And another thing about Oprah.

I’m still on the Oprah rant, people. Why? Reader William pointed me here.

Deep breaths.

I agree that America has a problem with consumption overall. I am a part of that problem, primarily in the form of clothing and shoes. I have an Old Navy habit like no other. Yes, I know we hate them for not providing appropriate fat clothing, and I personally detest them for not providing me personally with the same goddamned pants as they do skinny people, but I admit, I binge on Old Navy approximately twice per month. Note to Old Navy: Please give me some goddamned Olive Green Khaki Pants with back-flap pockets and a flare at the leg in a Size 22 in a heavy weight twill. Jesus Christ, is this so hard to do? No. Get On It. Go Already.

I digress.

What pisses me off about aforementioned link is that now we are saying America’s mass problem with mass consumption is causing a problem with America’s body mass. Um, no people. I’m sorry. If you decide to buy a fucking treadmill and store it in your kitchen and then use it to hold your shopping bags because you simply need to buy That Much Shit and You Have No Other Place To Put It, you’ve got something else going on altogether. Simply ditching the treadmill ain’t going to cause you to ditch pounds.

As a student of behavior (yep, I’m going to toss out that annoying phrase like 1,000 times, likely, in this here forum), I’ll admit, there may be something to the notion that people who binge on one thing may binge on another. Therefore, if you have a tendency to binge on, say, treadmills and cute teddy bears and miniature dachshund sculptures, to the point where they run your life, perhaps you may also binge on food. Perhaps. There is a tie, I imagine, between compulsive behaviors. I can’t deny that.

But Jesus Christ. To have some jack ass get on TV whose job is an ORGANIZER, not a psychologist, not a nutritionist, claim that he will help you clean your house and that will help you lose weight is really dangerous. Even if he were those things, it would still be dangerous. First, hoarding, a behavior that is actually an extension of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, is really serious, and requires professional help. It won’t take just some random guy, rubbermaid containers, a trip to Goodwill, and Oprah to cure. No, not even OPRAH can cure OCD.

And to have Oprah, a woman who can’t even control her own damn weight, get on TV and say: Look! You are fat because your life is disgustingly out of control! You are not only fat because of your gluttonous eating habits, but your gluttony extends to every area of your life! You are not only fat, but your house is fat, and I am going to make a big fat spectacle of it. She’s making a mockery of people with legitimate mental illness and body image issues all in one fell swoop. And that, folks, is really damn exploitative.

Oprah, seriously. Do you hate yourself that much? Stop it.

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7 Comments

  1. vesta44 said,

    February 7, 2008 at 8:39 pm

    That is one of the main reasons I would NEVER have anyone come in to organize my house. I would have to seriously hurt anyone who told me I have too many books (and this would be after I gave 10 big boxes of them to my son) or too many dragon/wolf/wizard/unicorn figurines and that I had to get rid of some of them. And don’t even think about touching anything on my computer desk or under it or around it. My little bit of clutter has absolutely nothing to do with the size of my ass and anyone who tries to tell me that is going to hear a lot of nasty words and get shoved out the door, kthnxbai. For Oprah to exploit people who have problems of any kind for ratings is just so…so unconscionable. She’s better off sticking to talking about anything that isn’t related to self-esteem, body image, or weight. Rather limits her, but too bad, she’s not helping much with the things she’s been doing.

  2. Melissa said,

    February 7, 2008 at 10:15 pm

    I know all types of people of many sizes who have clutter to be honest!
    I know tons of people of all sizes who are neat and tidy.
    Oprah seems to be looking for an answer to things where there is no simple answer.
    Behaviour problems are much too complex to address in the manner she is.
    It’s kind of sad that she did this episode because I’ve seen some really inspiring stuff on her show.
    I didn’t even bother to tune into this one- I saw the preview for it and thought, yeah no I’m not going there!

  3. littlem said,

    February 7, 2008 at 11:40 pm

    Here’s ma petite theorie (took mah irony pillz todeh):

    I think that all the fat people hate is a guilt displacement for the overconsumption. Most people that I’ve ever met that are fixated on their McMansion and SUV and massive designer wardrobe and private school for the kids and Mark Hampton as constant re-decorator acquisition? Especially the ones that are “eco-conscious”?

    The worse the acquisition mania, the more fatphobia. It’s almost directly proportionate.

    I think it ties into Prof Campos’ classism analysis (there are even pieces of my extrapolation I’ve tied into what I call mah “spinnin rimz” analysis) but I am too sleepy now to try and parse it well and must go bedzie.

  4. diana1000 said,

    February 8, 2008 at 2:51 am

    I am utterly amazed who the frigging gell does Ophra think she is stating that”we are fat,our houses are fat” what a nerve.

    Yes I agrees with you if she is unhappy sort herself out but do not pass her problems over to us Bitch.

    Now these army pants. You President(no insult intended) is such a supossed do gooder the why not write to the navy and suggest the following.

    There are people in Mozambique who are starving so because factories in the USA only do runs of certain sizes how about sending the required fabric and the pattern and I will get people happily to run up the larger sized pants.

    However methinks that just may sizzle the brain of a certain Mister Bush.

    Ooops I just remembered we do not have oil!!!

  5. merlin08 said,

    February 8, 2008 at 7:57 am

    Geez. Oprah can’t be that good to say people are “fat” in front of millions of watchers. that’s just sick.

  6. dailypiglet said,

    February 8, 2008 at 8:15 am

    i love your post, and your writing style is awesome!

    i have ocd and my mother is a hard core hoarder. for reasons unknown to me, i never considered ocd and hoarding were related but i have to agree with you on that (b/c it sounds good and that’s enough for me)….

    however, as an ocd person who used to be very messy and “hoardy” i agree that if your head gets clear, your living space gets clear. i’ve been saying this for a few years now after some intense therapy for sexual and physical abuse in my past. that’s been about 10 years and once i started to “heal” on the inside, i noticed that it spilled over into my living space.

    i hope you read my comment as a friendly since that is my motive, and to offer my experience with this stuff. i have been a long time oprah fan but agree that she needs to move on to something else.

  7. thoughtracer said,

    February 8, 2008 at 9:24 am

    a. Merlin08: She can call people fat. Fat’s a word, like thin. Who cares. I am fat. So are lots of other people. My problem with her is that she is so appalled by fat and fat people that she tries everything to reject it, and it’s pretty clear to the world at large that she is just a fat person who hates herself so much she is trying not be be what she ultimately is: FAT. I mean, if she were really a THIN person who had packed on the pounds, wouldn’t she just be able to lose weight once and keep it off easily?

    b. Dailypiglet: I am really sorry to hear about the OCD and your mom’s hoarding. I am not too out of touch with how mental health struggles can affect a person or a family. I do totally agree that clearing a living space can clear your head! I am a de-clutterer myself; too much clutter wreaks havoc on my manic brain, and it actually soothes my mania to de-clutter and clean. My only point is that brining in an organizer to help people with a legitimate mental health issue and/or diagnosis isn’t going to solve the problem long-term. If you have a chronic or persistent illness, it takes more than one magical hour of TV to “cure” you, if there is such a thing as a “cure,” anyway.

    Good for you for being strong and healthy. That takes a lot.


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