It has been five years since the world saw the final episode of The Oprah Show, yet host Oprah Winfrey remains to be one of the most influential and iconic power women in existence. With the show’s “live your best life” slogan, Oprah has been instrumental in helping many achieve true happiness.
Let's take a look back at the key moments of The Oprah Show (along with its spinoffs under the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN)), to see the various ways the media mogul, philanthropist, and entrepreneur has changed so many lives:
1. She is determined to bring out the best in everyone and bring the best to everyone.
In her national television debut back in 1986, Oprah tackled a provocative topic involving finding the right partner for both males and females, featuring a book by Margaret Kent. Several years later, Kent's appearance, along with her book, has been cited to have helped hundreds of couples have a happy relationship.
Since then, Oprah's shows (and her career) has been a go-to for people building their own businesses, and for those seeking life advice.
2. Her openness about personal issues make her very relatable.
In one episode, Oprah brought along 67 pounds of animal fat (the amount she lost for the year)... this served as the beginning of her openness about her struggles with her weight. While she considered the controversial episode to be her biggest regret, it was able to emphasize very well to everyone the importance of managing their weight properly without compromising their health.
While she may be criticized occasionally regarding her stance on weight loss, she still goes the extra mile to promote a healthy lifestyle, like when she crafted a 21-day wellness plan together with fitness trainer Angela Davis.
3. She can make even the biggest celebrities get comfortable talking about their personal issues.
Case in point: Michael Jackson’s first interview after 14 years, where he and Oprah tackled various topics ranging from his faith in God to the legacy he wants to leave to the world, along with Michael addressing rumors about his love life, plastic surgeries, and his love for children.
In addition to Michael, Oprah has been instrumental in helping Ellen DeGeneres open up about her sexuality, getting Whitney Houston talking about her marital and drug addiction issues, and getting letting disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong to admit to doping allegations in an exclusive interview.
4. Her endorsement can make a person or a product.
Take this, for instance: At the launch of the Oprah Book Club in 1997, the first book that Oprah picked, Jacquelyn Mitchard's Deep in the Ocean, went on to become a best-seller. Aside from books, the Oprah Effect has made an impact on practically everything that appeared on the show or was endorsed by Oprah herself, including then-senator Barack Obama in the 2008 presidential elections.
5. She is very generous, especially to people who need it the most.
Being one of those successful rags-to-riches story in history, Oprah makes it a point to give back to the community when possible, just like when she gave away 276 cars to her audience back in 2004. Other instances include Oprah treating her audience to a trip to Disney World, giving away college scholarships to 50 scholars, and throwing a baby shower for 640 pregant women.
Oprah has been named “Most Generous Celebrity” several times, donating several millions of dollars to various causes, which include education, healthcare, and organizations for women and children.
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Artwork by Jana Jimenez