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Oprah Doesn't Have Any Regrets About Not Getting Married Or Having Kids

For the couple of 30+ years, marriage and kids are not a priority, and they might not ever be.

Celebrity News

I aspire to reach the level of rich auntie that Oprah has achieved in the world by the time I reach age 65. While having a husband and a few kids sound great, I also kind of just want to be the auntie that never married and that you only see for birthdays and special occasions because I'm too busy getting flewed out and meeting remarkable people around the world. While the American dream for some women may be a house with a picket fence, a husband, and a bun in the oven, Oprah has spent most of her life bringing home the bacon and she has no regrets.

In a recent interview with People, Oprah said that while respects the union of marriage, it's not likely that she'll jump the broom in this lifetime. Although Oprah and Stedman met in 1986 and have been together for more than three decades, the couple says that marriage has never been a priority in their relationship.

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While Stedman has a more traditional perspective when it comes to the roles that a husband and wife should play in a marriage, Auntie O says that she's never really been about that housewife life.

"I used to think about this all the time, that I was working these 17-hour days, and so were my producers, and then I go home and I have my two dogs and I have Stedman, who's letting me be who I need to be in the world. He's never demanding anything from me like, 'Where's my breakfast? Where's my dinner?' Never any of that, which I believed would have changed had we married."

Both Oprah and Stedman have been adamant in the past about their belief that their relationship wouldn't have survived if they ever made the decision to officially tie the knot.

"No question about it—we would not [have stayed] married, because of what that would have meant to him, and I would have had my own ideas about it."

During the interview, Oprah also shared the real reason she never chose to add motherhood to her long list of accolades. Although at one point in the 90s, Oprah considered upsizing her home in case she and Stedman decided to expand their family, being a mom was one experience the TV mogul learned that she could live without:

"I realized, 'Whoa, I'm talking to a lot of messed-up people, and they are messed up because they had mothers and fathers who were not aware of how serious that job is. I don't have the ability to compartmentalize the way I see other women do. It is why, throughout my years, I have had the highest regard for women who choose to be at home [with] their kids, because I don't know how you do that all day long. Nobody gives women the credit they deserve."

Although Auntie O chose not to have children of her own, she says that her work with the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls in South Africa has fulfilled her maternal needs in a way she didn't know she needed. Oprah told People:

"I have not had one regret about that. I also believe that part of the reason why I don't have regrets is because I got to fulfill it in the way that was best for me."

To read Oprah's full interview, click here.

Featured image by Kathy Hutchins / Shutterstock.com

When I was ten, my Sunday school teacher put on a brief performance in class that included some of the boys standing in front of the classroom while she stood in front of them holding a heart shaped box of chocolate. One by one, she tells each boy to come and bite a piece of candy and then place the remainder back into the box. After the last boy, she gave the box of now mangled chocolate over to the other Sunday school teacher — who happened to be her real husband — who made a comically puzzled face. She told us that the lesson to be gleaned from this was that if you give your heart away to too many people, once you find “the one,” that your heart would be too damaged. The lesson wasn’t explicitly about sex but the implication was clearly present.

That memory came back to me after a flier went viral last week, advertising an abstinence event titled The Close Your Legs Tour with the specific target demo of teen girls came across my Twitter timeline. The event was met with derision online. Writer, artist, and professor Ashon Crawley said: “We have to refuse shame. it is not yours to hold. legs open or not.” Writer and theologian Candice Marie Benbow said on her Twitter: “Any event where 12-17-year-old girls are being told to ‘keep their legs closed’ is a space where purity culture is being reinforced.”

“Purity culture,” as Benbow referenced, is a culture that teaches primarily girls and women that their value is to be found in their ability to stay chaste and “pure”–as in, non-sexual–for both God and their future husbands.

I grew up in an explicitly evangelical house and church, where I was taught virginity was the best gift a girl can hold on to until she got married. I fortunately never wore a purity ring or had a ceremony where I promised my father I wouldn’t have pre-marital sex. I certainly never even thought of having my hymen examined and the certificate handed over to my father on my wedding day as “proof” that I kept my promise. But the culture was always present. A few years after that chocolate-flavored indoctrination, I was introduced to the fabled car anecdote. “Boys don’t like girls who have been test-driven,” as it goes.

And I believed it for a long time. That to be loved and to be desired by men, it was only right for me to deny myself my own basic human desires, in the hopes of one day meeting a man that would fill all of my fantasies — romantically and sexually. Even if it meant denying my queerness, or even if it meant ignoring how being the only Black and fat girl in a predominantly white Christian space often had me watch all the white girls have their first boyfriends while I didn’t. Something they don’t tell you about purity culture – and that it took me years to learn and unlearn myself – is that there are bodies that are deemed inherently sinful and vulgar. That purity is about the desire to see girls and women shrink themselves, make themselves meek for men.

Purity culture isn’t unlike rape culture which tells young girls in so many ways that their worth can only be found through their bodies. Whether it be through promiscuity or chastity, young girls are instructed on what to do with their bodies before they’ve had time to figure themselves out, separate from a patriarchal lens. That their needs are secondary to that of the men and boys in their lives.

It took me a while —after leaving the church and unlearning the toxic ideals around purity culture rooted in anti-Blackness, fatphobia, heteropatriarchy, and queerphobia — to embrace my body, my sexuality, and my queerness as something that was not only not sinful or dirty, but actually in line with the vision God has over my life. Our bodies don't stop being our temples depending on who we do or who we don’t let in, and our worth isn’t dependent on the width of our legs at any given point.

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