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Monday, September 25, 2006

 

Through thick and thin

vs.vs.
Inspiration: This is why I listen to talk radio
Images: not the expected fat/thin Oprah comparison

I am all for strong female friendships. The feminist movement would have been impossible without the strength and support that women give each other. Without strong female friendships, we would have been deprived of movies like 'Fried Green Tomatoes', 'Clueless' and most of Whoopi Goldberg's finest films: 'The Color Purple,' 'Boys on the Side,' and 'Sister Act.' We also would not have had shows like 'Designing Women,' 'The Golden Girls,' and 'Girlfriends,' or famous duos like Lucy & Ethel, Mary & Rhoda, Laverne & Shirley, Thelma & Louise, Xena & Gabrielle, Daria and Jane, and Paris & Nicole. Now that Paris and Nicole are over, the most famous female duo in America today must be Oprah Winfrey and Gayle King.

Unlike Paris and Nicole, whose friendship was seen as 'normal' -- a friendship any two vapidly wealthy LA girls would have -- Oprah and Gayle's friendship has always been thought of as being a bit more sapphic than platonic (haha). It seems that once women reach a point of professional and personal maturity, their friendships become 'friendships.' People assume adult women should be busy with their husbands and children instead of having the girls-night-in that is so acceptable among teens and 20-somethings.

Whether or not Oprah and Gayle are friends or 'friends,' is not as interesting as the attention the ambiguity of their friendship gets from the public. Oprah's story is not nearly as interesting as Whitney Houston's. Oprah's internalized homophobia did not drive her to marry a loser and lose herself to the ravages of drugs. It also did not drive her to sue tabloids for millions of dollars and join a creepy cult like Tom. Therefore, speculating about Oprah's sexuality means either:

1) You are a gay in need of a role model
2) You don't like Oprah and think that calling her a lesbian is an insult
3) You like Oprah and think that calling her a lesbian is an insult
4) You are a shameless gossip whore.

No matter what category you fall in, I think everyone can agree that today Oprah and Gayle took the public nature of their friendship too far. On Gayle's radio show, we were given a disturbing glimpse into the dynamics of their friendship. This goes beyond straight or gay to just creepy. I learned things about them that I did not want to know. For example, they both have the same nickname for human waste - 'pooty.' Less corny and more disturbing is possibility that Gayle may actually refer to Oprah as 'mommy' all the time. By 'mommy,' does Gayle mean 'sugar momma'? That would be the best case scenario. After all, Oprah gave Gayle a million dollars in '88 and still takes her on tropical vacations. I mean, if Oprah would give some nobody Middle American housewife a car, I can't imagine the things she would give her best friend. If I were Oprah's best friend, would she abandon her Hermes boycott to buy me a Birkin bag? Or maybe even give me a Lohan style Mercedes?
Would I, like Gayle, feel compelled to call Oprah 'mommy' after accepting these gifts? Would it be worth it? :sigh: Don't worry -- she wouldn't talk to me anyway after reading this.

PS: Has anyone else found it relatively difficult to find pictures of Oprah in her 'heavy' days online? I think she has a taskforce out there destroying all the evidence.

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