hidden meaning: Regardless of how you feel, you can’t feel that good unless you feel like Oprah.
Oprah continues in her message to her readers, “This magazine is about spirit.” What spirit could Oprah be referring to? The spirit that gives your hard-earned money to Oprah through a subscription to her magazine and that inevitably sells your soul to its true leader, Oprah.
She extends in this message, “Beneath the surface of all physical encounters and experience is the extraordinary and the ordinary, as well as a deeper meaning.” This seemingly worthless statement has a “deeper meaning” of its own. Although the scope of this statement may appear to dilute itself from conveying any real message, this statement is, rather, a serving of “Oprahganda,” Oprah’s complex system of propaganda. In contrast to the “ordinary,” which is her message as it reads, the “extraordinary” is this aforementioned “deeper meaning.” This constitutes her real message to her readership: give me your money—that, and your soul.
The “Opraganda” does not stop there. “O” is filled with two strategically placed perfume advertisements. The inclusion of these tantalizingly fresh fragrances is to draw the reader in closer and closer into the page—deeper and deeper into the “Oprahganda.” With this, the reader is meant to ask him or herself, “I wonder if this is what Oprah smells like?”
Oprah’s appeal to the senses of her readers does not stop there. Also included is the article, “Five Fabulous Things to Do with Fresh Strawberries.” Everyone loves strawberries. What effect does this have? When her readers serve these fabulous recipes to their friends or to the other members of the Oprah Book Club, the recipients will inevitably ask the question, “My, where did you get such a fabulous recipie?” “From ‘O,’ Oprah’s new magazine,” they will undoubtedly reply. Furthermore, Oprah chose to include five recipes, instead of a lucky number, like three or seven. This is not a good sign.
Beneath the convoluted messages of O: The Oprah Magazine, one message should remain clear: be afraid, be very afraid.