My Role Model: Oprah Winfrey
Oprah Winfrey is probably the most iconic media influencer in the history of modern America. Indeed, she is a very successful woman who has turned lives upside down with her one-of-a-kind personality and charm. She is a television producer, a talk show host, a film actress, and more than all those, she is a philanthropist. She is best known as the host of her own show, which is internationally recognized until she launched her own television network named OWN. Honestly, if I were to talk about her and all her achievements, I might have to need more than a day. Why? Because she is my role model. Most people would consider their parents or their elder siblings as their role model. Some would consider their mentors or their teachers. However, if you are going to ask me, I would choose Oprah Winfrey. Let me tell you why.
Winfrey’s true name is Oprah Gail Winfrey. She did not have a very nice childhood. She was actually abused sexually by a lot of men, among who were her relatives and some were friends of Vernita, her mother. For that reason, she went to Nashville and lived with Vernon, her father. She then transferred to Tennessee State University started to work as a broadcaster in Nashville. That is where her actual career began. In 1976, she moved to Baltimore and worked as the host of “People Are Talking,” a very popular TV show during that time. The show’s popularity opened the doors and windows of success for Winfrey. She was then offered her own morning show, A.M. Chicago, by a TV station where her major competitor was Phil Donahue. In just a few months, Winfrey’s pleasing charisma won her thousands of audiences and from being at the bottom, in the beginning, she aced the charts and ranked first in all the ratings. This success led her to eventually becoming not just a TV show host, but an actress as well. She was even nominated for her role in the 1985 film, “The Color Purple,” as Best Supporting Actress.
Then came the Oprah Winfrey Show, which may be considered as the most popular show in the history of television. It had its own struggles, of course, especially when talk shows became gradually shabby and exploitative. Nevertheless, Winfrey pledged that she would retain her show clean and unpolluted. The ratings went down at first, but again, with her positive attitude and warm personality, she regained the trust of her viewers and rose to the pinnacle of popularity. Considered as a media giant, Winfrey also had her shares of contribution to the book industry by launching “Oprah’s Book Club.” She also gave permission to include her “O: The Oprah Magazine” in the show.
After celebrating series of successful years with ABC, Winfrey decided to end her contract with them to shoot her own television network, The Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN). It was a joint undertaking between Winfrey and Discovery Communications. The network initially started with financial brawls. However, when it exposed an interview with Lance Armstrong, OWN got its break by making the headlines. Armstrong was a famous American cyclist. He was a real champion in his league, but his title was because of doping accusations, Apparently, Armstrong admitted in the show that he indeed used performance-enhancing substances all throughout his career and he now feels sorry for having to take such substances. He also said on the show that it is alright to pay the price for he deserves such consequences. This admission by an interview with Armstrong brought millions of dollars to OWN.
As to her success in the aspect of wealth, Winfrey was coined as the 20th century’s richest African American by Forbes Magazine. She was also awarded as the most powerful and influential woman of this century by Life Magazine. Furthermore, Business Week also recognized her as one of the ultimate philanthropists in all of America’s history. Well-known for his dedication to helping women and children, a big percentage of her wealth was fully dedicated to her charitable institutions.
Winfrey’s story of success is what makes her desirable and loved. While it may be a very typical “from rags to riches” story, it is her personality and attitude that makes the difference. Her childhood and adolescent experiences never hindered her to become a great person today. Furthermore, she was always positive in life. She always looked into the brighter side of it. According to her, the reason why she kept the Oprah Winfrey Show was to tell the whole world the stories of each that would affect the human spirit. She wanted to inspire people and let them see themselves in each story she featured. She wanted to bring the best out of people.
This is the reason why I consider her as my role model. The same way that she is touching the lives of most people, I also would want to do the same. I want to bring the best out of people. I want them to experience life and things in the most vibrant and exciting way. I want to inspire people and tell them that they can do better and that they are actually better than who they think they are. Just like Winfrey, I want to be the positivity that emancipates from within in a myriad of undesirable negative thoughts. I want to let people know that life should be embraced and enjoyed just how it is supposed to be.
People are different. We do not share the same experiences. Likewise, we do not share the same thoughts and feelings. Your childhood could be different than mine; your life could be more painful than others. There are a lot of things in this world that we know nothing about when it comes to other people’s lives. Nonetheless, we share the same things when it comes to living life to the fullest. Think of life as a box of chocolates – some may be sweet, some may be bitter, some may not have any taste at all, but in the end, what is most important is that it is still a box of chocolates and who doesn’t love chocolates? Just like Oprah Winfrey, we should always look not just on the brighter side of life, but on the brightest side of it. We should always remind ourselves that while life can throw us thousands and thousands of negative thoughts and feelings, we are capable of overcoming them. We are and will always be capable of living life to its fullest no matter how much problems and struggles come our way.