we still choose that in politics?” she asks, letting a hint of her Texan accent draw out her vowels (Williamson was born and raised in Houston and first moved West in 1983). “People have a fear of stepping outside the box, even when the box is clearly toxic. The only place to be is outside the box. I saw how many people were afraid to hear that. It was difficult to fight a caricature,” she says, measuredly.
While “conscious” living is no longer considered a fringe culture in the States, the voices of people who offer alternative viewpoints beyond traditional religions are still suspect. This is despite the fact Williamson is synonymous with a modern breed of ‘guru’; the kind that shuns hippie-style robes in favor of chic, tailored clothes. And Louboutins. Slender and petite (Williamson is a tiny 5ft 2in, hence, perhaps, her fondness for heels), she has said that in some ways women have “denigrated the feminine in favor of feminism” – an idea she doesn’t ascribe to: “Look at Gloria Steinem, who is one of my heroes. She’s 80 and still hot!
She’s a classic. She has an ever-renewable relevance. She has always been my role model.”
Williamson aspires to the same career longevity Steinem has maintained for more than 50 years, and is grateful to Oprah Winfrey, who helped spread the word about her books and ideas to an international audience. A frequent guest on Oprah, she considers the media powerhouse a friend. “I have tremendous respect, admiration and gratitude for Oprah and on a personal level, I love her,” she says.
Though the campaign appears to have sapped her of some energy, Williamson shows no signs of slowing. She has emerged from 10 months of stumping for Congress seeming more germane than ever. She may have lost the immediate battle, but she succeeded in introducing the lexicon of self-help – the language of relationships, inclusiveness, awareness and mindfulness – into the political sphere. Now, she wants to find a way to harness some of that momentum to propel
Shirt by The Row; skirt by J.W.Anderson
“I DRESS IN a sleek and feminine way. A tailored jacket is my go-to piece.”
“I HAVE SEVERAL rings and necklaces that friends have
given me, which are very special.”
can be sexy as she ages. Don’t see yourself as over the hill – there is no hill.”
her to the next chapter.
“The reason I ran for office was because I thought that a political campaign was the best way to harness the energy and activism I feel is most needed on the planet right now. These are deeply troubled times,” she says. “Society never moves forward because the majority
wakes up. It’s always a small group of people with a better idea. Most people don’t have to get it. Losing the election was in some ways surprising and disappointing to me, but hell, if all I wanted to do was have a conversation, I’d have just written another book.” We’re sure this won’t be Williamson’s last conversation with the world.
MArianne’s go-to piecescredits
Hair and makeup: Kristin Turner