To my eye Oprah was looking good on Tuesday, taping her show's season's opener -- it will be aired on Thursday, Sept. 10 -- on an outdoor stage on Michigan Avenue. Dressed in a stretchy yellow top and stretchy black slacks -- both of which were undoubtedly uber-pricey but looked like they could have been purchased at Wal-Mart -- she appeared at peace with her body type: healthy, fit, bigger, weighing what nature meant her to weigh.
Reading the Chicago papers this morning, I was struck by words used by writers -- all male -- at both daily papers to describe the scene dominated by female fans. The word choice wasn't catty so much as cow-y.
Chicago Sun-Times staff reporter Mike Thomas quotes "one woman" among the "countless thousands" of Oprah devotees, as observing, "It's almost like you're in a herd of cows." True, those aren't Thomas' words, but, as any writer knows, he elected to use that quote, and to place it in the second paragraph of his story.
The Chicago Tribune's John Kass leads his column by describing "thousands of ... Oprahmaniacs" both "exhausted" and "perspiring" and "crammed into their holding pens on Michigan Avenue..."
Fellow Tribune columnist Steve Johnson, who covers pop culture and the internet, wrote of city officials "...turning the barricaded and corralled street into a scene reminiscent of the old stockyards, minus the slaughter."
The Tribune's television critic, Maureen Ryan, also wrote about the Oprah "block party" on her "Watcher" TV blog. She had lots of opinions, but none of them even remotely tied to barnyard animals.