Gayle King was on Good Morning yesterday to talk about her best friend Oprah’s decision to go public with her weight struggle. Oprah recently admitted to weighing 200 pounds at just 5′ 6.5″ tall, a figure that some people say is too low and contend that she looks heavier than that. Whatever the exact number is, Oprah deserves credit for owing up to her problems with the public, something she could have kept quiet about. Oprah is featured on the cover of the upcoming January issue of O Magazine in a current full body shot in which she points to a fit 2005 version of herself with the caption “How did I let this happen again?” In the accompanying interview, she admits that she’s “mad” and “embarrassed” at her weight gain and says she can’t believe she let it happen again with everything she knows.
Gayle said on GMA that she was surprised Oprah made that decision. As her best friend and the editor of O, she told Oprah frankly that she wasn’t looking that good and it would be a risk to compare herself to her 2005 cover shot.
Gayle explains how she told Oprah she wasn’t “looking so great”
“You’re aware that there’s a difference between the two bodies and you’re not looking so great, and you’re ok with showing that?”
“She goes ‘Yes I am. I really am, because I have eyes, everybody else has eyes. Everybody can see what is happening to me and I feel that I’ve been talking the talk but I haven’t really walked the walk and I just want to put it out there.’”
Gayle also talked about how she felt bad that she didn’t notice that Oprah was upset over gaining weight until she came out with the news herself. Oprah tells a personal story in the magazine about not wanting to go on stage in Las Vegas with Tina Turner and Cher because she felt too fat, something that Gayle says she can see in retrospect but didn’t pick up on at the time.
The letters are coming in from readers who are grateful to Oprah, according to Gayle. She quoted one woman who wrote “I just wanted to thank you. For so long I’ve been embarrassed about how I look. I called myself voluptuous, but really I know I’m fat.”
Oprah contends that she’s not brave for coming out with this personal information and that the really brave people are the ones who come on her show every week.
Gayle said that Oprah is still the same confident person, but that Bob Green, her longterm trainer, told her he could tell that she’s been depressed since she gained weight.
As I said in our earlier coverage of this, Oprah usually bugs me but I can’t fault her in this case. She is going public with something that people struggle with daily and as a well known celebrity she can provide courage and strength to so many. Oprah’s “Best Week Life” starts on January 5th on her show.
Gayle King is shown in the header at the 17th Annual Women In Entertainment Power 100 Breakfast at the Beverly Hills Hotel on 12/5/08. Credit: Apega/WENN