Oprah Winfrey's Effect

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After she hosted three talk shows which touched the lives of millions, Oprah Winfrey became the most powerful woman alive. Oprah lived through a poverty stricken childhood which made her the strong woman she is today. Her rags to riches story has taught the lesson that anything is possible and she uses her life story to inspire others. She opens her life up to those who will accept her. Oprah Winfrey uses the power earned from her success as a talk show host to benefit the community by donating to philanthropies and charities; however, a modern audience may question her true motives as something other than true selflessness. From the beginning, her life was poverty stricken. She was born in Kosciusko, Mississippi, on January 29, 1954. …show more content…
The “Oprah Effect” is what happens when she can connect with the audience and gain their trust, so whenever she advertises a company or product, her supporters will follow her like a moth to a flame. In 2008, when Barack Obama was running in the presidential election, a young woman named Melanie White heard that Oprah Winfrey was visiting Des Moines to campaign for Obama. Melanie was set on seeing Oprah, even if that meant supporting Obama in the presidential campaign (Marks). Steven Ross, a history professor at the University of California, says, “She could tap into the 50 percent of the population that doesn’t vote” (qtd. In Marks). Oprah holds the power that can cause one candidate to win because of her ability to reach out to the people that do not vote. Another rallygoer, Margaret Blair, says, “I like Obama too, but I am especially here because Oprah came with him” (qtd in Marks). Another way that the “Oprah Effect” occurs is through her monthly book club. One month Oprah Winfrey chose the book She’s Come Undone by Wally Lamb for her book club. Within weeks, the novel’s sales shot up and 3 million copies were in print to be sold (Zipp). Oprah Winfrey can cause millions of books to fly off the shelves just because she chose the book to read. “‘People like Oprah. They trust her opinion.’ And for them, her word is better than all the elegantly phrased praise …show more content…
With all the power and fame she has acquired, it seems almost impossible that Oprah isn’t another selfish celebrity that is just using her power to her advantage. However, there are some people that believe she is using her power for her own selfish reasons. Recently, Oprah Winfrey has been discussing her newly found love of god and how the Bible has impacted her life, but the timing of her religious talk seems suspicious. Winfrey recently created a television series known as Belief which is about exploiting the power of religion. Jennifer LeClair noticed how she started talking about her religion and beliefs when her new television show was being promoted (Leclair). Leclair says, “Let 's be clear. Oprah 's sudden river of religious talk is not based on some newfound appreciation for Christianity. Its marketing spin for her new series…” (Leclair). This could be true, however; Oprah was raised in a southern Baptist church where she formed her spiritual values (Gale). She now may be at a time in her life where she needs to fall back on God and her religious values. Oprah may be seen as selfish, but her charitable acts and philanthropic personality does prove otherwise. Oprah thinks about more than herself through her generous donations to the community, such as the creation of the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls and other foundations. Her optimistic attitude and success makes us forget

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