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Melissa Harris-Perry has a great point about Oprah’s new weight loss ad.

She isn't the biggest fan of Oprah's new commercial.

Melissa Harris-Perry has a great point about Oprah’s new weight loss ad.

Last week, Melissa Harris-Perry was "a bit distressed" by a new commercial featuring Oprah Winfrey.

The MSNBC host responded to a recent TV ad Winfrey did for Weight Watchers after Winfrey bought a 10% stake in the weight-loss company last year.

While Harris-Perry was quick to note she certainly wishes Winfrey a successful 2016 — even if that means achieving the goal of shedding a few pounds — Harris-Perry took issue with one particular message within the ad, specifically, the part where Winfrey says that "inside every overweight woman is a woman she knows she can be."


“I’m thinking to myself — but O, you are already precisely the woman so many are striving to be," Harris-Perry said during the open segment of her show.

GIFs via Melissa Harris-Perry on MSNBC.

Harris-Perry said she certainly understands why many women, especially those in the spotlight, struggle with body issues because she's been there, too.

"I know that your struggle with weight has been long and often personally painful," Harris-Perry said in her open letter to Winfrey. "And having spent my 30s gaining and losing a few dress sizes more than few times, I get it."

But still...

GIFs via Melissa Harris-Perry on MSNBC.

As Harris-Perry pointed out, none of Winfrey's many achievements have anything to do with her weight.

The whole segment is definitely worth watching below, but here's an especially powerful snippet (emphasis added):

"From surviving childhood poverty and sexual abuse, you have become one of the most influential humans on the planet. You have Emmys and awards and honors almost too numerous to count. You not only are the first and only black American woman to make the Forbes' billionaire list, you consistently rank among the most generous philanthropists in the world. Sister, you made the wealth, and you share it like no other black woman ever has. With a nod, you can generate a best-seller, launch a career, even help elect a president...

Who you are, what you have accomplished, how you have influenced and altered the world is all so much more important than your dress size. There is not one thing that you have done that would have been more extraordinary if you’d done it with a 25-inch waist."

Harris-Perry is on to something. Because not only should someone's size be irrelevant to their self-worth, it's not even necessarily relevant to their physical health.

Don't take my word for it, though — listen to Linda Bacon, Ph.D. She's a researcher and author of the new book, "Body Respect," and well-versed in weight-regulation science.

Bacon told Upworthy that, despite a lot of commonly held notions, you can't tell much about an individual's health simply by looking at their waistline.

"Even the heavily entrenched idea that heavier people eat more than thinner people isn’t supported by data," Bacon explained.

If size isn't even necessarily indicative of one's personal health — let alone their success — it shouldn't be a factor that drags Winfrey down. And it certainly shouldn't be a factor for anyone who isn't Oprah, either.

The Weight Watchers ad was personal for Harris-Perry because she knows young people are paying attention.

The host's daughter shares the same birthday as Winfrey, and that means the new Weight Watchers ad hit especially close to home.

"I regularly remind [my daughter] that sharing a birthday with you means she’s especially obligated to strive toward greatness," she said. "And I worry as a mom, and as a woman, about the messages our daughters receive if they think a woman as phenomenal as you is still not enough unless she is thin.”

GIFs via Melissa Harris-Perry on MSNBC.

Bottom line? Your success and worth have nothing to do with a number on a scale. And that includes you, Oprah.

Check out the whole segment below.

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Shanda Lynn Poitra was born and raised on the Turtle Mountain Reservation in Belcourt, North Dakota. She lived there until she was 24 years old when she left for college at the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks.

"Unfortunately," she says, "I took my bad relationship with me. At the time, I didn't realize it was so bad, much less, abusive. Seeing and hearing about abusive relationships while growing up gave me the mentality that it was just a normal way of life."

Those college years away from home were difficult for a lot of reasons. She had three small children — two in diapers, one in elementary school — as well as a full-time University class schedule and a part-time job as a housekeeper.

"I wore many masks back then and clothing that would cover the bruises," she remembers. "Despite the darkness that I was living in, I was a great student; I knew that no matter what, I HAD to succeed. I knew there was more to my future than what I was living, so I kept working hard."

While searching for an elective class during this time, she came across a one-credit, 20-hour IMPACT self-defense class that could be done over a weekend. That single credit changed her life forever. It helped give her the confidence to leave her abusive relationship and inspired her to bring IMPACT classes to other Native women in her community.

I walked into class on a Friday thinking that I would simply learn how to handle a person trying to rob me, and I walked out on a Sunday evening with a voice so powerful that I could handle the most passive attacks to my being, along with physical attacks."

It didn't take long for her to notice the difference the class was making in her life.

"I was setting boundaries and people were either respecting them or not, but I was able to acknowledge who was worth keeping in my life and who wasn't," she says.

Following the class, she also joined a roller derby league where she met many other powerful women who inspired her — and during that summer, she found the courage to leave her abuser.

"As afraid as I was, I finally had the courage to report the abuse to legal authorities, and I had the support of friends and family who provided comfort for my children and I during this time," she says.

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