I've been thinking about Oprah. Really, do I, do any of us, have much of a choice in the matter? The woman is everywhere, though she is more of a phenomenon than a woman at this point. Because of my workaday life and schedule, I rarely catch her daytime television show, but have become reacquainted with her and all of her "favorite things" through O Magazine. Mostly, I thumb through it in the checkout line at the grocery store or skim an article or two in a dog-eared copy at the gym. I must confess that, if the publication's target audience is the typical American woman, I guess that makes me painfully typical because, well, I simply can't help myself. Between all of the slick shopping pages, the advice columns, the fitness topics, the self-help articles and the little worksheets (This month there was even a perforated page of fold-and-tear napkin rings inscribed with sunny, inspirational quotes.), I just get sucked in. But what intrigues me most about O is the cover. And not just the clever cover lines, but the cover model. That's right singular. Month after month, it's Oprah. Here she is smiling in a shiny green dress. Here she is in a really big hat. Here she is looking windblown and powerful. Sure, she may on occasion share the space with a couple of cuter-than-Christmas puppies or a basket of impossibly perfect flowers, but by and large, it's all about her. While she is a handsome woman, I wonder how long it will take someone in her camp to muster the courage to ask, "Isn't this getting a little excessive?" Or how about repetitive? I mean, even Alfred E. Neuman knew when to give it a rest, and he was Mad.
Maybe I just envy the simplicity of the concept, of never having to go to great lengths (or depths, as we did for this month's CUE cover) to get the shot you're after. Nonetheless, her wanton egotism aside, sometimes in my work here at CUE, I do find myself thinking, not WWJD, but WWOD: What would Oprah do? Okay, I'm only kidding about that. But right now, as I look at the features in this month's issue, I do think Oprah would approve.
Surely she would say that architect-turned-artist Mimi Moncier (page 19) who practices yoga daily, by the way is "living her best life." I have to believe Miss Winfrey would applaud Marge and Steve Kraus' (page 27) efforts to preserve the integrity and modern aesthetic of Steve's family home. And I bet Christopher Sacco (page 36) would make her forget all about her darling decorator, Nate Berkus! If nothing else, I would hope that her team of hairstylists might be inspired by Sarah Andert's "You & Improved" article (page 40), and perhaps we could see if not a new cover model for the next issue of O then at least a totally new hairdo. On the Cover This month's cover is a direct result of the Herculean (or should I say Neptunian?) efforts of photographer Carlton Mickle. An underwater photo shoot presents unusual challenges we actually had to do it twice especially when said shoot involves furniture, a teapot and a vase of flowers. Our model, Stormy Gayle, was an incredibly good sport and a complete pro at her first underwater gig. (Look for her in Rick DeLaup's Bustout Burlesque shows: www.bustoutburlesque.com.) Stormy's look was achieved at the skilled hands of makeup artist Amanda Reine for Make Up Art. Special thanks to Bruno and Rebecca Steiner, who were kind enough to let us use their pool, and to Jon and Alice Lowry, whose pool was featured in the first round of photos. Although the weather did not cooperate with us on that first day, we would also like to thank our lovely model from that shoot, Theresa Cassagne, and her mermaid hair as well as makeup artist Hunter Gardner, who was quite helpful around the pool.