Oprah says her size really hit home in May 2008 while taping a show with two music legends,Tina Turner and Cher. “Like every woman who has a special occasion coming up, you want to look special,” she says. “I feel the same way everybody else feels when you get up in the morning and you go to put on something and it doesn’t fit.”
As the Las Vegas audience cheered, Oprah kept a smile on her face and hid her true feelings. “There I am during the Tina and Cher show feeling like, ‘How in the world did I let this happen to myself again?'” she says. “I was embarrassed, and I wanted to be anyplace other than there. Tina Turner and Cher are American icons. They still look great. So the anxiety of, ‘Okay, now I’ve got to put myself on a big stage and stand between Tina and Cher and try to make myself not be as big as I am.'”
When Oprah found out Tina wanted her to come onstage and sing along to “Proud Mary,” she says she told a producer she didn’t want to do it. “I was standing on the side, perfectly happy and thinking, ‘This is going well,'” Oprah says. Then, Tina spontaneously called her onto the stage. “I thought, ‘God, help me now. How can I put myself between them? Can I put half of my body behind Cher’s? Well, Cher’s body is half of my body, so that’s hard. How can I hide myself here on this stage and not have to be up here?'” she says. “I felt awful. I wanted to just disappear.”
Oprah says money, fame and success don’t mean anything if you can’t control your own being. “It doesn’t mean anything if you can’t fit into your clothes,” she says. “It means the fat won. It means you didn’t win. … I am mad at myself. I am embarrassed.”
After all these years, Oprah says she can’t believe she’s still discussing this topic. “With all the other things that I know how to do and all the other things that I’m so great at and all the other accomplishments, I can’t believe I’m still talking about weight,” she says.