Oprah expands her empire by sharing her various loves: Reading, bread, the items on her actual annual list of Favorite Things. But did you know the media mogul has a deep love of bathtubs? She discusses her obsession in a recent interview for Vogue's September issue.
Vogue's Jonathan Van Meter had interviewed Oprah before, in 1998, at her house in Telluride. This time, they're at her expansive California estate, Promised Land, which she bought in 2001 and grew recently when she outbid a developer for the neighboring 23 acres, bringing the total acreage to 65.
Originally, the plantation-like property was going to be called Tara II, after Gone with the Wind, but Oprah's health guru Bob Greene said, "Scarlett O'Hara wishes she had this. Scarlett was not living like this."
Oprah recounts the conversation: "He goes, 'You need a better name. The fact that you are an African-American woman from Mississippi and you get to have this . . . it's deep.' So I go, 'Yeah! It's like a dream.' And he's like, 'Yeah! It's a promise! It's the Promised Land!' So I feel that every day."
And part of Promised Land, at least to Oprah, is a good bathtub. Van Meter asks Oprah whether she remembers showing him the tub in Telluride that she had molded to her body. "Yup," she says. "I still have a nice bathtub. I major in bathtubs. I spend my time looking for the best possible bathtub a woman can buy."
He asks where this fixation comes from, and Oprah answers in the most Oprah way, dropping her voice the way she does when she's about to go deep.
"It came from the fact that I was raised with my father in, like, an 1,100-square-foot house where we all shared the same tub. And when I would go back home, after having been in hotels and seeing that there are nicer tubs in the world, and there's that little tub with a ring around it, where Comet could no longer clean the ring around the tub—and it was my job to clean it—because it has been permatized, I vowed if I ever got my own place, I was going to get myself a good tub!"
Oprah says it's the same thing with dogs; never allowed to have one growing up, at one point, she had eleven. "That's how I've overcompensated: with dogs and tubs."
Read the full interview in Vogue's September issue.