Oprah: Dressing a voluptuous woman

Deja Pseu's open letter to Oprah contains her straight-shooting advice to end "dieting". Pseu makes great points about body image and diets. I had already been planning to write about how she looks, a voluptuous woman in a thin-worshipping medium. I watch only sporadically, on the treadmill at my health club; I don't have TV at home. Since maybe last winter I noticed that Oprah was larger.

In the past year, what interested me was how her wardrobe people were dressing her, and I began to see a formula:

1. Col
our. No hiding her in darks; Oprah kept her signature ecrus, greens, pinks, reds- but they are now tone on tone rather than contrasts, or, if a contrast, she'll wear something like a white shirt under a kelly-green deep v-neck to enhance the vertical effect.

2. Décolleté and a profusion of portrait collars. I began to see the same ruffled-portrait treatment every time I tuned in. A more feminine version of the V-neck, it works the same magic.

3. Close-fitting, supple (but not clingy) fabrics: lots of knits, beautifully tailored to accentuate her very
well-supported bustline.

4. Soft, loose curls, an '08 version of big hair; again, the stylist created interest higher up, balancing the lower torso. The curls and the soft necklines present a hyper-feminine effect, necessary because a heavier woman with severe or too-short hair does not look glamourous even with great makeup.

5. Jewelry: Nothing like 15 carats of diamond drops on each ear to put things in perspective! The jewels are to scale with her lusher body, and also rivet attention on the face.

The overall image is a sensuous mix of luxury, glamour and glow. I will be sorry when she returns (at least for a time) to a triumphant tiny size.

If it's necessary for her health, OK. But if it is not, I'm sorry to see her capitulate to sizeism, and for larger women to lose a beacon of plush, plus-sized gorgeousness.

She's "addressing her issue" in the new year.

Pseu bets she'll unveil a boot camp and I see her bet and raise her a slice of whole grain. I think the diet will be similar to the one in the book Greying Pixie urged me to buy, by Dr. Marilyn Glenville. You can find the approach here, on Dr. Glenville's site,
Fat Around the Middle.


Anonymous said…
If it is similar to the 'Fat around the Middle' then it won't be a bootcamp - more an enlightenment!

duchesse, I may not get another chance this week to wish you and all the regulars a very happy, peaceful and, of course, stylishly elegant Christmas.
Susan B said…
I think there's some serious shapewear in the mix too, but yes, she still looks fabulous. When you've got a decoletté like hers, flaunt it!
Great analysis. I cannot watch her show any more for the reasons I stated on Deja's great post. But, I do wish she would work on self-acceptance and get out of that endless pursuit of the myth of change.
materfamilias said…
I haven't been keeping up with commenting on my favourite blogs as much as I'd like lately, but I wanted to make sure I wish you and Le Duc a very Merry Christmas! Thanks again for your generosity this last summer in showing me around Toronto -- all the best to you at this festive time -- may you delight in good food, beautiful music, great companionship, and the warmth of your loved ones while we wait for the earth to spin us back into the light.
What I wish for Oprah is that she could maintain a weight that is healthy for her, but without feeling she has to be 'skinny' - all things in moderation - if you have to work out every day and avoid all foods fun, then is that a life you want to live?

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