I fully expect a trip to the grocery store to provide a sensory shock or two — the vintage Cap’n Crunch boxes currently on sale for instance — but what could have prepared me for this month’s eye-popping cover of O, the Oprah Magazine? A banner proclaims “The Makeover Issue!” but I would have thought a makeover entailed only a new do, fancy clothes, face paint and a recharged attitude, not the blunking out of one’s eyes as Oprah appears to have undergone.
Why, oh why would she go to such an extreme? Don’t tell me it’s a “new look.” Oprah’s days of looking are no more. Even tattoos are more reversible than eyeball removal. Lieutenant Commander Geordi La Forge’s seeing eye glasses lie far in the future.
Is Oprah, in these hard times, referencing Lil Orphan Annie, the eyeless Depression era comic strip heroine? If so, big empty white circles — cucumber slices, perhaps, or spray-painted monocles — would work better than hideous cavernous sockets, and would leave her options open when further fashion developments dictate, say, a bug-eyed Marty Feldman thing.
Is she making a Sophoclean statement? Does O now stand for Oedipus? Are we meant to think of the final shot of Ray Milland in X, the Man With the X-ray Eyes? Or of Victor Mature in Samson and Delilah?
We can only hope Oprah’s many fans don’t follow her blindly.