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Oprah: What do you think Madonna the icon represents to the world?

Madonna: A lot of people say I'm fearless, I'm courageous, I take risks.

Oprah: True?

Madonna: Yes.

Oprah: Are you afraid of anything?

Madonna: Oh, sure, I've got lots of fears. My job is to conquer my fears. The irony of being a performer is that I have huge insecurities. People are shocked to hear that I think my legs are fat or I don't like the way I look. We all have insecurities. We'd be lying if we said we didn't.

Oprah: So what truly scares you?

Madonna: Ignorance. Losing loved ones. Running out of creative ideas.

Oprah: I've read that you no longer want people to dress like you.What do you mean by that?

Madonna: I mean just that. In the beginning of my career, I was consumed with fashion and the way I looked.

Oprah: Aren't you still?

Madonna: I think about clothes all the time—you see the boots and pants I'm wearing. But who cares? You know as well as I do that clothes don't make the woman.

Oprah: But they're fun.

Madonna: Sure. But I've had enough of people imitating me.

Oprah: Aren't you amused by it?

Madonna: For sure. I've seen some mighty fine drag queens. I'm impressed by the lengths people go to. But it doesn't mean anything. Real influence is changing people's consciousness, not the way they dress.

Oprah: The realization that there's something bigger—is that your newest transformation?

Madonna: Shoes won't make me happy. Well, they do make me happy, but not really happy. I'm not going to lie and say I don't care about the way I look or dress. I'm very jealous of your closet! But I know those things don't last, and I know what does. I hope I can impart that to people.

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