The internet has been all over the Photoshop debacle with Reese Witherspoon’s “3 legs” and Oprah’s “3 hands” on the cover shot of the 2018 Vanity Fair Hollywood Issue.
Horrors! Reese Witherspoon appears to have 3 legs.
And Oprah clearly has 3 hands.
And I love it!
Why? Because of the great response of these two ladies. Their response highlights what I teach in my “Laugh More, Live Better” talk….Lesson number 1: Keeping your sense of humor helps you not take yourself so seriously. These ladies have demonstrated just that in their tweets following the onslaught of comments about the photo.
Reese: “Well…I guess everybody knows now…I have 3 legs. I hope you can still accept me for who I am.”
Oprah: “I accept your 3d leg. As I know you accept my 3d hand.”
Over and over, it’s been shown that one secret to likability is the ability to laugh at oneself.
At the time Ronald Reagan was elected President, one of the greatest concerns was his advanced age. The press nipped at his heels repeatedly about this subject, raising the question over and over to the public whether he was able to lead because of his age.
It would’ve been natural to lash out.
Or be defensive.
Instead, he had more fun about it than anyone. Consider the following quotes:
“My press secretary said the other day that preparing me for a press conference was like reinventing the wheel. It’s not true. I was around when the wheel was invented…and it was easier.”
“And I also remember something Thomas Jefferson once said. “He stated: ‘We should never judge a president by his age, only by his words’…and ever since he told me that, I’ve stopped worrying.”
When Reagan dozed off at a Cabinet meeting, the Press was all over him. Commentators, with brows furrowed, asked the nation, “Is our president fit to do the job?” Shortly afterward, Reagan led a group through on a special tour of the White House. Passing the Cabinet Room, he paused and said with great pride, “Someday there will be a sign: ‘REAGAN SLEPT HERE'”.
The whole group laughed and had a great time. But Reagan guffawed, slapping his legs and having the best time of all.
(One more….I can’t stop myself.)
“I heard one presidential candidate say (Gary Hart in 1984) what this country needed was a president for the nineties. I was set to run again….I thought he said a president IN his nineties.”
When the joke was on Reagan, guess who laughed the loudest? Reagan. And people loved him for it. That likeability helped break down walls (literally, just ask Mr. Gorbachev!) so that his message could be heard.
My words today are not about Oprah’s beliefs or Reagan’s policies. It’s simply an observation that great people have learned the art of laughing at themselves. You and I would do well to do the same!
Have you goofed lately? Leverage your “oops” for your favor. Step back and enjoy the laugh at yourself! The result? Lowered blood pressure, increased immunity from disease, overall enjoyment in life…and likeability!