It has to be hard to be a working actress living in Chicago. In fact, it's surely hard enough to be a working actress, but the Midwest isn't exactly known for birthing actors who aren't really good or really funny. So for Robyn Okrant, a performer and artist living in the Windy City, the decision to publicize a year-long experiment in which she lives life according to the doctrine of media mogul Oprah Winfrey (via her talk show, website and magazine) was surely not one made without the hope for some time in the spotlight.

Needless to say, she got it.

Publicized on Jezebel, The Guardian, and NPR, Okrant -- who goes by "LO" (as in "Living Oprah") -- publicly asks on Living Oprah if she will indeed "find bliss" in -- as Oprah's tagline puts it -- "living [her] best life." Taking every morsel to heart, Okrent takes what Oprah says very seriously. She buys what Oprah buys. She follows what Oprah preaches. She reads what Oprah eats, reads what Oprah reads and wears what Oprah wears. She even treats her body the same way Oprah treats her own (and btw, she's loving the shiatsu exercises). Okrant has strictly structured her own life around the lifestyle sermonized by Oprah Winfrey's all-encompassing media umbrella, all in the name of critically examining the power of a cultural figurehead who wields such enormous authority in a celebrity-hungry society.

And now, to contrast the heavy-handed media theory, I present a list of things I would do if I could Live Oprah.

  • Have a pajama party with Dr. Maya Angelou (who must always be referred to as "Dr. Maya Angelou")
  • Dance with John Travolta all the time
  • Name my dogs after every character that ever appeared in a Toni Morrison novel
  • Create my own "oasis"
  • Throw a vaguely religious, weekend-long "ball" honoring rich and famous elderly Black ladies before showering them (and younger rich and famous Black ladies like Ashanti and Naomi Campbell) with outrageously expensive jewelry
  • Elongate vowels at top volume
  • Finance my best friend's career
  • Find my inner superhero to defeat Tom Cruise
  • Give up and file a restraining order against Tom Cruise

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Living Oprah
link:// Oprah.com
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