Local Mail-Order Bride Makes Good on 'Oprah'

Did we not tell/warn you that New York-based Ukrainian mail-order bride Lera Loeb would conquer all media? Yesterday, she and her husband were on 'Oprah' to talk about their weird marriage.

You will remember that Lera Loeb is the 27 year-old New York publicist who escaped a lifetime of crying in her borscht about not having nice things by finding an old rich American husband through a marriage brokerage service. Glamour wrote an article about her. Then we interviewed her after she annoyed us by sending a million emails about one of her clients. We learned that she had a book and a television series in the works, maybe. Now it appears Lera and Steve have received benediction at the hands of the great media kingmaker herself. Oprah. Loeb—publicist that she is—sent us an email informing us of the appearance, along with the tidbit that Oprah "has a special person to help ease her in the chair!"

Yesterday's episode about "what marriage means around the world," was basically an extended infomercial for public intellectual Elizabeth Gilbert's new book about same. The episode might better have been titled "freaks of marriage," for the emphasis placed on how bizarrely other countries approach this most sacred institution. But the intro to Loeb's segment showed just how easily her story—which sits at the intersection of a bunch of complicated political-economic and gender issues—is digested by savvy producers and regurgitated as a female-friendly, uplifting Hollywood treatment: It's as easy as taking a tour of Lera's tiny childhood home in Ukraine—Their dryer was in the bathroom! They ate bread and whitefish every day! Her old-school brother wants his wife to stay at home and take care of the house!—then juxtaposing this drab picture with shots of Loeb being fashionable and seizing opportunities in the bright Manhattan apartment she traded up to.

One tricky point: Lera and Steve—her husband of six years—have to actually be in love! This is so important! THEY MUST SAY THEY ARE IN LOVE:

OK, they were a little sketchy on the whole 'love' thing. But we'll clean it up in post-production.

The way we see it, Lera, you've got about a week to convert your 'Oprah' appearance into TOTAL MEDIA DOMINATION. We know you're good at seizing opportunities! And though you've got some projects in the works, here are a few other options you ought to consider:

  • Memoir: Eat, Pray, Find a Rich Husband and Get the Hell Out of Ukraine
  • Reality Show: "The Real Mail-Order Brides of Manhattan"
  • Hit Single: "We are living in a post-feminist world/and I am a post-feminist girl"
  • Dating Service: Something like J-Date, only more explicit about the whole money thing.


Seriously, though? This mail-order bride thing is going to be huge. Think about it: The success of the "Housewives" series has revealed America's appetite for watching women shamelessly spend their husbands' money. Smart, attractive women who were literally bought by their husbands—and all the weird conflicts they embody—are the next logical step. Jessica Pilot, the writer who penned the Glamour article that kicked it all off, is already playing the "I knew her when" game on Facebook:

Local Mail-Order Bride Makes Good on 'Oprah'

"Thank God we live in the USA!" -Oprah Winfrey