O, What a Wonderful Feeling

Adoring fans reach out to Oprah Winfrey yesterday, who was at the Washington Convention Center as part of her
Adoring fans reach out to Oprah Winfrey yesterday, who was at the Washington Convention Center as part of her "Live Your Best Life" tour. (By Nikki Kahn -- The Washington Post)
By Lonnae O'Neal Parker
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, May 8, 2005

In keeping with the guiding spirit of O, the Oprah magazine's "Live Your Best Life" tour, which spent the day in Washington yesterday, we've decided this day we're Writing Our Best Story Ever!

Ever! Ever!

We've read clips, talked to fans and conferred with Oprah's people. We've pleaded for access (Please, please lemme talk to Oprah. I do believe in myself! I do! I do!) and leaned in close to catch the wisdom of her words.

"I would have to say I have mastered the joy thing," says Winfrey, moving through a line of reporters and rapturous fans waiting to greet her outside the Washington Convention Center. "I have something to say that can be of support to women out there who are struggling sooo hard. I was one of those women. And I'm here to say it doesn't have to be that way."

Yes, yes, you nod, because Oprah Winfrey moves through a place and it becomes a zone of affirmation for a 10-foot radius. Her entourage exits the car. There's her best friend, Gayle King, her hairstylist Andre Walker. Cheers! Shout-outs! Gayle! Andre! Here comes her makeup artist Reggie Wells, who appears on television with Oprah during weight-loss segments. Rebecca Cooper, a reporter for the local ABC affiliate WJLA, who typically covers the White House, stops Wells to ask urgently, tell me true, "Should I go lighter?"

He considers her hair for a moment. No, stay dark, I like dark. She nods.

This is a space of gospel truths and word is bond. If it comes from Oprah, it is so. And if it comes from Oprah's personal makeup artist, who travels with her and helps her look really quite lovely, well that's truth, too, and truth, absolute and cosmic, is what everybody came for.

Still, before we deconstruct Oprah Zen or detail the Washington Convention Center zeitgeist, in keeping with the fifth anniversary of O magazine, it's important to discuss What We Know for Sure:

Five Things We Know About Oprah and the "Live Your Best Life" Tour:

· The 5,000 tickets that went on sale April 5 for $185 sold out within 10 minutes and shortly thereafter were offered on eBay and other online ticket broker sites for $500 to $1,300, which a tour spokesman says Oprah knows nothing about and which drove some fans to hold up signs in protest.

· Your money buys access to "The Personal Growth Center" with interactive demonstrations, self-esteem building exercises, lunch and Oprah sharing life lessons while answering audience questions.

· Part of the proceeds go to the District-based Women Empowered Against Violence, which is receiving a $25,000 grant from Oprah's Angel Network.

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© 2005 The Washington Post Company