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Did you hear the news? (Of course you did, it was the media equivalent of shock and awe.) On Friday, Oprah announced that her final show would be Sept. 2011, after 25 years on the air. So while the speculation about her reasons run rampant, now seems like the perfect time to talk about Living Oprah: My One-Year Experiment to Walk the Walk of the Queen of Talk.

Robyn Okrant spent a year doing absolutely everything Oprah recommended–purchasing Oprah endorsed fashion, cooking Oprah approved meals, reading Oprah endorsed books, finding Oprah approved spirituality. She chronicled her Oprah experiment on her blog, where readers can see what a monumental task this undertaking became. Between Oprah’s TV show, her magazine and her website, Robyn spent a whole lot of money and even more time to live an Oprah-approved “best life.”

I don’t really watch Oprah or read her magazine anymore. Personally, I find her out of touch. Larry King just had her BFF Gale on his show, asking Gale how Oprah “engaged with the everyday lady.” To which Gale responded that Oprah was “just like you.” Sorry, Gale, no she’s not.

Oprah is worth billions. She can’t walk down the street, take mass transit, or fly commercial without getting mobbed. She can find the absolute best pair of pants, no matter what the cost, and buy ten of them. She can work out with expensive trainers and consult with nutritionists. Oprah employs a lifestyle army. It’s much easier to live your best life when money is no object.

But is Oprah really living her best life? From what I have read, her work schedule is insane. She has no work-life balance. Her yo-yo dieting is another tip-off that there may be something gnawing away at her. So is the commercialism that surrounds this best life really just a band-aid for happiness? Can it really be found in the best pair of pants, the best ergonomic gardening set, or the best rolfing?

The book comes out on January 3, and I am going to try track Robyn down for a quick interview for this ol’ blog! I am in AWE of the discipline it must have taken to live this “best life.” And I have a lot of questions too. Did Robyn find her best life by Living Oprah? Does Robyn think Oprah is really living her best life? Is the Best Life found in those perfect pants, or did she somehow transcend these messages and find a spiritual epiphany?

So it looks like this has been up on YouTube for a few years, but I am just now paying attention. And you should too!

This is part of Dove’s Campaign for Real Beauty, and shows everything that goes into making a model perfect, right down to Photoshop.

Manly man husband is an expert retoucher, and he does it for a living. Years ago he did piles of celeb and model retouches. When I was younger and gave a shit, I used to ask him to doctor pictures of me as well. He did a fantastic job. I looked not quite myself, but the not quite myself always looked a lot better than my real self did.

I am not a fan of Dove products (too drying) but I am pretty impressed with what they are doing with their campaign. I don’t want to be skeptical of their motives, as I usually am with corporate entities who decide to jump into one cause or another, as large corporation motives are usual driven solely by monetary gain. But since Dove started this campaign, I do have a warm fuzzy feeling associated with the brand. That doesn’t mean that I will buy their crap products, but I will support their push to educate the public about how these images are crafted.

MofoBack-2Twice this week I have read about non-new agey yoga. This month’s Yoga Journal is all about doing it to music, and today’s NYTimes profiles LA yoga guru Vinnie Marino, who was lead to teaching yoga by Grace Slick and kicks off his class with Led Zeppelin (maybe they are so old, they now qualify as new age?).

Vinnie trains the requisite celebrities and devotee Heather Graham is quoted, “Yoga people on the whole are super cool…I don’t find any creepy people in this class!” 

So this reminds me of my friend Jaene, who turned me on to NamasteMoFo, which is just filled with t-shirt awesome-ness! Their mission: “We at NamasteMofo believe that human beings are complex and can honestly embrace holistic ideals and still be totally punk rock.”

Check out the Yoga Bitches t-shirt designed by Jaene, in honor of her play of the same name.  Ladies, I sun salute you!

I came across an inspired post on the personal growth blog
The Bridgemaker about 10 Things You Wish You Had Never Learned.  I immediately applied it to all the
beauty boo-boos made over my lifetime, due to peer pressure (see number 4),
misinformation (number 5) or simply following ill-conceived trends (number 1).

Zen-Print-C10126600

According to The Bridgemaker, in order to live a fulfilling life, you must recognize the negative beliefs that you carry with you in order
to release them.  While I think I
have released a few of my 10 (see number 1), there are a number of them that
are still completely hard-wired and I have to make a conscience effort to
correct (such as number 6).

10 things about beauty I wish I never learned:

  1. I wish
    I had never learned that perms were trendy.
  2. I wish
    I had never learned that blue eyeshadow was tacky.
  3. I wish
    I had never learned that tanned skin equals healthy.
  4. I wish
    I had never learned that popping cystic acne would not cause scarring.
  5. I wish
    I had never learned that fad/crash diets were the best way to lose weight.
  6. I wish
    I had never learned that only neutral makeup was flattering.
  7. I wish
    I had never learned that it was important to wash your face at least twice
    a day.
  8. I wish
    I had never learned that hair should be washed daily.
  9. I wish
    I had never learned that shaving was better than waxing.
  10. I wish
    I had never learned that super-skinny women were healthier, happier and more successful.

Feel free to share your own lists. I would love to hear
from others on as we travel on the path towards beauty zen.