Friday, April 11, 2008

Sweat Stains of the Stars

The Style section of the Thursday Times is always packed with useful information. What's new in cosmetic surgery? How do I order my Thanksgiving dinner online? What's it like shopping at a sneaker boutique? When I need these answers, I rely on the Style section. If you're like me, you've been wondering where you could purchase some of Oprah's used clothes, and again the Times delivers, with a story about the Oprah Store in Chicago.

The store is conveniently located across from Harpo Studios, where her talk show is taped, so rabid fans can easily find a place to buy O-themed souvenirs to commemorate their experience. There, shoppers can purchase all manner of accessories and housewares, from tea sets to t-shirts. They can also visit Oprah's Closet, the exclusive outlet for Oprah's hand-me-downs. Is Oprah so popular and powerful a symbol that she can sell anything, even her old shoes? That's a rhetorical question if ever there was one.

The Times reporter interviewed Barbara Jean Hoy, a retired Chicago housekeeper who had purchased a $40 cream-colored blouse. While some items in Oprah's Closet appear never to have been worn, Hoy was thrilled that her blouse contains underarm stains, proof to Hoy that Oprah's armpits had at some point touched the blouse. Overall, this made Hoy feel "great, like you are somebody, like Oprah is touching you."

Proceeds from Oprah's Closet do go to charity, so the second-hand store of the star is not exactly naked capitalism. It still feels somewhat creepy to me. Oprah is an everywoman, a user-friendly celebrity. She knows her fans adore her. She obviously knows her fans will buy anything she's touched. Offering sweat-stained blouses for sale, even to benefit charity, feels like an IPO of intimacy. Fans will buy the clothes to feel close to Oprah, but the fact that the closeness is achieved through a commercial transaction creates distance instead.

However, Oprah's fans are pleased, so who am I to judge? Besides, I'm feeling a little under-capitalized myself. I have some pit and neck stained t-shirts lying around, and I've decided that fans of this blog can purchase them for $20 apiece. Each shirt will come with a certificate authenticating its provenance. Supplies aren't particularly limited, but it's still best to email me today and reserve your treasure from Elucidator's Rag Bag.


Anonymous said...

Ha Ha, your not buying a $40 blouse. You are getting Oprah's DNA for $40. As soon as somebody relizes that I bet blouses will be sold sans sweat stains. That is just so many levels of gross. Even I, who does not have the benefit of Oprah's income dry cleans my clothes before I donate to salvation army.

J. Spike said...

After all these years maybe cancer, AIDS and the common cold can be cured by Oprah's sweaty pitts!

Considering Racheal Ray is constantly copying big o'hs media monopoly moves. From crappy talk show to big over wide magazines with 99% ads .5% actual content. the other .5% is glue!

Maybe Racheal could sell the stained shirts her hubby has from his escort sessions. (Spitzer never payed to be spat and urinated on!LOL)

Ray is on TV so thousands will pay for that too. I'm not sure what is sucking the brain out of America more TV or World of Warcraft.

Woops Martha Stewart is on TV and pushes people to be productive. So World of Warcraft wins it. But TV is still a close second.

Its amazing the insane power of TV.

Like the other day hundreds of customers refrenced the fact from Noon to 12:30 Starbucks was giving away free coffe EVERY AM show spoke of it. Today to Fox and Friends.

Starbucks PR folks sent inverted Pyramids (Press Realeases) to the media and got all that press.

Its a shame the truth about the Iraq war and the 2000 election don't have a crack PR staff like starbucks.

Imagine if Matt Lauer had to speak about the lies into Iraq in 2003 instead of the "latest" "reality show winners"