A fun dinner-party game is asking your friends which celebrity they would absolutely lose their shit if given the chance to meet. Everyone has one! (It’s usually Beyoncé.) Though Ashley Graham is likely numero uno on a number of people’s lists, it’s understandable that she has a numero uno celebrity herself. It is also understandable that said person is Oprah Winfrey.
A new interview with Elle brings up the multi-hypenate media mogul (what else do you call Oprah? Is there an Oprah-level adjective with which to describe Oprah? Is it just Oprah?) no less than three times. Ross Elliot, one of the executive producers of American Beauty Star, was first to mention her, calling Ashley’s je ne sais quoi “the Oprah factor.” Graham herself also explained that she had an a-ha moment while listening to an Oprah podcast on a hike at a wellness retreat in 2017. She explained the revelation thusly: “People have always put me in this box of Oprah, or Ellen, or whatever. I was like, I’m not gonna be Oprah. I’m gonna be Ashley.”
She also counts Gayle King as a secret mentor, which has its perks! Those perks, apparently, include meeting Oprah if the time and place is right. At the New York City screening for A Wrinkle in Time, Graham remembers, “I show up and Gayle’s there. I’m like, ‘Gayle, I’ve gotta meet Oprah. I’ve got to.’ She’s like, ‘Done.’ So all of a sudden I’m standing next to the door, and Oprah’s walking through like, aaaaaahhh! I’m like, ‘Hi, Oprah. Hi. You’re on my vision board.’ Oprah was like, ‘Nice to meet you.’”
Telling Oprah she is a focal point of your vision board is probably not the weirdest thing she has ever heard in her life. (This woman bore witness to Tom Cruise jumping on a couch, lest you forget.) It’s also probably not the only time she’s heard it, as I am sure that Oprah is on no less than 50,000 vision and/or Pinterest boards at any given point in time. Yes, that is a scientific number. No, I have no way of proving it.
In any case, I can think of a number of things you could say that would serve as a less graceful introduction to Oprah, up to and including asking her for a free car. I am sure that bowing to her, genuflecting at her feet, or pledging your fealty should she lead you into battle would also be somewhat cringeworthy. All of them, however, would be appropriate. Or, you could aim to simply tell her how much she means to you, and that it’s lovely to meet her. And then rush into the bathroom and text me everything.