As we were talking, we brought up the fact that Oprah is full of contradictions. She loves to talk about how to do things "on a budget", but then has these extravagant "favorite things" shows. Or, she'll talk about how we should all love our bodies the way they are...but here's 10 ways to look thinner in jeans. Even with this, some women take what she says as gospel - from how to be a spiritual person, to what books we should read, to what celebrities we should care about.
What we don't get is how she seemingly has such power over a huge range of women...and why isn't there a similar person that men look to for advice/information/opinions about everything and anything? Is there something about women that need a "mother figure" to tell us all how to act, what to like, and how to look? Why don't men fall into the same "trappings"?
We really couldn't come up with an answer. I am going to read the Living Oprah blog from the beginning though, to see if Robyn has any insights into this phenomenon. Maybe the above-mentioned book club member can shed some light as well once she finishes the book :)
ETA: I should add that I am not "against" Oprah in any way. I have a lot of respect for her, and what she has been able to do with her life. I think she can do a lot of good in this world because of the power she has...but because of this power, she needs to be very aware of how women see her as a life coach/guide/guru.