I've hesitated to write about successful women who are alive today because I take liberties with the way I think about and present successful women. I read many biographies of women and there are a lot of choices they make that I do not like. I am not a true biographer, I do not share all the lessons that successful women can show us, often I emphasize their strengths and struggles as I recognize them to be issues women are struggling with today.
With modern women I worry that I will horribly represent them because I find the reporting on celebrities and/or successful modern women dubious. Perhaps I am afraid of an angry phone call or email. Yet there are some women today who one cannot continue to overlook, especially if you are talking about success, in this case, the Queen of Success, Oprah.
I just watched Oprah Unauthorized (2007). Surprisingly the DVD I rented from my library looked as pristine as some of the DVDs I request on obscure women. It was a wonderful video that raised me out of my chair and left me ranting "Oprah, Oprah, Oprah." I don't normally act this way, even when I am excited but the enthusiasm of the people interviewed in this documentary and the list of her hundreds of accomplishments brought tears to my eyes. How exciting to see someone create such an extraordinary life. It makes me wonder why she is so rare.
The praise that resonated to me the most was that "Oprah is always true to herself." Several people said that she always did what she thought was right and created what was true to her. This uncompromising commitment to herself and her ideals and expectations of life is why almost everyone in the world loves her, or at least admits that she is likeable. Oprah’s lifestyle proves to us that you can truly listen to others, be there for them and make yourself successful and be true to yourself – all at the same time. My question is, are we up for the challenge?
About the author: Allison Frederick is a writer and online marketing educator for other creative women. www.FaMissWomen.com offers free Web 2.0 resources. She is also the author of an upcoming novel, A Portrait of Josephine, an academic-lite thriller. Find out how to receive a free copy of the novel by visiting www.portraitofjosephine.com