Oprah Winfrey has spoken openly about the stigma associated with being overweight. The 68-year-old media mogul recently moderated a panel called The Life You Want Class: The State of Weight, where she articulated the worldwide obesity and weight epidemic that affects 2 billion adults.
Along with psychotherapist Dr. Rachel Goldman, obesity experts Drs. Fatima Cody Stanford Melanie Jay, and Sima Sistani, the CEO of WeightWatchers, participated in the discussion.
Winfrey began to narrate her opinion to those in attendance, “You all know I’ve been on this journey for most of my life. My highest weight was 237 lbs. I don’t know if there is another public person whose weight struggle has been exploited as much as mine over the years.”
“You all have watched me diet and diet and diet,” she continued, before noting that it’s “a recurring thing because my body always seems to want to go back to a certain weight.”
Winfrey added that she had noticed that people treated her differently when she weighed more than 200 pounds.
“This is a world that has shamed people for being overweight forever.”
“And all of us who’ve lived it know that people treat you differently, they just do,” she continued.
The former talk show presenter continued by saying that she discovered she encountered that stigma most frequently while shopping.
“It’s that thing where people are like, ‘Let me show you the gloves. Would you like to look at the handbags? Because we know that there’s nothing in here for you,’ ” she said. “There is a condescension. There is stigma.”