Saturday 27 October 2007

Oprah Extravagance

I am normally a big fan of everything Oprah. But today watching her show I nearly threw my shoe through the television.

Her guest was Colin Cowie, party planner extraordinaire. They featured some of the parties and specifically some of the weddings he has put together. It was extravagance and over-indulgence over the top.

Wedding guests were given miniature wedding cakes in little boxes. The flowers alone must have cost tens of thousands of dollars. People feel enormous pressure to put on weddings bigger and better than the last one they went to. I know people who put off getting married just so they can save money to have the big princess wedding. Not a good reason!

I am reminded of the wedding photographs of both sets of my grandparents. Neither of my grandmothers had wedding dresses of the white meringue fluff type. They both wore pretty suits and carried a sensible bouquet. I even remember my grandmother telling me that they got married in the morning so the men could work the fields in the afternoon.

Mr Cowie then gave us a tour of his home. Shiny surfaces and organisation abounded. His dishes were colour coded. His white dishes were perfectly organised. And he had a whole other room for his coloured dishes and glasses. I saw no cupboard that contained plastic Tupperware dishes or children's sippy cups. Sorry, Oprah, my house is barely big enough to contain what it needs and I sure as heck don't need more than 2 sets of dishes, everyday and my wedding china. That's just excessive.

He had another room that was dedicated to gifts. He had a place where he pre-wrapped and stored gifts of fragrant candles and bottles of champagne/wine so that he could just pull one out when it was appropriate. I think giving generic gifts is rude and inconsiderate. And once again, I have a spare bedroom for guests not gifts. And "couture ice cubes". Are you kidding me?

Oprah and Colin kept telling us that "Love is in the Details". This really pissed me off. Details are something I rarely have time for. I'm lucky to remember my children's caps before they go off to school. If I manage to have the time to cook a meal for guests, I'm having a good day and nobody cares that I've cooked lasagna. They are just happy to be sharing food together. We've had friends over for soup! I don't love them any less just because I didn't have matching napkins and napkins rings with a beautiful centrepiece.

She then showcased a clothing range called Splendid which has t-shirts and trousers for bumming around in. The tops are $58 and the trousers are $98. Now, I don't know about you but I know I don't spend that much on my bumming around clothes. Is she insane?

Has Oprah lost touch with reality? Has she lost touch with her target audience, all of us little people who are just getting through everyday struggling with school fees and mortgage payments and insurance costs? My family are more well off than many. And the pressure to keep up with the Jones is intense. Imagine how hard it must be for so many of her viewers especially when she is a role model for so many women. Must we set such high and impossible expectations? Doe she know how unattainable her lifestyle is? And how inadequate that can make some feel? Let's show how to throw a party within the budgetary grasp of the common woman! Now, there's a show idea!

A word to Oprah: don't forget where you came from and remember most of us are still there.

And a word to Mr Cowie: get a life. I get excited when I get everyone out of the house on time and with their hair combed and teeth brushed having had a nutritious breakfast.

NOTE: The Oprah Show broadcast schedule in the UK differs significantly from the schedule in the USA. this show was originally broadcast in August in the USA. You can see the details by clicking here.


Janell said...

YES, Oprah has lost touch with reality. I wouldn't even spend $98 on a DRESS for a special occasion, let alone 'bumming around clothes.' She must move in a finer circle of bums than I do.
"Love" as he says, may be "in the details," but not in material details. As you illustrated with your lasagna and soup, love is spelled T-I-M-E. It doesn't really matter what's on the table.

Anonymous said...

Yes!! She appears to have lost her marbles if not even her MANNERS!

I watched her show last week where she was interviewing "Power Couples" and asking them to share their secrets on how they keep their relationships going.

One of her guests was Seal and Heidi Klum. My daughter disagrees, but I truly felt that O. was much more warmer towards Seal than to Heidi. When O. welcomed them to the show, she gave Seal a friendly hug, but only offered Heidi a handshake. Maybe Heidi was slightly uncomfortable herself, I really don't know. Then after a commerical break, O. re-introduces the couple to the tv audience and says something like, "We're here talking to Heidi Klum and her famous husband Seal!". I wanted to throw my shoe at the tv, because I was like stop patronizing Heidi who is an accomplished individual in her own right!! Maybe it is just me, but it just felt like O. feels that whatever SHE touches turns into a golden egg and only SHE has the right to that honor. No, I am not jealous of her success, but to whom much is given and she has a responsibility to many whether she agrees or not. -Sugar

Sue said...

When our parents got married (in the morning so Dad could get home to do chores) their wedding pictures were individual snapshots that they took of each other. There isn't one of them together.

Spending enough on a wedding to make a nice down payment on a house is absolutely rediculous. Also having a second big, showy wedding and expecting everyone to come and give another gift really rubs me the wrong way. Espcially when it is maybe just a couple of years after the firt big wing-ding. What is wrong with the old fashioned cake and coffee reception in the church basement after the service?

Brooke said...
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