‘Bumpy, Frumpy And Lumpy’: Oprah Says Being A Public ‘Fat’ Joke For 25 Years Was Triggering

by Grace Somes
Oprah Winfrey || Image credit: @oprah

“Making fun of my weight was a national sport for 25 years,” Winfrey admitted during a candid podcast interview.

Oprah Winfrey recently opened up about a difficult period in her life, revealing how she felt “too fat” to attend a party and recalling the emotional impact of a skit on ‘In Living Colour’ that mocked her weight.

Although she no longer feels ashamed about her weight. Still, the media mogul and television personality has not forgotten how she was mistreated.

The 70-year-old mogul continued to speak out against the toxicity of diet culture and fatphobia in the first episode of the podcast The Jamie Kern Lima Show. She discussed how it became publicly acceptable to mock her weight.

“For 25 years, every single week in one form or another, there was some tabloid exploitation of my weight,” she said, adding that “making fun of my weight was a national sport for 25 years.”

“Comedians did it, the best comedians did it, the highest comedians did it, people with their shows did it ― it was just accepted that you could make fun of me and my weight,” she said

Oprah Winfrey went ahead and listed some of the things people had done that had stayed with her until today.

“One of the most hurtful things was ‘In Living Color’ did a skit where the woman was doing something, and she just kept eating and getting fatter and fatter and fatter,” Winfrey disclosed.

“And the comedy bit was that eventually she just exploded, and you know, the whole audience fell out (laughing). And the woman was me.”

Oprah also admitted that some of her shame was self-inflicted. She recalled declining to attend a party hosted by Miami Vice actor Don Johnson because her weight fluctuated.

“The week before Christmas, I remember Don Johnson–the Don Johnson of Miami Vice–was having a party and had invited me and some members of my show to come. I wouldn’t go because I thought I was too fat to go,” Winfrey admitted.

“I’d gone from 145 [lbs.] on the day of the show,” she said, adding, “I think I was 157 [lbs.] in the course of, like, a week and a half or two. And the shame started again.”


Winfrey also revisited perhaps the most offensive remark about her weight, written by late critic Richard Blackwell, who described her as “bumpy, frumpy, and downright lumpy” on a TV Guide cover.

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