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Oprah Winfrey is the subject of a new Weight Watchers commercial — and she’s got people’s attention.
In the commercial, Winfrey sits outside and talks candidly about the struggle to lose weight.
“Inside every overweight woman is a woman she knows she can be,” she says in the video, which also features old footage of her working out. “Many times you look in the mirror and you don’t even recognize your own self because you got lost, buried, in the weight that you carry. Nothing you’ve ever been through is wasted, so every time I tried and failed, every time I tried again, and every time I tried again, has brought me to this most powerful moment to say, ‘If not now, when?’ I feel that way, and I know millions of other people feel that way. Are you ready? Let’s do this together.”
The ad, which was created for Weight Watchers UK, has moved a lot of people on social media:
Oprah announced in October that she had become a spokesperson for Weight Watchers and also paid millions for a 10 percent stake in the company.
Her personal struggle to lose weight and keep it off has been well documented for years. So why does this new ad resonate so much with people?
It’s because she gets it, licensed clinical psychologist Alicia H. Clark, PsyD, tells Yahoo Health. “Her words are empathic, but we also see that she has been trying,” Clark says. “She gets it, and she is speaking a truth about struggling for a goal, trying and failing, even if it isn’t about weight loss.”
This can help people relate, she says, which often allows us to let down our guard. “We feel understood by her emotional words, and we believe her,” she says.
The fact that it’s Oprah — an incredibly rich and powerful woman — also makes an impact, psychologist Paul Coleman, PsyD, tells Yahoo Health. “We often believe, falsely, that if we had fame or fortune and the love of countless people we would have it all,” he explains. “Oprah has all those things and yet she struggles — she struggles because she realizes there is more to who she is than the trappings of her life.”
The subject of weight loss itself is also an emotional one, points out Clark. “People do feel lost, buried, overwhelmed, and hopeless,” she says. “She addresses this gently by showing her own struggle.”
And, of course, the message itself is a powerful one. “One of the toughest things to face is failure, and yet it is failure that can teach us the most in life,” says Clark. “Oprah assures the listener that it is OK to try again, that we are actually stronger than we think we are.”
Pass the tissues.