I like Oprah Winfrey. Mostly because her message is usually uplifting and empowering. And I’m a big fan of that message. It’s the reason I created this blog: to empower people who wanted to take control of their finances.
I stumbled upon Oprah’s magazine, O today. I’ve enjoyed reading it in the past and have gotten interesting book ideas and read some interesting articles in it. However, since I’ve started on this journey I’ve become much more aware of consumerism in the culture. And honestly, Oprah’s Magazine was a bit depressing on that front.
What struck me is how much the magazine glorified spending. Were there lots of ads? Yes. But I’m talking about the content of the magazine. The content of the magazine was all about spending as a way to self-improvement. And that’s not a message I subscribe to. One page in the magazine reviewed makeup and had 63 products on it. Yes, I counted. Again, this is not an ad I’m describing. This is a page in a magazine that people pay for. You’re paying Oprah to promote products to you. And the articles written by guest authors weren’t actually articles. They were “my favorite things” type of descriptions of their favorite products, including this $45 Vanilla Cake.
That’s when I stopped reading the magazine. I’m not a big cake person. But, $45 seems like a ridiculous amount to spend on a vanilla cake. I’m not talking about a wedding cake or birthday cake for your kids. I don’t know who the target market for this magazine is but the last thing Americans need is $45 vanilla cake. Seriously.
Oprah is a mainstream personality and I was more than disappointment by her tone deafness. Americans have $2T worth of debt. (see below) And many (like the good people who read this blog) are working hard to pay down debt and lead happier lives by being more thoughtful in their spending.
I’m not buying in to this notion that once I can afford Oprah’s favorite things, that my life be better. My life is better. And I’ve never spent less money trying to make myself happy. Imagine that.