Thursday, April 27, 2006

Note to Oprah and Dr. Phil: I Am Not Celebrity Obsessed

I keep hearing Oprah and Dr. Phil say that America is celebrity obsessed. I am not. I want to make that very, very clear.

Oprah and Dr. Phil are both guilty of pushing celebrities on their viewers. My TiVo is set to record both Oprah and Dr. Phil’s shows but I don’t watch all of them. I am the least interested in the topics where celebrities are being interviewed. Most of them are quite boring to hear interviewed. Frankly, I don’t care about most celebrity’s personal lives. If I want to see their movie or listen to their music, I will do that. I don’t love everything I see or hear. Just because I might enjoy their ‘work’ doesn’t mean I care anything about who they are as people or what they do in their private lives. Sorry. I have my own life to lead and I am quite busy with my own friends and family. I don’t have time nor do I want to do things such as read tabloids, read People magazine, etc.

I used to subscribe to O—Oprah magazine. My subscription has expired and I did not renew it. I got sick of the double talk. For example there could be an article about living an authentic life and being happy with our aging bodies yet the next page would have an ad for a very expensive ‘anti-aging’ crème which, by the way, has not been proven to actually work. I may read an article about living a more simple life or not being in debt, and turn the page to see an article or column telling me a ‘must have’ for this season is a $350 pair of shoes or a $700 cashmere sweater or a $30 bubble bath product. The constant contradiction and contrast between the content of the articles and the ads and columns that feature products to purchase was very annoying. Plus I hated the nasty perfume ads that stunk up my house and gave me a headache.

We are not all celebrity obsessed. Please stop saying that we are!

I am concerned with issues, big issues, and I write of them often. I have issues with the American public education system, with too-early exposure of children to mature themes and pushing children to mature before they are ready. I am worried about the disgusting lyrics in pop music. I am concerned with the degradation of the content of movies suitable for young children, and of cartoons being marketed to toddlers with a PG rating full of sexual innuendo (i.e. Shrek). I worry about children being over-scheduled. I have concerns with books being published for pre-teen girls that read to me like child pornography. That is what I am concerned with, Oprah and Dr. Phil!

Perhaps Oprah and Dr. Phil could stop doing shows on celebrities. How about excluding them entirely. Don’t they realize they are just being used anyway? They know that usually the only time that a celebrity will go on their shows is when they are promoting something, a movie or a new music album or even a book.

I am happy that in the last two weeks Oprah has had some great shows about issues that are important to me: problems in American public education, girls acting stupid and superficial rather than acting authentically, the danger of living in huge debt, the over-use of plastic surgery, the problem of celebrity worship and emulation, and the exploitation of young women as sexual objects by the music industry (as music video extras). Oprah, keep up the good work on that front, but please stop thinking that everyone is celebrity obsessed. We are NOT all celebrity obsessed. Some of us ARE living authentic lives!

(I am going to email this to both Oprah and Dr. Phil.)

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MarktheChef said...

I am not celeb obsessed either ... but we are obsessed with teaching our kids right from wrong and developing a bank of memories for our kids ... we are homeschoolers as well so I really appreciate your blog. Thank you for voicing your issues with the world ... as far as O and P ... they will not hear you .. it does not bring ratings ... and the ad's well think how much she can charge for an ad for a $350 purse ... keep it up ... mark

ladycascadia said...

Quite frankly, I am sick of Oprah and Dr. Phil and others in their self-righteous way constantly stereotyping and guilt-tripping those us who are interested in celebrities. I wonder where they'd be if everyone followed their advice on this topic? Out of a job, that's where!

I am well aware of the "big issues" in our world, and sometimes I find them overwhelming because there's nothing I can do about them. So why is it so wrong to want to escape and feel good once in a while? That's what light entertainment is for.

I am a woman who has an ordinary job but who also has aspirations to be a singer/songwriter. I feel my life is just as "authentic" as those who prefer more ordinary and mundan pastimes. My "authentic" life happens to include a bit of dash, color, glamour, music and creativity...the things that celebrities do and do well...and there's nothing wrong with that.

Besides, only the person living their own life can decide whether or not it is an "authentic" life, not you, Oprah or anyone else. I say live and let all things.

christinemm said...

I made it very clear in my blog post that the issue I was addressing is the stated notion by Oprah and Dr. Phil that "all of America" is celebrity obsessed. I am not, others I know are not.

I really don't care if someone else is interested in the private lives of celebrities or follows the industry of Hollywood as a hobby.

I also do think it is ridiculous that Oprah and Dr. Phil criticize American citizens for being celeb obsessed when they themselves make money off of shows about celebs. Also from things they say on their shows, both of them rub elbows with celebs for fun in their spare time, and it seems they stay on top of what is going on in the private lives of celebs, who is nominated for an Oscar, whose music or movie is ranked at X position on X list that week, month, etc.