If you thought Meryl Streep was a bitch in The Devil Wears Prada, can you even imagine what it’s like working with the woman who inspired her character? Legendary editrix Anna Wintour has weasled her way back in the headlines after appearing on 60 Minutes, where she revealed that, in 1998, she made a “gentle suggestion” to Oprah Winfrey that she lose 20 pounds before being photographed for the cover of Vogue.
“It was a very gentle suggestion," Wintour, 59, told host Morley Safer. "I went to Chicago to visit Oprah, and I suggested that it might be an idea that she lose a little bit of weight before she appeared in the magazine.”
How did O react? According to Wintour, "She was a trooper. She totally welcomed the idea. She went on a very stringent diet. It was one of our most successful covers ever."
On people.com, we learn that Oprah has not yet issued a response, but that on Sept. 24, 1998, The Oprah Winfrey Show devoted an episode to Vogue makeovers, with Winfrey saying that "giving myself over to the Vogue experience" meant that Wintour told her, 'You had to release all control to me.' " O also said during that episode (over 10 years ago – how times flies!) that she knew that Wintour’s suggestion "meant losing the 20 pounds I put on during my trial in Texas [with cattle breeders over remarks she made about beef]. Now I worked my behind off, literally. People say, 'Where's the beef?' It was on my behind. Over the summer I was working out, working out, to get in shape. And it paid off … I was transformed into Vogue's October cover girl.”
According to jezebel.com (check out the video clips), during one segment of the 60 Minutes interview, Wintour tries explaining a picture of an obese woman, saying, "I'd just been on a trip to Minnesota, where I can only kindly describe most of the people I saw as little houses."
This woman sounds absolutely horrid. I can’t imagine today’s Oprah listening to any “suggestion” of hers – O is an empowerer, an independent, a veritable goddess who inspires millions to love their bodies as is. Yet she also struggles, as evidenced by her “I can’t believe I’m still talking about my weight” revelation in January. Part of me feels like if I were a celeb and I had the chance to be on the cover of Vogue, I’d likely take any advice the Editor-In-Chief gave me – dye my hair, insert colored contacts, spray tan my badunk-a-dunk, or, yes, lose 20 pounds. But I’m NOT a celeb and I can’t even imagine being in that position, so it’s easy for me to say, “Screw you and your witchy soul, Anna Wintour. I hope someone spikes your black coffee with liquid lard so you gain 20 pounds and see what it feels like to be judged!”
Besides, couldn't she just have Photoshopped Oprah's extra 20 pounds off? (Sarcasm, people! I love O just as she is.)
Thoughts? Would Oprah kowtow to these weight loss demands if they came in 2009, not 1998?