Oprah is Happy She Can Straddle Stedman And I’m Here For It

Oprah_Stedman_InstagramI never thought I would put the words “Oprah” and “straddle” in the same sentence ever, yet here we are in this glorious and unprecedented moment.

At Monday’s premiere of the new Ava DuVernay directed drama series, Queen Sugar, media mogul Oprah Winfrey told PEOPLE of her long time boo Stedman, “I’ve lost enough weight, he can pick me up and carry me to the pool. I can straddle him without breaking his back.” While some people may be clutching their pearls at the idea that Oprah wants to straddle her beau, I am one thousand percent happy to see this high-powered, on-top-of-the-world Black woman living her best life and presumably having a healthy sexual life at the same time.

The comments stemmed from the visible weight loss Oprah has experienced since becoming a spokesperson for Weight Watchers last year. To date, she has always been very candid about her weight. Specifically, Oprah has shared the ways that her body has changed over the years and how that made her feel. (To be clear, this isn’t meant to shame any person or privilege any body types over others but to laud Oprah for working toward a body and lifestyle that help her attain the life she wants).

[Related: The State of Blacks on Television Looks Good]

What was exciting to me about Oprah’s tongue-in-cheek comments was how freely and openly she discussed her sexuality. But, how often have we heard or seen shapely Black women in the limelight exercising their freedom to love and be loved on in public? Clue: It’s a rarity.

Far too often, Black women are either de-sexualized or hyper-sexualized. This is especially true when these women have body types and features which do not conform to traditional, European beauty standards. Oprah, who was blessed with a wider set nose, curvaceous hips, and thick thighs (which, remember, save lives), in many ways represents those body types which are frequently marginalized when it comes to femininity, sexuality, and beauty. That’s why her carefree-ness on the matter of romance and intimacy is so critically important.

Oprah has the economic and physical autonomy to dictate precisely how she will move about the world. This doesn’t mean she hasn’t experienced discrimination (because she most certainly has). But, it simply means that, unlike many Black women, she is the sole proprietor of her income streams and sits at the head of a major media corporation. These assets grant her access to some of the most elite, most highly sought after circles and networks in the world. Yet, even with all of those connections and privileges, Oprah continues to be an empowered and emboldened beautiful Black woman who is sexy on purpose. This matters.

I am elated to see yet another instance where a Black woman is making space for the fullness and complexity of Black womanhood. And, I hope Oprah is enjoying her best life and perfecting her straddling form.

Photo credit: Oprah Instagram

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Jenn M. Jackson

Jenn M. Jackson, PhD is a co-Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Water Cooler Convos. She is a native of Oakland, CA. Jenn is a radical Black feminist scholar who believes none of us are free until all of us are free.

1 Response

  1. Shawna says:

    Great blog. I love O, and I’m super happy for her.