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Vogue's Anna Wintour Tells Oprah Winfrey to Lose Weight

USMagazine, Monday, May 18, 2009, 4:29pm (PDT)

Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour had quite the request for Oprah Winfrey.

According to Entertainment Weekly, Wintour had told the talk show host to drop 20 pounds to be on the cover of the fashion magazine back in 1998, the editor revealed during an unaired segment from her 60 Minutes interview on Sunday.

"It was a very gentle suggestion," she said, laughing. "I went to Chicago to visit Oprah, and I suggested that it might be an idea that she lose a little bit of weight."

She added: "I said simply that you might feel more comfortable. She was a trooper!"

Winfrey, 55, must have listened to the fashion legend. She was featured on the cover from more than 10 years ago with the tagline: "Oprah! A Major Movie, An Amazing Makeover."

"She totally welcomed the idea, and she went on a very stringent diet," Wintour said. "And it was one of our most successful covers ever."

In the 60 Minutes interview, Wintour, 59, also defended the use of Photoshop to make people "look their best."

"That's one of the things that makes me rather angry, that I don't understand," she said. "That if you look wonderful, does that make you less important? Less powerful? Less serious?"

Although Vogue typically only covers stick-thin models within its pages, she said her magazine maintains an awareness of obesity.

"I'd just been on a trip to Minnesota, where I can only kindly describe most of the people I saw as little houses," Wintour said. "There's such an epidemic of obesity in the United States, and for some reason, everybody focuses on anorexia."

Wintour, who commissioned a feature on the topic complete with illustrations, said that it was an important issue.

"We need to spend money time and education on teaching people to eat, exercise and take care of themselves in a healthier way," she said. "It [has gotten people] provoked, which is really the point."

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