|Posted on March 3, 2016 at 8:30 PM||comments (0)|
Is Oprah Winfrey’s Weight Watchers Commercial fair to the Public?
By Cassandra George Sturges
Oprah Winfrey is Black Royalty. I was going to say, African American Royalty but that would be too limiting of a category. Oprah Winfrey’s influence is global. In my home, I have pictures of Oprah Winfrey, President Barack Obama, with his arms wrapped around his super, gorgeous, wife First Lady, Michelle Obama, and Jesus. That’s it. I know Oprah Winfrey is only human, but to me she is an immortal Black Goddess who will inspire billions of people of all races, genders, and nationalities for centuries to come long after her physical body is gone.
I have struggled with whether or not, I should write a blog that criticizes Oprah Winfrey in any way because one, I love her so much—nothing will ever change that; and two, if I piss her off she will never read my books or interview me for her television show. I have decided that I need to be true to the voice that God has given me. And when I come from a place of honor and respect, I become my highest and best self--and that is all I owe the world.
My duty is to my soul’s authentic expression, not money, celebrities, and/or material wealth.
I am currently enrolled in a class and the first lesson from my now deceased professor, Dr. Leon Masters is: “If I cannot demonstrate it in my own life—then I know nothing.” When I read this, I felt that this was the most soul-stirring, heart-wrenching, and thought-provoking truth I have ever read. I could not stop reading this sentence over and over and over again.
I need to write it one more time, “If I cannot demonstrate it in my own life—then I know nothing.” Dr. Leon Masters
When I saw Oprah Winfrey’s commercial for Weight Watchers, I was stunned. We have publicly watched Oprah Winfrey struggle with her weight for several decades. Oprah has been celebrated and cherished as not just an ordinary “celebrity” but as someone with “integrity” who has the “Midas Touch.” Whatever product, book, or program Oprah Winfrey endorses becomes the gospel truth…because we believe in her honor and her search for truth.
My personal belief is that all humans are designed to look different with various body sizes and shapes to pursue unique goals, dreams, and purposes. Oprah Winfrey is beautiful but she doesn’t believe it. She was created with the perfect beauty to inspire, motivate, and instill public trust. I wonder if her decision to join and promote weight watchers was because she needs the money or she believes that Weight Watchers is the permanent solution for weight loss...this time.
Like any other program, Weight Watchers work for some people and not for others. However, when a person with Oprah’s wealth and status promote a product, I think it would be easy for the average person to lose sight of their weight loss goal and be enamored by her affiliation with the company. People don’t care about the product that the Oprah Winfrey is selling, people love her… and her word is gold.
Maybe being a part of Weight Watchers is a part of Oprah’s divine plan where she is called upon to inspire people to eat healthy portions. I hope this is the case. I hope that Oprah’s intentions are aligned with her highest good for herself and others because she is a royal, black goddess. If she hasn’t mastered the lessons of weight-loss-- whatever they maybe—I don’t see how she can teach them to others with integrity. However, if Oprah Winfrey’s primary goal is to be a wealthy mogul and take her fans, followers, and admirers on a journey to nowhere with her… Naw. Oprah wouldn’t do this. Right?
When I come home from work, I always nearly trip over my son’s shoes in front of the doorway. The only reason, I don’t complain to him about his shoes being in my way is because my shoes are always next to his. I feel like a hypocrite telling my son to move his shoes, since I have not mastered the art of putting my own shoes away.
|Posted on March 1, 2016 at 10:40 PM||comments (0)|
African Americans Should Stop Bullying White People for Oscar Nominations
By Cassandra George Sturges, MA, MA, Psy.D
Black people were supposed to boycott the 88th Academy Awards show because there were very few, if any, African Americans nominated to receive an Oscar.
I don’t understand why in an Era of, President Barack Obama, Shonda Rhimes, Oprah Winfrey, Tyler Perry, and Lee Daniels –would Black people still feel the need to be validated by the political, social, and cultural ideology of white mainstream America.
For the sake of God, Oprah Winfrey owns a television network; couldn’t wealthy, affluent African Americans organize their own award show?...With their own token white president? I think we are just as capable of judging, reviewing, and analyzing white movies through our cultural lens of what we think is artistically exceptional bodies of work. I don’t want to offend anyone… but we don’t need “master’s” approval anymore. We never did.
We (Black folks) psychologically bullied White people into making Black Barbie Dolls. So, White doll makers threw on so brown paint, altered the features a smidge, curled the hair— and said, “Are you people happy now?” The Barbie Dolls still look essentially white, but most important of all… The white doll companies are still in charge. It is still their company. White doll companies simply figured out a way to take more of our money and stop, Black people from psychologically bullying them.
The American Girl Doll also created an African American Doll to shut up Black people from psychologically bullying them. The Black doll’s name was Addy her storyline was based after the Civil War and her primary concerns were—(you guessed it) the inequality of racism. European Americans have a right to make dolls that reflect their idealized beauty of their mothers, aunts, sisters, etc… They have a right to create images and stories about African Americans from their perspective—that they enjoy. As African Americans, we should make our own dolls that uniquely express our perception of Black beauty and culture. And stop whining.
Each person’s cultural lens shapes how he or she sees the world. And I believe that this is a sacred aspect of each person’s soul’s expression. I don’t need the Sex in the City, Bridesmaids, Something’s Gotta Give, Beaches, Wedding Crashers (Anything with Meryl Streep or Julia Roberts)—movies to try to appeal to me as an African American female. I just want it to be authentic. I can appreciate and love white movies and white actors that resonate with my spirit.
However, the things that I love passionately with primarily a black cast, that I watch on repeat are—Love and Basketball; Love Jones, Think Like a Man, The Best Man, Brown Sugar; Waiting to Exhale—I went to see Straight Out of Compton 4 times paid full price and enjoyed every second. Every time, I hear Sweet Thing, by Chaka Khan in Love and Basketball, I literally get chills. I watch Scandal 3 times or more following each episode. Yes, you heard me right. Scandal is my crack.
I don’t need white people or anybody for that matter telling me what is beautiful, funny, brilliant, entertaining or amazing. But, I believe there probably may be more people who look like me with many of the same cultural experiences may have a similar worldview. (I said may… Stacey Dash…need I say more) It’s not a big deal. There is enough room on this planet for all of us to have culturally diverse preferences for various artistic expressions that are not share by other ethnic groups.
What is entertaining to me as a Black Woman is probably not going to be entertaining to a white male. And, even if we both are entertained, it may be for totally different reasons.
So, the bottom line is this: Please Black People, my people—stop psychologically bullying white people. It’s not fair to them to expect them to see the world through the cultural lens of what it truly means to be a person of color-- in a white dominated mainstream society. A country where Black people can still be killed in cold blood and no one goes to jail; and a city’s water supply can be poisoned and “the man” at top is not fired.
Come on now… you know why there were no Oscar nominations for African Americans at the 88th Academy Awards: there were no slave movies to remind them of the “good ole days” when we knew our place and our struggle for justice. Halle Barry or any other prominent African American actress did not show her breasts, get fucked “real good” by a white man who murdered her husband. There were no rogue Black cops, maids, butlers, bad parents, crack heads—you get the picture that entertained mainstream white America enough into being psychology bullied into feeling the “pressure” or sincere enjoyment to nominate black filmmakers and actors for an Oscar. It’s not their fault.
To be honest with you, I feel that many of the Oscars awarded to African American actors were more insulting than no nominations at all.