The biggest adventure you can ever take is to live the life of your dreams. – Oprah Winfrey
Since International Women’s Day is coming up, we’d thought we could talk about one of the most influential women of our generation and in the world – OPRAH WINFREY! *cheers*
Oprah is easily one of the benchmarks or portrayal of a successful woman in our lifetime, and we’ve definitely been inspired one way or another through her platform.
Queen of Daytime TV, talk show host, actress, philanthropist and now media mogul, there’s nothing Oprah Winfrey cannot do. Now chairwoman, CEO and COO of her OWN network and publisher of OWN magazine, here are 10 reasons why we love Oprah!
1. She taught us what it means to never give up
Things did not go all smooth sailing for Oprah when she first started out in her career. According to Business Insider, at age 23, Winfrey was fired from her first evening news reporter job with Baltimore’s WJZ-TV because she got too emotionally invested in her stories. A Baltimore TV producer reportedly told her that she was “unfit for television news”. Did she let that define her? NO WAY, she obviously moved on to greater things.
According to Inc.com, The Oprah Winfrey Show which aired for 25 seasons over 8 years became one of the highest ranking shows in American history. In 2011, Oprah was the best-paid female in the entertainment industry, according to Forbes Magazine, and remains the richest self-made woman and only black female billionaire. It’s no wonder we adore her!
Photo via Goliath.com
2.She’s truly a rags to riches story
“The reason I’ve been able to be so financially successful is my focus has never, ever for one minute been money.” – Oprah
Winfrey certainly was not born with a silver spoon in her mouth. She is a self-made woman who had humble beginnings and worked her way up. She proved to the world that success is possible with love, determination and hard work.
Sourcing from Biography.com, Oprah Gail Winfrey was born on January 29, 1954, in Kosciusko, rural Mississippi. After a troubled adolescence in a small farming community, where she was sexually abused by male relatives of her mother, Vernita, she moved to Nashville to live with her father, Vernon, a barber and businessman. She entered Tennessee State University in 1971 and began working in radio and television broadcasting in Nashville.
In 1976, she moved to Baltimore, Maryland, where she hosted the TV show People Are Talking. Her success led to nationwide fame and a role in Steven Spielberg’s 1985 film The Color Purple, for which she was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress.
Winfrey launched the Oprah Winfrey Show in 1986 as a nationally syndicated program. In 2009, Oprah Winfrey announced that she would be ending her program when her contract with ABC ended, in 2011. Soon after, she moved to her own network, the Oprah Winfrey Network, a joint venture with Discovery Communications.
Photo via gsb.stanford.edu
3. She showed us how to give and made our dreams come true! Like a modern day fairy-godmother
Yes, you know what we’re talking about. Over the years Oprah never held back when it comes to giving, especially to those in need. Every other week she is paying off someone’s mortgage, or bringing in their long lost family member whom they haven’t seen in 20 years and more. Also sourcing from Miami News Times, there was one with the trip to Australia on a plane flown by John Travolta.
Amongst all the extraordinary gifts, this is our all time favourite. On her 19th season in 2004, everyone in the audience got a CAR! Let’s relieve the episode shall we?
4. She proved that size doesn’t matter
Season after season, we watch her go from a size 2 to 20 back to 2. But do any of us really care? No matter her size, people would still tune in to watch her. It made women finally start to accept that yes, maybe they were a little overweight, but who cares? The richest woman in America has curves, then so can we! (Source: Miami News Times)
Image via People.com
5. She gets people to open up
Oprah is known to be a pro at doing very exclusive and personal interviews with the biggest celebrities in the world. For instance, the live episode of Oprah’s sit down with Michael Jackson was one of the most-watched interview on television. Michael, the very private entertainer who had refused to give an interview for 14 years was willing to speak to Oprah.
According to Oprah.com, on February 10th 1993, the live event drew a worldwide audience of 90 million people!
“It was the most exciting interview I had ever done,” Oprah says.
6. She’s lives by no one else’s rules and doesn’t apologise for it
We love that Oprah is an independent woman and does thing the unconventional way in terms of not getting married and not having kids!
Winfrey has been in a relationship with her partner Stedman Graham for 30 years, without a marriage license. Also, we love that the woman is the one bringing home the bacon their relationship is still standing strong.
Image via Splash News Australia
Oprah has no regrets when it comes to not having children. She recently told The New York Post,
“When people were pressuring me to get married and have children, I knew I was not going to be a person that ever regretted not having them because I feel like I am a mother to the world’s children,” she said in the April issue of Good Housekeeping UK while talking about her Leadership Academy for Girls.
“Love knows no boundaries,” she continued. “It doesn’t matter if a child came from your womb or if you found that person at age 1, 10 or 20. If the love is real, the caring is pure and it comes from a good space, it works.”
Indeed we agree, love knows no boundaries.
Image via essence.com
7. She believes in hope
Oprah believes that no matter how hard life can be, there is a way through, up and out of it. Therefore, she constantly shines the spotlight on many ashes into beauty stories on her network.
We particularly admire the case of Cheli Fox and Christine McFadden’s story where through their tragedies of their kids being murdered, they still choose to live. It is through Oprah’s platform that their stories continue to be a pillar of strength to mothers from around the world.
8. She kept on DREAMING – she stopped her own show, to start her OWN NETWORK!
According to Vibrantnation.com, the final broadcast of The Oprah Winfrey Show took place on May 25, 2011, after 24 seasons and over 5,000 broadcasts. Just when we thought The Oprah Winfrey Show was THE DREAM or the biggest thing for her, Oprah shocked the world and went on to pursuing her OWN Network.
This was what she said on her last episode,
“After deliberating for some time, we decided to do what we do best, and that is a show about and with everyday people. This show always allows people, hopefully, to understand the power they have to change their own lives. If there’s one thread running through each show we do, it is the message that you are not alone. Twenty-five years and I’m still saying thank you, America. Thank you so much. There are no words to match this moment. Every word I’ve ever spoken from this stage of The Oprah Show for 4,561 days of my life is what this moment is all about”.
Currently, she is the CEO and COO of her OWN network and publisher of OWN magazine, and still showcasing real talent on her platform. How cool is that?!
Image via biography.com
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