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There’s always a stigma around you if you are Fat — Oprah Winfrey



There's always a stigma around you if you are Fat -- Oprah Winfrey

Though the world knows her as Oprah Winfrey, but many do not know what it takes for Oprah Winfrey to live in a world that stigmatizes Oprah Winfrey.

In an emotionally charged discussion hosted as part of Oprah Daily’s The Life You Want series, media mogul Oprah Winfrey shared her lifelong struggles with weight and the shame she has experienced regarding her plus sized status.

The 69-year-old icon addressed a live audience in New York City, where she was joined by a panel of experts in the field of obesity, including Fatima Cody Stanford and Melanie Jay, obesity specialists, Sima Sistani, CEO of Weight Watchers, and psychologist Rachel Goldman.

The central theme of the panel was to “reframe the obesity and weight crisis,” with Oprah making a heartfelt plea that resonated with many.

She began by acknowledging the scrutiny she has faced throughout her life, stating,

“I don’t know that there is another public person whose weight struggles have been exploited as much as mine.”

During the discussion, Oprah and the experts highlighted the complex nature of obesity, describing it as a metabolic disease with varying predispositions to store fat, also known as adipose tissue. Oprah shared her personal experience, revealing,

There's always a stigma around you if you are Fat -- Oprah Winfrey

“For those of us that are adipose storers, no matter how many times… You’ve all watched me diet and diet and diet and diet, it’s a recurring thing because my body always seems to want to go back to a certain weight.”

She emphasized the challenge of maintaining her desired weight, even mentioning dietary restrictions like not eating after a certain time.

Oprah also shed light on the societal stigma surrounding weight issues, asserting that

“This is a world that has shamed people for being overweight forever, and all of us who have lived it know that people just treat you differently.

“They just do. And I am Oprah Winfrey, and I know all that comes with that, and I get treated differently if I am 200 plus pounds versus under 200 pounds… There is a condescension. There is a stigma.”

Throughout the conversation, Oprah stressed the importance of having a support system of friends and partners who celebrate one’s victories.

She called for greater acceptance of individuals’ choices regarding their bodies, remarking,

There's always a stigma around you if you are Fat -- Oprah Winfrey

“Shouldn’t we all just be more accepting of whatever body you choose to be in? That should be your choice.”

The media mogul also opened up about her past reluctance to consider weight-loss drugs, equating it with taking “the easy way out.” She shared a personal perspective, saying,

“There’s a part of me that feels – like I think a lot of people feel with bariatric surgery – that I’ve got to do it the hard way, I’ve got to keep climbing the mountains, I’ve got to keep suffering and I’ve got to do that because otherwise I somehow cheated myself.

“As a person who has been shamed for so many years [about my weight], I am just sick of it.”