"And every day, the world will drag you by the hand, yelling, “This is important! And this is important! And this is important! You need to worry about this! And this! And this!”


And each day, it’s up to you to yank your hand back, put it on your heart and say, “No. This is what’s important.”

- Iain Thomas

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Dear Oprah: The Weight Watchers Commercial I Wish You Would Make

January 28, 2016


I can vividly remember rushing home after school to curl up on the basement couch and watch your show.  I grew up with you, and to this day you are one of my most influential role models - introducing me to new ideas and challenging me to wake up and think.  I cannot thank you enough for the positive impact you have had on my life.  


With this in mind, I hope you take the rest of this letter with the respect and admiration that I've intended.


You kinda blew it.


I'm sure you're aware, but the whole Weight Watchers thing has not landed well.  And I'm not talking about your decision to buy into Weight Watchers.  Even though my experience with weight-loss programs is that not only do they not work, but it's an industry driven by shame, hate and fear, I haven't personally tried Weight Watchers.  Maybe it's different; maybe it works for you.  Who knows?  That's not why I'm writing this letter.


My beef is all around the message of your Weight Watchers ads.  Hearing you say "inside every overweight woman is the woman she longs to be" was incredibly disappointing.  As a plus-size woman, having you... Oprah!... declare that I'm still not enough as long as I'm overweight just didn't make sense.  It seems to run counter to everything that you represent.


I feel like you could have done this so much better, and that you still can.  It's like I tell my kids, "Everyone makes mistakes...it's what you do after that matters."


So, with the utmost respect and love, I've crafted your next Weight Watchers commercial script.  I hope you'll consider it.  I think you have a tremendous opportunity to clean this up and model all of the integrity, consciousness, and vulnerability that is such a foundational part of your being.



Weight Watchers Commercial Script


"Hey all, Oprah here.


Let me start by saying I heard you.  I can understand how my previous commercials were confusing and disappointing, and I apologize for this.


I could go into details about why and how this happened, but it doesn't matter.  The point is I made a mistake. So, let me take this time to be completely clear about two important truths:


#1 - Ladies, your weight has nothing to do with the value you bring as a human being.  Nothing.


Your weight does not define your worth.  It will not make you more impactful in whatever you wish to pursue.  It will not make you a better wife, mother, friend, sister, or daughter.  


Even though a million people may tell you that it will, they are wrong.  Weight is not directly related to leading a rich and fulfilling life.  That, my friends, is an inside job.


And, #2 - You have this one body for this one life that you're living so take care of it!


Eat real food.  Drink water.  Get enough sleep.  Do something fun that gets you moving.  Learn to listen to your unique, beautiful body.


If you feel like your body has been telling you that it feels overweight, then come and join me at Weight Watchers to see if the program is right for you.  <blah, blah, blah.....insert marketing messages about the program here>


The only way to a sustainable, healthy body is through love; love for yourself exactly where you are, and loving yourself so much that making your health a priority is an obvious choice."



Kindest regards,

Gillian Rowinski


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