Oprah's mag: He has some issues

August 11, 2008|By KEVIN COWHERD

I go out to the mailbox the other day and there, curled up in the middle of the bills and junk mail that arrive like daily torture, is the new issue of O: The Oprah Magazine.

This magazine is so thick, you could club somebody to death with it.

It has 7,000 stories in every issue and all these ads and photos. If you're a mail carrier, you have to join a gym or start taking steroids to lift this thing out of your truck.

This is why you see so many mail carriers with back problems. Lug a dozen O's around on an average route and you're wearing a truss for the rest of your life.

"The Goddess Oprah has sent her latest musings!" I yell to my wife when I'm back inside.

"Don't start," she yells back, because we go through this every month.

As usual, the new issue of O is chock full of the requisite inspirational stories of empowered women, plus beauty advice, health tips and practical ways to "Live Your Best Life."

The cover story is "You Are An Excellent Woman! How to finally let that message seep into your bones," which I'm sure will be eagerly devoured by the Oprah cultists.

And so will other features such as "And Then What Happened?! Get Swept Away By 8 Riveting True Stories" and "Makeover! Is your hair color working for you - or against you?" and "The Perfect Summer Dinner Party, Period" and "She's 48, And Starting To Date: A post-divorce wardrobe plan."

Oh, Oprah and her editors have really gone all out this time.

But the stories, even the goofball ones, are not my problem with the magazine.

My problem with the magazine is that Oprah herself is still on every single cover.

How long has this thing been publishing now?

Seven or eight years?

And she's still on every ... single ... cover?

Doesn't this get old for O readers?

Picking up every single issue and seeing Oprah smiling radiantly, face air-brushed of every imperfection, skin glowing, hair shining, teeth gleaming like two perfect rows of Chiclets?

I'm sick of seeing her and I don't even read the magazine - I just pull it out of the mailbox.

Sure, she looks like a million bucks in all those designer outfits and fabulous earrings.

And I'd be smiling too if I had her life and money and I could pick up the phone and bark: "Barack! Be in the studio for a 5 p.m. taping or I'll back McCain so fast it'll make you head spin!"

But appearing on every single cover - isn't this just a towering monument to vanity?

Even Martha Stewart got sick of seeing herself on the cover of her magazine, where she was always making Christmas wreaths or arranging potpourri or something.

(On the other hand, Rachael Ray seems to be pulling an Oprah by always being on the cover of her mag , Every Day with Rachael Ray. The new issue features "215 brand new recipes" and "Rach's pal, Daisy Martinez, shows what delicious things happen when fresh fish and eggplant get together in a Latin-infused stew." But guess what? Daisy Martinez isn't on the cover. She may make a mean Latin stew. But apparently Rach isn't sharing that cover shot with anyone.)

Of course, you can't bring any of this up with my wife, who is totally into the Cult of Oprah.

"Don't say anything bad about Oprah," she says. "She does a lot of wonderful things for a lot of people."

Look, I'm not saying she doesn't.

The charity work, the school for girls in South Africa, the post-Hurricane Katrina money to build houses in New Orleans, it's all terrific.

The car giveaway to the entire TV show audience a few years ago, that was great, too. (She gave away 276 cars! I would have elbowed my own mother aside to get the keys to one of those Pontiac G6s.)

All I'm saying is, can't she put someone else on the cover of O just once?

Is that too much to ask?

What about one of her crazy pals like Tom Cruise or John Travolta? Or how about that guy Stedman she was going out with for 100 years? Are they still an item? Put him on the cover, just to shake things up.

OK, forget that. This is a women's magazine. You need a woman on the cover. How about, I don't know, Maya Angelou or Aretha Franklin or Barbara Walters?

Anyone but Rachael Ray.

Or Kelly Ripa, come to think of it.

I'll be waiting by the mailbox to see how all this works out.

kevin.cowherd@baltsun.com

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