Oprah represented us well

May 26, 2018

22  comments

Before you read this week’s story, here’s a side note: 

I wrote this, because what I do is write lightweight stories for several newspapers that hopefully distract people for a few minutes from the stresses and horrors of the world around us and balance the sad news. The royal wedding was a fun diversion, and I found Oprah’s fashion decision to be interesting – so I wrote about it.  

After this story was posted on AL.com’s online site, the anonymous readers there took to punching me for being a terrible writer because I praised Oprah, and called Oprah every horrible name on the earth.

I don’t agree with everything Oprah says or does, but in this situation, I thought she made a classy decision, and I loved it.

However, fat shaming in the meanest of ways began,  and I was stunned at the venom by the anonymous commenters. I finally made the point to them that somehow, people think Beyonce and the Kardashians are marvelous for squeezing their ample bodies into tight clothing because that somehow means they are proud of themselves and love their bodies, yet when a woman like Oprah, who is over 50 years old wears similar clothing, she’s “disgusting.”  Shame on anonymous commenters for not understanding there is something seriously wrong with them for being so hateful. Shame on them for not being able to lighten up for a few moments of the day and enjoy something fun. Shame on them for not being able to find the main idea of a story (and probably failing to achieve a decent score on the reading comprehension section of the ACT). This story wasn’t about a woman’s weight. The public just loves to bash women, and the sad thing is, I’m guessing most of the commenters were women themselves. And, I seriously doubt any of them have perfect bodies.

But something hit a positive chord with someone, because the story has been shared over 1,600 times so far . . . so there.

 

God save the Queen in green

The talk at Bee Bee’s Beauty Barn is that our powerhouse Southern Belle, Oprah Winfrey, represented us well at the wedding of Prince Harry to American Meghan Markle. According to her best friend Gayle King, Oprah ordered a tan dress to wear to the royal wedding, but when it arrived, the Mississippi native determined the shade was too light and could possibly be misinterpreted as white. Being from the South, Oprah was raised to know the only one who should wear white to a wedding, is the one carrying the largest bouquet and receiving a kiss and a ring at the altar.

By contrast, Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, sparked controversy by showing up for the nuptials in what appeared to be a white dress. Officially, Kate’s outfit was reportedly a pale yellow, but it was an edgy risk Southerners would have known to avoid for fear of being discussed, as well as being whopped with their mama’s scorn.

 

Scrambling for a new outfit at the last minute, Oprah ended up looking radiant and appropriate in a new pink tiered skirted dress with matching hat. Although I am a firm fan of Duchess Kate, I have to admit, she blew it when it came to her dress’ color choice. If only she had been raised on grits and fried catfish like Oprah, she would have understood the importance our fashion details play in ceremonies.

 

We don’t show up for weddings in white. Nor do we attend funerals in loud brightly colored prints — even if the deceased has previously instructed us to “celebrate,” which is very confusing for those who still need a proper grief session. Cry? Laugh? Collapse? Dance? It’s all a bit much, and as we were taught in Sunday School, “For everything there is a season. A time for seersucker and a time for wool. A time for white shoes and a time for leather boots, and never a time for flip flops unless salt or chlorine water is near.”

 

If we receive a grad-made-good award from our alma mater for inventing a new way to cultivate okra, then we know to show up wearing the school colors, but in a subtle way, so as not to scream, “touchdown!” If we attend a veteran’s event, the men will sport a red white and blue tie or at least wear stars and stripes on their socks.

 

We like to coordinate our fashion choices to the event because it reflects our upbringings where we were surrounded by the beauty of azaleas, magnolias and gardenias in addition to beauty queens and handsome gentlemen. Our mothers set exquisite tables for Sunday dinner, so we continue to expect a level of loveliness and order in all we do.

 

My aunt Tootles teased her hair in a cloud of Aqua Net then said, “Here honey, do me up.” I zipped up her dark green dress and watched as she prepared to leave for her friend’s funeral. She was sad, but not too sad, according to the color of her dress. Dark green was somber, yet not nearly as sad as black. Tootles loved her dearly departed friend but had never completely forgiven her for stealing her prom date in 1968, who went on to become one of the only non-convicted state senators from their county.  Therefore, she went with the green.

These days, it’s difficult to know what to expect at funerals. I like to go with all black if the body is present, but if it’s only a giant photograph of the departed, I feel navy blue or brown is acceptable. But then there’s the problem of trying to figure out ahead of time what the plan is. You can’t call the grieving family and ask, “Is your Paw Paw going to be at his funeral or is he skipping it?” It’s a risk you have to take. Of course, pearls are always appropriate because they represent the bright perfect hope of dancing through the pearly gates.

 

And one final observation on the royal wedding; the guests managed to sing and respond accordingly without the aid of a glaring overhead screen. God save the Queen indeed — who looked splendid in green.

 

 

Leave a Reply

  1. This is a wonderful piece, and I think you should just ignore those meanies! What do they know? Probably raised by wolves. The wedding kept me company most of the day as I went about my business last Saturday, because I recorded it ALL! I did wonder about Kate’s choice, and I read somewhere later that weekend that she had worn that outfit somewhere else. She just had a baby a month ago, after all, and she probably just wore what fit instead of buying something that will just hang on her in another month or two. I can’t fault her for that. Plus, she had the job of child-wrangler-in-chief again, so there’s that…
    Glad you got the last laugh! 1600 shares is NOT TOO SHABBY!

    1. Ignoring the angry people is a new skill I’ve developed, but for some reason, I felt like I had caused Oprah to be picked on – not that she’ll ever know, and not that she cares, and not that I have to defend her, but it felt like I put a target on someone’s back, so . . . GUILT. I adore everything Kate does and wears, so she’s good-to-go in my book.
      Thanks Ellen!

    1. That is actually truer than you think. You can click on some of the fake names and it shows you other comments they’ve made, and of course, they are negative and hateful about every single article they read. What kind of life are these people living?

  2. Oprah always shows class. Imagine growing up in Belzoni, Mississippi and ending up with a media empire. that is surely God-given.
    I always love everything you write – even when you show up mean-spirited people.

  3. When did we become such a cruel nation, full of hate and anger? When did it become ok to say horrible things about people and then hide in anonymity? If we are lucky, we get to live on this old Earth for 80,maybe 90 years…why can’t we all jut get along for that incredibly short time? I loved every second of the Royal Wedding and wore my very best pajamas and tiara!

    1. Teasing and playful comments turned quickly into purposely trying to hurt people. I’m sure Oprah has dealt with this so long it’s no big deal for her, but it drives me nuts. I love the image of you in jammies and tiara! Such fun!

  4. I gave Kate a pass because if I had to go to a wedding, royal or otherwise, at four weeks postpartum I doubt I would have managed to get out of my nursing nightgown and combed my hair, much less wear a dress, hose, heels and a hat!

    My favorite part of this post is:

    “never a time for flip flops unless salt or chlorine water is near.”

    Preach it, Leslie Anne!

    I loved everything about the wedding last Saturday. It was so nice to ignore the real world and focus on a real live fairy tale for a few hours! Not to mention getting a few quick looks at Amal Clooney’s very good looking husband!

  5. I am so tired of everything being politicized, criticized, and colored with anger…where is the freedom of speech our country was founded on??? Your voice is always honest and refreshing, and your Southern pride shines through…thank you for your much needed words of wisdom and truth, I only feel pity for those who live their lives in hate.

  6. We just returned from the Memorial Day service in Silverhill Little Hall where our veterans proudly wore t-shirts proclaiming their service organization. Uniforms would have been nice but t-shirts stretch better. Lots of red, white and blue present as well. In our society, clothes are important but the hearts that beat under those pink, green, yellow, and striped shirts/dresses are what really count. We have forgotten how to be kind.

    1. Truth!!! So happy you were able to be with the veterans today even in the rain! What a great group of Americans and so glad everyone looked patriotic!

  7. Thank you ! The love we witnessed at the royal wedding was sorely needed … lets keep that beautiful bright light shining … one pearl at a time !!!

  8. This is the first time I’ve read your article and I rather enjoyed it. It was light, refreshing and informative. I am a fan of Oprah and I thought she looked lovely at the Royal wedding. She didn’t dress to draw attention to herself; after all, she was a guest like the others and dressed accordingly.

    I think the less attention we give to the anonymous and negative people, the more likely they’ll just fade away.

    1. You are so right about the negative-Nellies, but every now and then I have to smack their hands with a ruler to keep them in line or else they’ll go wild and try to take over the class. Thanks for reading!

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