Living Oprah, by Robyn Okrant (LentBooks 2010 #5)

Ah yes, yet another variation on “I set myself a ridiculous year-long challenge and got a book contract from my blog.”  Okrant, a yoga teacher and actor in Oprah’s home city of Chicago, decided to spend a year following, as literally as possible, every piece of advice she was given by the “Queen of Talk” for a whole year. 

She garnered advice by watching the Oprah show daily, reading O, the magazine, and checking out Oprah’s website.  Any advice that seemed to come directly from the lips of Ms. Winfrey herself, Robyn Okrant did her best to put into practice, from buying a pair of white jeans to increasing the frequency of intimate marital encounters with her husband to an Oprah-approved level.

Once you know the premise, there’s not much here to surprise you.  It’s an easy, relatively entertaining journey, on which Okrant discovers, to no-one’s surprise, that trying to live by all the dictates of any self-help guru can be difficult, expensive, time consuming, and sometimes self-contradictory. There are no shocking insights here, but I do like that she so clearly points up the contradictory nature of many of the messages women get from the Oprah media machine.  Consuming less is better for the planet — except for these shoes we just can’t live without.  Accept your body and love yourself as you are — but sign up for a weight loss challenge! And also, treat yourself with this decadent dessert! I doubt anyone out there takes Oprah’s advice so seriously that they would be shocked by Okrant’s revelations, but it’s fun to watch her give it a shot.

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2 Comments

Filed under LentBooks, Nonfiction -- memoir

2 responses to “Living Oprah, by Robyn Okrant (LentBooks 2010 #5)

  1. One of my favorite contradictory messages is the magazine entitled “Real Simple” which seems to advocate that you purchase every new and available gadget to simplify your life…

  2. Oh yes, “Real Simple” drives me crazy, although I sometimes leaf through it in the supermarket line because it’s the sanest alternative to the magazines screaming about the lives of celebrities I don’t recognize and couldn’t care less about. But I always put it down thinking “Whose idea of ‘simple’ is this??”

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