I was watching Oprah’s Lifeclass on OWN Network last night and was asked by a friend what my favourite moment ever on her show was. Their question got me thinking and I thought I would share my answer with you.
I have had many favourite moments watching Oprah. However, I do have one favourite moment that stands out as life-changing. It was on December 10, 2003, when Oprah had A.J. McLean from the Backstreet Boys on the show. She gave A.J. a safe space to talk about his personal issues, and for the first time anywhere, he went public about his drug and alcohol addictions. His bandmates then joined him on stage for an emotional reunion, as their musical tour had been sidelined due to A.J.’s addictions.
This Oprah show was a “life-changing” moment for me, as I was (and still am) a huge Backstreet Boys fan. I had seen the Backstreet Boys on other talk shows, and they had talked only about superficial topics. I had also gone to numerous BB concerts with my sisters; in my mind, the BSB were perfect. They had all appeared as if everything in their lives was wonderful, whereas in reality they were each struggling.
When A.J. came on the “Oprah” show, he shared his personal battles with the world. He chose Oprah’s show to do that; both he, and Oprah, had courage for this to happen. Oprah dug deep, wanting to know what was really going on in A.J.’s and the other Backstreet Boys’ lives. I admire and respect that. To see a member of my favourite band admit in a public forum that he was struggling and needed help, was very influential in my life. A.J. showed that he was authentic and vulnerable. Together, through Oprah’s encouragement and trust, A.J. and the Backstreet Boys showed the world that it’s important to talk about mental health issues and that you should not keep silent. It was an amazingly touching episode. It gave me a new-found respect for the group. Check out a clip from the episode below.
At the time of the show, the Backstreet Boys were the biggest pop group in the world. To me, and other young teeny-boppers, they had a huge influence. Through this moment on Oprah, I have been encouraged to promote authenticity in relationships, to reach out when I need help, and to not be silent about my personal struggles. Before, I was scared to open up and to talk about my life as I thought people would judge me badly. But through having larger-than-life role models like the Backstreet Boys admit they had mistakes, I was given the freedom to do the same. I really am thankful that Oprah opened a teenager’s eyes that day to the importance of digging deep in personal relationships: to love oneself, problems and all.
So thank you Oprah and the Backstreet Boys for influencing my life in a positive way. Keep up the amazing work!!!!
Therefore, I extend the question to you: What is your favourite “Oprah” moment?