Oprah and Cankles

“Coming up next: How to look instantly slimmer just by changing your handbag”

Oh, Oprah. I love Oprah so much. I feel like I’ve grown up watching her, and I really admire a lot of the things she does. I mean, she’s bloody inspirational to millions of people around the globe. But sometimes? I really want to sit her down and give her a good talking to.

I am currently watching her shoe, handbag and accessory intervention show. Oh, Oprah. Please, PLEASE stop instilling the idea that slimmer = more attractive in your viewers. You are a woman in the media who has garnered an immense amount of power over the past twenty years. And if spiderman has taught me anything, it’s that with great power comes great responsibility.

For the record, Oprah’s show is all about how the right shoe and handbag can make you look like you’ve lost ten pounds.  I get that fashion is generally weight-centric. It always seems to be about looking slimmer and taller. Elongating the legs. Getting rid of those cankles by wearing impossibly high heels. But what i also realise is THAT FUCKING SUCKS.

Frankly, I HATE wearing heels. And every time i have, it’s caused me extreme pain, and I just. don’t. get. why we should ever make ourselves uncomfortable for fashion. Even at my sister’s wedding, I wore heels for the ceremony and as soon as that was over (I was a bridesmaid) I took them off. I wore flats for all the photos, and rocked it hardcore. So what if i have cankles? My cankles are fucking beautiful, just like the rest of my body. I love fashion, and more power to you if you’re comfortable wearing five inch heels. But what’s the fucking point of wearing something that will inevitably fuck up your spine, hips, knees, ankles and feet – just to cave to what society thinks we should be wearing?

To me this is the same thing as being told to lose weight – because it’s currently “in fashion” to be thinner. I don’t want to lose weight. I don’t want to look slimmer. I don’t want to wear heels. And I’m still a fat, fashionable and fabulous young woman.

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  • Susang

    You are so speaking to me. In my late teens and early twenties, I twisted my ankles dozens of times, Ace bandaged them up and walked on them in heels – for Fashion. Now my ankles are so messed up – the damage shows up on X rays. I'm doing my best to strengthen them, because frankly, I want to be able to walk if “m lucky enough to make it to old age.
    Bonus score, I get to rock the orthopedic shoes, because they're the ones that support my feet. Fashion shouldn't be damaging.

  • m-c

    Exactly right!! My mom always said that you have to suffer to be beautiful… but I completely disagree! If pain is involved then it's not worth it! That's whay I always wear comfortable flats that beautifully show off my cankles!

  • Mikuto

    High heels are terrible for your feet and ankles anyway! I've never worn them, although I had a flirtation with platforms in the '90's.

    I'm “fortunate” enough to have such wide feet that I can only wear sneakers and men's shoes, so high heels aren't even an option for me even if I had wanted them.

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/OOMGVFA2N25YXQNBHKERC23CUM Bree

    I'm the same way with my feet. They also swell, which makes high heels a no-no, due to not looking attractive and being very uncomfortable.

  • Ankrhe

    Ha ha ha. This is so true. It makes me sad because if Oprah started going “Hey, try and be healthy if you want but weight is not the be all end all.” it could make a real difference.

    And yeah, fellow not high heel wearer! I can't stand anything that limits my mobility. Not to mention footpain! Though, every few months I forget this, buy a pair of heels and go “Shit. I forgot this HURTS” and sell them on eBay again. One day I'll learn. One day.

  • Suze

    Thank you thank you thank you. i've been saying this about Oprah to my friends forever. They look at me like I'm crazy. Being fat didn't stop Oprah from doing amazing things. People love and respect her and it has nothing to do with what she looks like. I'm all for healthy eating and moving but if someone like Oprah buys into society's crap, what hope is there for the rest of us? A thousand thanks for keeping it real and saying what lots and lots of us ladies have been thinking about for many many moons. :)

  • http://randomette.blogspot.com ErinAree

    I have no qualms in saying that Oprah started me on my journey to self-love and self-awareness.

    As a teenager growing up in an unhappy household (including domestic violence and verbal abuse), Oprah taught me all about knowing who I was and what I wanted and believing that I could get out into the world and make a difference just by being me. So even though I was fat and unhappy, I heard a message from her that said – it's not your fat that's making you unhappy, it's your circumstances. Change your circumstances and you'll change your life.

    I don't remember her show talking a lot about weight loss during the period I was a most avid Oprah fan, but I do remember the back-to-back weight loss commercials that always made me feel guilty.

    Your post is in the same as Natalie's post which I <3 with all my <3 – talking about how fashion ends up trying to make everyone fit the industry's idea of 'beautiful', which ends up making us all look the same.

    I hate high heels. I have no medical reason not to wear them. I can find them in my size. I just hate them. They hurt to even stand in after more than an hour, and walking distances? No way. Sure, they make my calves look 'amazing' and they make me look taller and thinner, but you know what? Who cares? If after an hour I'm grimmacing and holding onto the wall because I can't stand, I'm not really looking all that fancy, am I?

    I'd rather have the shoes and handbag that I LOVE and make me feel fancy as anything, which in turn will make me look fantastic.

    Oprah, you are my hero, but I'm sorry – you've lost me on this one.

    P.S. Janey – in the words of Grace's intern in Will & Grace: Love you, love your work – love you AND your work. :)

  • sannanina

    What really gets me about this is that high heels can do an awful lot of damage to your ankles, knees and back… and that at the same time that women are still told to wear high heels fat people are told to lose weight to AVOID damage to those body parts. If people are so concerned about joint health why aren't they speaking up against high heels, something that is so much easier to change than a person's weight? (Not to mention how ridiculous it is to tell a fat person who supposedly puts already a lot of stress on their joints to wear high heels that will stress those joints even further.)

  • Notblueatall

    Thank you for this. Sometimes I start to think that I'm the only one not buying into those silly Fashion themed Oprah shows. Haven't watched her in over a year and I'm not sure I ever will again since I feel much more fabulous without her. Don't get me wrong, I love her and sometimes wish she were the U.S. President (she's said never), but then she has these shows and it's so sad/silly. I love my cankles and haven't worn heels since I broke my foot four years ago. Just can't now, but never felt comfortable in them anyway. Just another step in the FA direction in my book. I now have a gorgeous wrap-around tattoo on my right ankle of a rainforest-ish scene, lots leaves and creatures. I say do what feels best. Thanks! http://www.notblueatall.com

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