The Gurus & Game Changers Podcast

002. From World-Renowned, Curvy Super Model to Body Appreciation Advocate: Emme [Body Image Coach]

September 04, 2023 Stacey Grant
The Gurus & Game Changers Podcast
002. From World-Renowned, Curvy Super Model to Body Appreciation Advocate: Emme [Body Image Coach]
Show Notes Transcript

Remember the Super Models of the 90's? There was Cindy Crawford, Naomi Campbell, Christy Turlington, Linda Evangelista, Kate Moss and then there was Emme. Bursting on the scene as the world's first Plus Sized Super Model, Emme was (and still is) a force to be reckoned with in the fashion industry as well as a beacon of body positivity and inclusivity.

Emme joins us on this episode of the Guru's Game Changers Podcast to share her awe-inspiring journey. With deep-rooted resilience and a fierce determination that was spurred by her mother's untimely loss, Emme shattered norms and redefined fashion standards. Join us as we explore how Emme's one-of-a-kind journey, from her energetic childhood to her unexpected entry into the modeling sphere, reshaped the fashion world's narrative forever.

Promising enlightening insights and candid conversations, this episode with Emme is sure to inspire. The audacity and persistence that Emme embodies allowed her to survive and flourish in an industry even awarded as one of People Magazine's '50 Most Beautiful People' - twice, she was often faced with criticism and rejection. Her account of stepping into the modeling world and the challenges she faced along the way, including overcoming insecurities and dealing with bullying, provides an honest look at the grit it takes to become a game-changer. 

In the latter part of our talk, Emme opens up about her experience dealing with cancer and the power of a strong support system. The conversation further delves into Emme's advocacy for positive body image, mindful social media use, and shielding children from the beauty industry's unrealistic standards. Emme's compelling narrative about fostering kindness, building supportive online communities, and promoting mental health is not just inspiring, but an essential listen for everyone. This is an episode that enlightens, empowers and encourages us to make a positive change in our lives and society.

About Gurus and Game Changers: 

The Gurus and Game Changers Podcast  focuses on individuals with unique insights and solutions based on their life experiences. 
Listen and you will find:

  1. Life insights
  2. Overcoming obstacles
  3. Unconventional success
  4. Personal growth stories
  5. Unique life journeys
  6. Self-discovery
  7. Inspirational life lessons
  8. Authentic success
  9. Niche expertise
  10. Non-traditional success stories

Inspirational journeys abound when you listen to some of our guests as they describe their personal transformation with unconventional wisdom with real-life stories. Their
empowering narratives and life-changing experiences showcase triumph over adversity, resilience and perseverance.

At Gurus and Game Changers we thrive on authentic storytelling and non-traditional paths to success described with empowering voices. These motivational insights
laden with turning points, lessons learned and a testament to inner growth will lead to your own journey to self-discovery.

These inspirational role models or 'Wild Ducks' as they've been described always come with a positive mindset in describing transformative experiences and evolving perspectives.

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0:00:01 - Stacey

Mark, I got to talk to one of my all-time favorite legends, like a definite guru for me as a child. 

0:00:12 - Mark

You were geeking out, 

0:00:16 - Stacey

I was fangirling out and I was trying to be cool about it. Was I cool? 

0:00:17 - Mark

No, but you know what?  

I wasn't cool? 

No, you were. You were, but look in the face of who we were talking to. 

0:00:21 - Stacey

Yeah, I was asking. Like I told her I wasn't going to stalk her, but that's not probably necessary to. I'm just kidding, Emmy, I'm not going to stalk you. 

0:00:29 - Mark

Emme is a unique person. She's had unique experience and I said it in the intro of her she's a world-renowned game changer. End of story. Yeah, stepped into an industry that didn't want her Stepped. She was not in the club, no, and she carved a path that decades-long other people have stood on their shoulders. 

0:00:51 - Stacey

Fearlessness, resilience, sparring, of everything. And I was serious when I was a kid, like in high school and early college, like my friends and I would lay on the bed and we would like look at magazines and anyone who's my age will know exactly what I'm talking about. We would open up Fog or Cosapalton or whatever it was, and we would see, like the major six-top models, the supermodels, like you know Kate Moss, Chrissy Tirlington, Naomi Campbell, I can almost name up that. 

0:01:19 - Mark

Cindy Crawford. 

0:01:21 - Stacey

Who else is in there? Linda Evangelista, Like those were like the cream of the crop. And then suddenly this woman came in that looked more like me. You know, I was this, you know kid who couldn't fit my calinclines on my body because it looked so different, Felt so different than everyone else. And it was Emmy and she really did sort of. She was there, she was representative, you know, she was representation for girls like me and it was something brand new and I was so excited about it and I got to talk to her. 

0:01:47 - Mark

And an inspiration, right yeah, For so many women. And she had so many obstacles, Like that's what's interesting about this path and it didn't. It didn't phase her. I mean, think about that. What internal fortitude must you have to be Emmy at that time and carve that path? 

0:02:04 - Stacey

I mean, I think she had momentary setbacks but then she found a way which you guys have to hear. She found a way to crawl out of that sort of mentality and she really is like one of the most positive-minded humans I've ever heard speak, and she's never stopped. 

0:02:19 - Mark

No, she's not days later. Yeah, it's about women's empowerment. It's about body positivity. It's about inclusivity. It's about mental health, wellness. It's about everything positive for women. 

0:02:29 - Stacey

Yeah, complete advocate for women of all shapes and sizes and diversity. Yeah, you're going to like this one You're absolutely going to like. 

0:02:36 - Mark

This one we probably one of my favorite interviews so far Amazing. 

0:02:39 - Stacey


0:02:40 - Mark

Well, enjoy, Emme. 

0:02:44 - Stacey

Hi, I'm Stacey. 

0:02:45 - Mark

And I am Mark, and this is the Guru's Game Changers Podcast. Welcome to the Game Changers. You know it's not every day that we do a long introduction of a guest, but today's guest is a little bit different. Today's guest is legitimately a world-renowned game changer, somebody who stepped into an industry and changed it fundamentally. Today's guest is Emmy. Emmy, thank you so much for joining us. 

0:03:14 - Emme

Thank you very, very much for having me on YouTube. This is so exciting. 

0:03:18 - Mark

Yeah, so look, I want to. I'm going to give a good introduction of you, right, because there's so much more. People know her as an icon, of course, but there's so much more to know, and I wrote a whole lot down here so I don't miss a lot. There's a lot, I won't even get to all of it, but we know, right, you're a TEDx speaker. You're a TV personality. 

She's been on every show that you could think of and every network you could think of. She's been in every magazine that you can think of. She has written five books. You probably didn't know that she created three clothing lines. You may not know that she, on top of all of that, she's a trailblazer for women's empowerment. She started the True Beauty Foundation for young women's mental health. Right, she has been an advocate for the longest time, for decades, for body positivity, inclusion in the fashion industry. I mean, these words are thrown around now, right, the last two years. Yeah, it's on her shoulders. I know that all these people are standing. She's a 100-bearer, she broke the ground, and that's why she's a game changer. And I got to ask you, aren't you just exhausted from? 

0:04:20 - Stacey

the whole of the she's a mother too. She's a mom too. 

0:04:23 - Mark

And a mom on top of it all, holy moly. 

0:04:29 - Emme

I am not tired. You're not tired. I'm not tired with Thank you for this wonderful introduction and I'm not tired. I always think that my job is not done. Really, I don't know where that comes from, but I do believe a part of that comes from my mom passing over at a very young age and seeing how finite life can be. And I love life. I really get in it and I get all going. So when I see something that can impart some ideas or help out or whatever it might be, I kind of roll up my sleeves and say what could be an interesting solution for this or how can this be improved? I'm always thinking that way. 

0:05:19 - Mark

And you've always had a confidence right, the confidence that you roll up your sleeves and you're probably going to attack it. 

0:05:26 - Emme

Well, I think being an athlete, the base of my life being an athlete, training incessantly for that race or six races or whatever. Being a rower, you have a lot of time getting a lot of blisters, but you, just as a team, you would work hard at honing in and defining your skill and getting your times lower and lower, and not all the time would you win, but boy did it feel good when you did win. So I think that that being an athlete and not giving up has always been a part of my zygast, my umph, yeah. 

0:06:09 - Stacey

And I know that's so important and we've discussed that too. I mean, being an athlete is so huge. I know you actually rode for Syracuse, right, so I did. That was amazing, and I think didn't you just make it into like the Hall of Fame there or some sort of like a huge accolade for your rowing at Syracuse, and I don't think you talk about it much in your interviews, so I think that's fantastic, thank you. 

0:06:30 - Emme

I've been doing this for a couple of years back and I love going back to Syracuse and Syracuse, mark, you had just mentioned about the foundation. Syracuse was an early adopter of the inclusive fashion program that we have called Fashion Without Limits, and the two professors in the visual and performing arts program were like why didn't we think of this? So for eight years we're going in our ninth year. So kudos to Syracuse University for racing and out of the box idea that really is going to make a big impact within the fashion industry. 

0:07:07 - Mark

That's amazing, and the Fashion Without Limits is having new, young designers design more inclusive sizes in all of their new designs. Right, correct? 

0:07:17 - Emme

Give away the Goddess Award, which is made by a beautiful by the Corning Museum Artisans. It's this beautiful goddess and the winner of the Fashion Without Limits program. Sometimes we're able to get internships with sponsors and this year we were working with Full Beauty Brands and the One Stop Plus groups. So they gave Nina Chen, who won this year, an opportunity to see her garment go through the whole production process. A limited run. This is before she's even graduated and she can see Good for her. 

She can see the products that she likes to create and put it through the process. Fantastic, yeah, it's a wonderful program. And so, yes, now I could wear the winning design on the red carpet. Or I've told them and I've done that in the past, so they get tears out of WWD or whatever magazine but I've also told the winners that they don't have to choose me and that there's other beautiful models that they can choose to, and if the model accepts the challenge to wear their garment, they would. But there's one or two that I'm looking at right now that I'm like I want a red carpet to wear this beautiful outfit. Wow, it's just very sexy. 

0:08:36 - Stacey

Yeah, that is the only thing I love seeing students think out of the box, so that is awesome, and I don't know if you'll let me mark I really want to roll it back because I love to find out how people like you are formed. 

0:08:49 - Mark

I mean how? 

0:08:50 - Stacey

do. How do someone become emigrant? And I feel like other people, you know, get things out of that too. Our listeners will get that out of it too. But I mean, I read your letter to your teen self from 2017. And I was like wow, that's why I told you before we started like I feel like we grew up together and I relate to this so much because I, too, spent time on my bed, you know, laying down, trying to zip up my Calvin's Did you. As a curvy or girl with no stretch. 

0:09:19 - Emme

We had no stretch in our jeans Lay there. I mean, we just remember how crazy we felt. Oh my God. 

0:09:26 - Stacey

Oh crazy, I would hop up, I would jump in them. You know all the things and I would like girl. Yes. So then when I looked at myself, I'm like I don't look like the women like. 

0:09:35 - Mark

Brooke Shields. 

0:09:36 - Stacey

I don't look like Cindy Crawford. 

0:09:38 - Mark

I don't look like shields. 

0:09:39 - Stacey

I don't like those women you know, so I understand that. And my father I think you had said somewhere, where your mother and your father were, there was like it was like a dietary home, Like it was. There was regulations there and I had the same thing. Like my dad was an athlete, he was very strict about like all the things you know, food related and weight related, and a lot of rewards happen that way. My mom was a petite model in her teens, so she was really tiny and I was like kind of tall and gangly and chubby as a little girl. But I just I kind of want to know like, where'd you grow up? You know, what were your parents like, you know? And did you have siblings or were you an only child? 

0:10:17 - Emme

I was an only child, for my brother, chip, got born in 70 and I grew up in Manhattan and my mom was a single mom. She divorced my father very early on, when I was one or something like that, and I had an enormous amount of energy coming into this world. 

My poor mother, who was not athletic who was so afraid that I was going to run out of the brownstone in Manhattan and jump into the street, which I would never have done. I might have gone right to the edge, just for a fact, but she put me on a. You know, you see kids with a harness. 

0:10:59 - Stacey


0:10:59 - Mark

She put you on a leash you had a harness. 

0:11:01 - Emme

Yes, ma'am, yes, I did. Oh, yes, I did. 

0:11:05 - Stacey

I'm to tell about it. 

0:11:07 - Emme

And then, once we got to Central Park, I knew every single Alice in Wonderland. You know Delacorte, beautiful brass structure. I knew every nook and cranny, I knew all the trees that I could jump up and swing. And my mother would just be like, oh, my dear God. You know she told me when I was five years old that I couldn't have a two wheel, a big girl bike, Schwinn, a red Schwinn. I wanted a red Schwinn. 

0:11:37 - Mark

So bad, because I saw somebody drive it. 

0:11:39 - Emme

Yeah. So I went to where the boats are, little boat, you know, the electric boats where you just and I remember running away from my mom because I saw a girl a little older than me riding a two wheeler and I took her by the nape of the neck and took her off her bike and jumped on it. 

0:12:02 - Mark

I literally like a statute of limitations run out here because I was precocious, it was horrible. 

0:12:08 - Emme

And the poor girl is crying and I'm like, look, you jumped on the bike, got your bike. I got up and I was wibbly, wobbly, but I started going faster and the parents were running off. I was. I didn't care, I wanted my mom to know how I could do it. So at an early age, yeah. I was pretty impossible to deal with my my literally. So once I got something in my mind, I just stop tenacious. 

0:12:36 - Stacey

Yeah, I think it was a nasty, it's going to happen. 

0:12:38 - Mark

Yeah, something that's going to happen there. 

0:12:41 - Emme

We back then. So that little story, yeah, kind of, and this is. You guys might not I think you're the first one that I've shared this with but I I think that that that kind of go for it in this help me being an athlete and also help me when there are certain challenges as a reporter Coming into the fashion industry and my mind was going into let me see how I can see two sides of the story. And then when I figured out that there was no two sides of the story, I went all the way over and I said thank you very much for the training with being a broadcast journalist and I was really, really excited to be an advocate because I was in the right place at the right time in the fashion industry in the 90s, early 90s, to kind of see everything from the ground up. 

And the reporting started to happen when I was just sharing the books that you had mentioned, sharing going on the road with different clothing lines and then hearing what women and men were talking about around fashion, around how they felt and the more that I was out there and then doing appearances and doing live stuff, I was like, wow, there's something going on that's not really being spoken about Right. That's where I was not only talking about my own thoughts and feelings. I started doing research to bring in data and then reflect what was what was being talked about and experiences, experiential discussions about what's what people are going through and it, and so it was all different age groups, it was all different socio economic groups, but there was a common theme of being just disconnected from one's body as being this incredible vehicle, and that was where it all started to kind of happen. 

0:14:35 - Stacey

You're an advocate before you were a model. You're an advocate for this before your mother. While, while I think the modeling modeling I was- just Chipped it over the scale. 

0:14:45 - Emme

I was a journalist. Yeah, I already been a reporter on air, you know right, nbc affiliate in in Arizona I had already come from a family and in culture. Just, you know, you're not good enough, you're not, you're not this and I go. If I had you know, if I put butt implants in one month, I would have to take them out. The next month I would have to put them in and then take them out. Forget it. No, no, I don't want to play this game as a human. 

0:15:15 - Stacey

So you just bucked your parental sort of like you know what would you call that sort of like I ropes and the rules around you, and then you kind of went the other way. 

0:15:24 - Emme

Yeah, I just was like I like food too much. 

0:15:32 - Stacey

I enjoy. 

0:15:32 - Emme

I like enjoying breaking bread with friends and celebrating and listening and, when it's hard times, breaking bread too and just hunkering down and and I don't have friends that look like me, I don't look like my friends, and my God, it would be boring as hell. Yeah yeah boring if I didn't have a whole array of beauty, like a bouquet of beauty or a bouquet of individuals from all different backgrounds. Right, and my life is rich because you know we're different. 

0:16:06 - Mark

Yeah, but was there something that happened while you were a journalist, or it woke up to a realization? And because you did this, kiss a goodbye motion, like I'm done and now I'm moving on to here. 

0:16:17 - Emme

So it's interesting, I couldn't sleep at night when I was reporting. And this is small town, flagstaff, arizona. This was tiny compared to LA, new York, even Chicago or you know bigger markets, but I was having a hard time with small like this is not small. When you know a burning house, kids are affected. My news directors like go talk to the mom and get news. You know, go get that story. And if someone dies, you know, go Fine, that I wasn't made to get that death and destruction. And I have friends who are major journalists in the major markets and I'm like always saying how are you doing Right, are you handling? Yes, at CNN, especially whenever I go there, I'm always saying how's everyone doing? Because to take in the news on a daily, daily basis it's tough. But when I was in Arizona I remember that in the 80s we had shoulder pads. 

0:17:20 - Stacey

Oh yeah. 

0:17:20 - Emme

There was a swimmer and a rower and an athlete already. So whenever I would be on air and we had to wear a blazer, we had to have certain. I never really got a big chance to be anchoring. I did my bit where I was on the anchor desk, but never anchoring because my shoulders were wider than the male anchor's shoulders, which is why you're such a good rower. 

0:17:41 - Stacey

I love it Right. 

0:17:43 - Emme

Yeah, I mean, I still swim to this day and I will never give up swimming or being an athlete. But I laugh so hard because the female co-anchor was petite, very small. So there was this pairing and I go oh, it's not based on experience, anyway, I'm just gonna go to New York and work as a marketing director for real estate firm. Oh, really yeah, so that was the next step, the real estate firm that was my next step. 

0:18:10 - Stacey

Then you're on a plane, right, and then you saw something. 

0:18:15 - Mark

You said, I fell into modeling. 

0:18:17 - Stacey

on a whim after seeing an article and decided to walk over to the agency on my lunch hour and they signed me on the spot and I'm like seriously, like who or what Like in that moment gave you the confidence. Just be like, you know what I'm gonna be a model, that's what I'm gonna do. 

0:18:34 - Emme

I was looking for marketing for this temporary office space and I was thinking of ways to market and I thought, well, we're due traveling business, people Go and they're on planes and then there they are, right in front. So I started looking through a magazine and then I bumped into this one particular time. I think things happen for a reason. 

And I saw an article on full-figured modeling and my girlfriend's brother was dating a full-figured model when she we were first talking in New York. When I came back I'd go what the heck is that? And she goes Emmy, you should really try and do it. I said never wanna be a model. Come on, I've never. I've been asked because I was tall. But I was always told I need to lose like 60 or 70 pounds and I said there's no way. There's no way. I was at 12, and I would have to go down to a. 

0:19:23 - Stacey

There's no way Right, right right. 

0:19:26 - Emme

And then when I saw this article, I was at the market, I was a marketing director and I thought let me just go in my lunch hour. Who knows what could happen. This is I love this so much and it's like the bottle glass. When you see detective stories from the 40s, the wooden door with the bottle glasses modeling agency name, and I knock no one's there. It's lunchtime. I go oh die, everyone's away from it. And I hear hold on one minute. And she comes. I walk out and she looks me up and down. She goes don't move. And I'm thinking how weird is that? And she goes I wanna, you should really work with us. And I worked with them for about six months and then I leapt over to Ford models and the rest was really history. 

0:20:09 - Stacey

And what do you mean? You just leapt over to Ford models. Like, who just leaps over to Ford models? 

0:20:13 - Emme

Well, I wasn't getting my pay, my full pay, with the smaller agency. I was looking for opportunities to go over to Ford because they had a great department for the inclusive models, the fuller models, and when I said I'd like to come, they were like, oh, we'd love to have you. So it was perfect. It was perfect. 

0:20:32 - Stacey

Ah, that's amazing. 

0:20:34 - Mark

So when you're doing this right, you work for six months for the one agency you jump over to the agency right at the time. Yeah, you don't strike me. Somebody that has that lets their insecurities stop them right, or you wouldn't be who you are today if you let your insecurities stop you. But how do you manage that? And we all have them, oh, Mark no matter how polished you look on the outside. 

0:20:53 - Emme

Let me tell you so, the things that we've seen happen for me and the beautiful things you were talking about so many also because I maybe had imposter syndrome or I didn't. 

I thought another opportunity was going to come and all in all that's not right for me. I had an opportunity to work either in Flagstaff or in Mississippi or in with Bob Hope up in Palm Springs and be working for all the TV work, and I chose the harder route. I could have taken an easier route and just gone into the system and did that, but a lot of my page friends I was a page at NBC when we were all getting our first jobs they were like why aren't you going with Bob Hope? I said, well, let me go a little bit more over here. Now I look back and I said my career could have been a very different thing, but I wanted to work with the Native American people and learn more about Hopi and Navajo and at that time my family had told me that I had background in Native culture here and now Ancestrycom mixed that completely. 

0:22:01 - Stacey

Me too, me too, I'm not. 

0:22:02 - Mark

German or Polish, I am definitely Swedish which. 

0:22:05 - Emme

I had no clue about. 

0:22:07 - Stacey

So my dad told me that too, that we were Native American our whole life. We did 23, and Me we have zero Native American heritage in us, but we have some Swedish. I was so bummed when you went to one of your first shoots. You talk about how the photographers treated you and they, in comparison, I guess, to the tiny wave models, they had issues and even like one of them, I think you said, called you fatty, which was the thing my sister and I called each other Like every day. We wanted to get under our skins and yet so you were able to just deal with that in the moment. I know this is kind of bouncing off your question of insecurities, but how, like? My question is like, how did you stay there? Like I think I would have just been like OK, that's it. I mean, I don't think I would have had the resilience that you had. Exactly, it's a resilience. 

0:22:57 - Emme

So the thing is this at the very beginning, when I started working, I noticed how stylists would kind of tug a little bit too hard on garments or they wouldn't have your real actual size because the client didn't provide a size 12 or 14 for the models. They would provide an eight or a 10. Photographers would, you know, not be as excited when you would walk in, but the girls that were working and on covers of magazines and doing that kind of thing, there would be much more of a kindred spirit, kind of like girl, you doing it, you're doing it and you know, you notice this. And plus, I started in the modeling industry when I was 27. So I wasn't 18. So I'm an adult looking and checking things out and I'm like I'm getting paid, that's all I care. I looked at it as a business. I looked at it as a business. Wow, and that one particular photographer, stacy, that you were, you were mentioning. It's a story that I share and it's really important. 

So it was one of my first all day big advertising deals and I was so excited because he was a Harper's Bazaar Elvogue, the whole thing. He was working with everyone. I had not yet worked with this type of caliber of a photographer. So I brought Ruggala. I brought Ruggala to the set and I was just so excited so I had, you know, hair and makeup for an hour and a half and looking fabulous. I'm sitting with my, my, my curlers in my hair and he comes late and he slams the door. He comes in, he's like OK, where's the model? Now he says this while I am sitting in the director's job with hair and makeup on either side of me in curlers, and he looks at the end you know there was silence and he looks at me from my toes all the way up to my head and all the way down and he goes I'm not shooting this fatty. 

Lord and it was completely quiet. So I was really a happy that I was older. B that I wasn't an emotional mess. C I swear to you I wish many, many times over that I would have been like dude, get down to do 20 with me, because I could have banged them out with him. 

0:25:13 - Stacey

Oh, you would have killed them. 

0:25:15 - Emme

Awesome. But I was so shocked that another human being was going to say right things to another human being, especially these guys work so hard and I look fabulous, right. 

0:25:25 - Stacey

I'm sure you did. 

0:25:27 - Emme

But I knew. I knew what it. You know. You put the way they put makeup on in everyday person. You were going to walk away looking like a model. It's amazing. 

Well he turns around and walks out at what he stomps out and he slams the door and I go to my the phone in the bedroom. I go, I'm really going to leave now. This is ridiculous. And they go no, no, no, no, no, stay, he has to come back. This is advertising. It's a big deal. You have to stay and wait. Well, vis-a-vis, he comes back four or five hours later and we shoot and he goes well, if I'm going to shoot you, I'm going to shoot you sexy, and he shoots me fine. Two years later I already have now, since the shoot, 50 of the most beautiful people for People Magazine, the Grand Les that shoots me around the world. I am now doing pretty big campaigns and getting paid really well. I'm leading in the industry going forward, and I'm working with a German client down in Miami. So I answer the phone and it's for the photographer that I had not seen in two years and not even thought of for two years and my whole body was like bleh. 

I go hold on one moment. So I walk out and I'm thinking what am I going to say? What am I going to say? What am I going to say? And there he is, cleaned up he didn't look so good two years prior cleaned up with two models. And I approach and I go, I want to let you know. And he goes, emmy, my heart stopped and I'm thinking there's no way that he would remember who I am. And I go. You know what he goes. We should definitely work together. You're doing such a great job, blah, blah, blah. And I'm just saying well, actually you have a phone call. I just want to let you know. I want to thank you because we did work together a couple of years ago and you know, because of this, because of us working together, I'm actually I stayed in the industry and I'm doing really great. So here's your phone and thank you very much, or something like that. 

Something crazy came and I don't remember walking back to the luncheonette, but I sat back and I thought Bullies are so afraid of being found out. Like he might have had some kind of weird thing about women that are larger than a size two or zero, the models that he was working with. And there I was the 12, 14, completely like, how do I shoot her? This is a whole new thing when, if he was cool with just the diversity of size and things that were happening at the time, it was so early. Change is so hard for, it's hard for me, it's hard for all of us to go. Oh yes, I should change and the change is your life completely. 

I was representing something at the time which I was not aware of that I was pushing buttons. People were like are you kidding? We're gonna make larger clothes, and you mean large women have money to pay for nicer clothes that are more expensive. Yes, but no one wanted to really speak about it. But I was living through it, being the one that was being projecting out there with the photographers, and it's beautiful to see how things have changed. 

But when I speak to young kids I said you know, bully's gonna say certain things to you and if you can put your joy armor on, you know. Remember, if you're coming from a place of you know being happy and someone comes at you and tries to take away that, they might want what you're all about. They might not understand how you could be so happy when they're not feeling so good and I said maybe this photographer might have been just too afraid because he had all these big clients. He didn't want anyone to find out that he was doing an advertising job for the money with a full figured model, who knows, and it really doesn't really matter. 

I did go and get my certification in massage therapy. I did take a break because I was like there is no way anyone should be talking. And then that's when my agency was saying and we put you into the mix for 50 most beautiful people. You know, I thought they were lying. Weeks go by and they go seriously. You're now at 25. They're really wanting to know are you in this? I go sure, why not? You know, had no idea how it was gonna change my life, but when I walked out of that shoot 500 to 25. 

0:29:45 - Stacey

So there's 500 originally and then yeah, down to 25. 

0:29:49 - Emme

And then it was 10, then I got chosen and I'm thinking what is? 

0:29:56 - Stacey

this what's going on, but it was In a second time too. You had two, yeah 99, exactly 94 and 99. 

0:30:03 - Emme

That's crazy yeah. 

0:30:04 - Mark

And you won so many other accolades too, like a woman most important woman in America, most fascinating woman of the year, a woman of the year by Glamour Magazine 25 most influential woman. And that's not just for your modeling, that's for all of everything that you do, the whole thing. 

0:30:20 - Stacey

I have a question. 

0:30:22 - Mark

So what do you think that what drives you now? Cause you have a slow down right, but is what driving, what is driving you now, different than what used to drive you? 

0:30:31 - Emme

I am motivated to more. So a little deeper, a little bit more of a spiritual feel, not religious, but it's a deeper resignation of why are you here? Why are we here? Is it only to conform? Is it only to fit in, or is it to be our own genuine, unique selves and rock that and support the friends and the family that are in that boat of it's, in tandem with that bouquet of beauty of accepting and honoring that everybody, everybody, is beautiful and important. It's the house of our soul. 

So when we body bash, we self-flagellate, we say, oh, I'm not good because I miss that. Well, there has to be a time when you say how do I wanna feel and make some adjustments If you're not able to walk a flight of stairs and or quickly go down and grab a, if you're late for a plane and you're completely dying for breath? You could be either too thin or large for your body shape. You have to ask yourself how do I wanna live in this life for the time that I have? And is it gonna be like your neighbor or is it gonna be the best for you? And that's a very different story than perhaps, where I began. 

So, fantastic, I do wanna talk with you. We're not alone. I mean, a lot of people are just so frustrated. 

0:32:10 - Stacey

Oh, totally, especially right now. Yeah, especially right now. 

0:32:14 - Emme

Isolation. I'm always saying grab a partner and get your butt out and go hike, swim in streams, you know. This is why. 

0:32:24 - Stacey

I thought we could be best friends earlier when I was talking to my daughter, who I also know. You have a daughter and I kind of vibe with you on that. But you had a huge obstacle in your life. When you were, I guess, 44, you were diagnosed with cancer, with Hodgkin's lymphoma. Yes, still completely positive about the whole situation, you were your own advocate. You went and told the doctors no, there was something really wrong with me. I'm dealing with that with my mom right now Five for them, five doctors Five different doctors, five and they did find it. 

And then you did go through chemo and one of the things I loved about I mean that's a very difficult story. Obviously you made it through, thank God. One of the things I loved to hear you talk about was your relationship with your friends and how you would bring a different friend for every week of your cancer treatment and I just like vibe with that so much. I feel like I've been working so hard and haven't had enough connections with my friends lately and I'm like, if Emmy can do it, you know as busy as you are in that situation. 

So tell me about your girlfriends and how they've supported you and cause I think that's a huge part of being a guru or game changer is the friends, the people that you hang out with. 

0:33:29 - Emme

Our moshbruhah it's a good Jewish term our family, you know, our circle, our ride and dies, our confidence. I have had many lifetimes within this lifetime. So the group and clusters of friends that I've had along the way, maintaining those, stepping in and remembering birthdays with a note or a card or an email or whatever it is, and then trying to show up for the weddings and trying to show up for the funerals, and doing your very best while you're busy and also making sacrifices while you're busy to show up there. It's gosh. You know, when I had, when I learned that I had cancer, I found out that I was gonna have 12 rounds and I was asked for a divorce in my first right. 

At the very beginning it was important to do that and I knew that I had to have really important support, and so I reached out to about 14 girlfriends and I said this is the commitment you would have to take off a Friday and come to me, drive me and drive me back home. And you know, I don't know how else to you know. And so I had 14 girlfriends and my brother who stepped in, and it was and from all different areas. So I have friends from Saudi Arabia. I had a few friends from there. I had a few friends from my closer area. 

I had a few friends from high school. I had friends, yes, and so those moments that we were able to share were really important, really, really important. And, as you know, I just you know had a big birthday and I invited all different clusters of friends. It was so interesting to see everyone all together because they somehow were like we're all Emmy's friends but we're all eclectic, like I have artist friends, I have attorneys and you know CEOs and people who are doing other things, you know, all coming together and I did sound healing. 

0:35:45 - Mark

I had a set of bowls. 

0:35:47 - Emme

I love this. They're so wonderful and I knew that many of them would not would never experience sound bowl healing. But I do a lot of retreats and I do this and then I go to spas and stuff. So I brought that to us and now I'm doing some interesting work with that. But my girlfriends are so, so important and, yes, yeah, I just really vibed with that story. 

0:36:12 - Stacey

But then on the other side, the flip side of what was happening to you, there were photographers and people. Okay, you said, there I was going through cancer treatment and photographers are saying how fabulous I look and I just thought how we are in society. 

And then you said I just smiled to myself and said I'm showing up and, oh my gosh, like I have chills Like how you're able to rise above, like something like that. Like people like looking at something that's so hard and so terrible but yet saying, oh, you just look great and really short hair. I mean it did look really hot. I have to say it did look good, oh, thank you. I saw some pictures, but still I mean that's a difficult thing to handle. And how did you just say I'm just showing up? 

0:36:56 - Emme

I'm really single, going through a divorce. I knew that I had to show up and I had a daughter that I was to support and I took that very, very seriously and I didn't, you know correct. I might have said to one of the folks that was always showing up at events that I knew after all these years and saying I'm going through chemo, and then you see the look on their face. 

I said it's all good. It's all good, just showing up. You know, when you really feel tired or when you're not feeling so energetic. You know showing up sometimes makes all the difference. It really does. 

0:37:33 - Stacey

We hear that a lot actually on this show and having a child there's a motivation right there. No matter what you're going through right, you have to show up, you have to continue to show up, you must have had a day, though, like where and I think this is also helpful for our audience to know that you might have had a day where you were like F this. I am staying home, I'm putting my blankets up at least one day. 

0:37:53 - Emme

Oh no, no, no, no, no, no, no. You know, I don't want to come off as saying that. I didn't have days like this. I have days and I do have days. We're speaking today, like back then. It was not easy. There were days of crying and days of frustration, and I got 10 books of the four agreements, so that's a little sign as to what I needed to learn. 

Be, impeccable with your word, don't make assumptions, do your best, don't take anything personally. Those are the four agreements and I got 10 books and I was like, oh, I wonder why this is such a popular book. People sent them to you People sent you those books. 

I needed to read them, but today what I am learning is mindset, our mindset, our mindset, not what anything else is going on in this world. Our mindset makes or breaks our day. So when I have something that could kick up some dust around me about what that person said, what this didn't get done, or blah, blah, blah, blah, blah outside of myself, I can choose to focus on something that is either really frustrating or I can choose on being courageous and to be appreciative of what this might be teaching me. And I know this, for some listeners are going to be like you must be kidding me, but it's a mindset difference on the quality of your life. 

When you see your life as a glass half full, no matter what is going on, because that is what we're going to be attracting, it's all about energy. It's all about energy. And when things happen to me where I couldn't have planned it any better I mean literally couldn't have planned any better I know it's because I let go of trying to control things, me speaking this way, believe me, so much that was out of my control as a young person, I went right into my life trying to control this and now I am learning to just be in control of just what where my mind is. 

And waking up in the morning, going body. You're doing such a good job. 

0:40:11 - Mark

Doing such a good job and the victory. 

0:40:13 - Emme

I get to have another day on this earth and so many people that I've known have passed in the last few years and, like we all have, and I just am like man, if I'm breathing here, bring it on, and I want to have fun. 

0:40:28 - Stacey

Yeah, yeah, and I love to what you said. Sorry, mark. 

0:40:30 - Mark

I feel like a fan girl. 

0:40:33 - Stacey

I loved how you said to about the haters because I know like I'm sure you dealt with it when you were a full figure model and and Kirby Miles today. 

0:40:41 - Mark

Do it. Everybody deals with it and the whole social media thing and all the things. 

0:40:44 - Stacey

But one of the things you said was if you aren't a part of this vibe, you know where the door is. You know where the door is. 

0:40:50 - Emme

Well, let me finish that. Okay, I appreciate you bringing this up because that's so, so true. You know where our vibe is in the community when we're doing lives or we're doing stuff online and there's a bunch of people in the rooms and you see sometimes someone saying, oh, stop saying that and I go, hey, hey, hey, hey. It's not going to be me asking you to leave the group, it's going to be the community, because we come here in kindness, we're making differences and please go find your group. Go find, there's so many groups out there. We're going to keep the door open, though we want to keep this door open for you because if you can't find what, you're hanging here and dissecting what people are saying, taking it out of context or making people feel bad. 

If you can't find that other group and you actually are missing, coming, being a part of something new and different and kind, come back in. We want you, but you have to be kind. You must be kind because they're going to say you got to go Now. If you're not kind, the door will close and you will not be asked back or let back. No one's going to want you. So please know the door is always open. Go find, go to your other group, please, but if you can't find them, we want you back. 

0:42:16 - Stacey

Is that amazing? I love it. How much do you love that? 

0:42:20 - Mark

So I want to ask a different question. 

0:42:21 - Stacey

Go ahead. 

0:42:23 - Mark

So obviously I've inspired many people. Obviously you're a guru and a game changer. That's why you're here, right For many people. But probably the most important person arguably is your daughter. Yeah, right To be the guru and game changer for your daughter. So I'm sure you're familiar with it. Maybe you consulted on the Dove campaign for new beauty right In the early 2000s, when it was all about. Beauty comes in every shape, size, form, style the whole thing. 

0:42:48 - Emme

They did that all on their own, thank God. They really, really made such a huge impact. God bless them. 

0:42:53 - Mark

Yeah, and for listeners who may not be familiar with it, you probably saw the ad that was the launch of. That was maybe five or six women standing, I guess, in underwear. They were all different body shapes. That was the beginning of it, but what a lot of people don't realize. It went on for like a decade and one of their it was during the time that I was talking out a lot about this stuff. 

0:43:10 - Emme

So someone must have. 

0:43:11 - Stacey

I think they melded it perfectly. 

0:43:12 - Emme

I'm sure you influenced them somehow, no, but I'm saying thank God that a corporation really did research. They worked with overseas research groups, I believe, and it was so. I wish more corporations would have done what they did. But Boyle Boyle Dove was deserving for everything that had come to them because of the work that they did. 

0:43:36 - Mark

They were way ahead of the curve, sure, and one of their campaigns. In that campaign, one of their ads was a commercial called On Slot. I highly recommend you Google On Slot, put it in YouTube Dove On Slot. It's a commercial with the face of a little girl, and then it's the music's playing. It says here it comes, here it comes, here it comes. And then it's an On Slot of beauty ads and slim down and put this in and this is makeup and get rid of wrinkles. And it goes on and on and on and on. And then it ends with the line talk to your daughter before the beauty industry does so. Your daughter seems insulated from that because of who her mom is. So is that unique, or what advice do you have for other moms? 

0:44:21 - Emme

Toby, when she walked out of the house she was in culture. She was influenced by other moms and dads in culture talking to their kids about where their beliefs at home, and either the round table at dinner or lack thereof, or the emotional nutrients being given to her friends or not. So when she left the house before she would leave the house she would hear how I was talking to my girlfriends. She would see the kind of girlfriends that I would have and how we would talk socially without even thinking of any filter, but we were kind to one another. We had a lot of fun, but also with the sleepovers that were over at the house. There were many discussions with these new-building children with their young brains, and we would talk about what they were feeling and thinking about their bodies. It's a natural developmental phase when you're 10, 11, 12 to look at your body and look at other people's body and say I am different than that. And we're society and we're very smart psychiatrists, psychologists that are working with these companies to have us buy more of certain products, get in right there and kind of wiggle in and start making us. If we're watching mainstream TV shows that have ads or looking at magazines with great articles. That's where it whittles in and goes ooh, am I okay? Do I need to look something different in order to be considered beautiful? And is it beautiful at all costs? Can you never be too thin? All these discussions were going on in our home. And even when you go to grandma's house, so you go to other grandma's house. It depends on how they have been brought up and how they feel around food and body. So you have the conversations to your point, mark. We need to speak and communicate with our children as early as possible about diversity, about inclusivity, about what fitness is and what fitness isn't, what eating really well is and what it isn't, but not putting shame and guilt into this. And if parents are walking the walk and talking the talk, kids are just going to go right into alignment and then keep an open ear when you're doing all the driving around for the younger kids. Listen to the conversations, then have sidebars with that and then get involved with the classroom. Get involved, don't get involved. Keep the conversation going. 

So Toby was bullied. She was a happy kid, she was tall and she had looks to her, and some of the kids that just didn't get those emotional nutrients at home were like let's see how much we can see. If she can tip over, let's see. So yeah, I mean, I think where there's pain, there's going to be some serious stuff going down. How old is she now? 21. 

21, yeah my daughter's 22. She graduated from USC, so she's a director. She's out where everything is dark with the screen actors Guild and she supports. She goes walking on the lines and it's a very important strike, Really important it really is so many levels. 

0:48:12 - Stacey

So what is next for you, amy, and anything that you want to tell us about, that we can bring people to you, because, I mean, we've already done so much. Obviously she's waiting for this question. But it's yet to come, my friends. 

0:48:23 - Mark

The best is yet to come. There you go. 

0:48:27 - Emme

So TV is in the forefront, clothing again, and I worked with smaller manufacturers and I really love working with larger manufacturers because it's just there's funding and you can really do what you need to get done. So that would be really exciting. And yeah, the coaching is. I love my coaching so much. I'm just I'm studying again and I'm second level up in my coaching and I'm taking health and wellness boards. So the boards are gonna be in April and I'm taking them right now. I'm studying again, dear God, oh my God. And so I love this because I wanna really be able to help therapists and doctors that have a plan of action and they tell their patients and clients to do something after post session with them, and I wanna be a part of the seeing the client into their success. You know, oh my gosh, I love it and working with them doing that. So that's really like a passion project that I do. 

What type of coach Like what's the what's Transformational, transformational so it's either a personal, transformation with body image and self-esteem. That's been very interesting with men and women mostly women, but there are some men that want to have a recalibration on where they're at. With that thinking. Transformation, with taking a leak from where someone is professionally and going into something entrepreneurially, Transformation can be just maybe a shift in philosophy or a way of living. So it's very rich. 

0:50:18 - Stacey

I love it. I love it. So how can people find you? And do you have more questions to ask too? I definitely wanna get to that. I have an interesting question, got one. 

0:50:30 - Mark

So you know when you're gone. When you're gone, it's like a legacy type question. People are talking about you. They say something along the lines of you know what? That Emmy finished that sentence. 

0:50:46 - Emme

Certainly loved her body no. 

0:50:49 - Mark

She could be that simple. I love it. 

0:50:51 - Emme

I love it and the legacy project that I started with the True Beauty Foundation is we do place wet when that's a hashtag. That's a program that we have. We have five oceanic breasts to calm, which is another program that I wanna get into schools, and that's another thing. And then fashion without limits is also within colleges that have design schools within them. So we have inclusive beauty or inclusive fashion being taught, truly grading, design, fabrication, all that so that it's just really easy and simple when they go into mainstream business that they go. 

Well, why don't you have inclusive sizes here? If we have 100 million women above a size 14, you'd think you wanna have your designers Like an QPC does a very good job at that and you just send all that. So it's really talking to that. So the legacy work, hopefully with the foundation, will just continue to live on. But I think the body appreciation if I'm that is how people remember me that I am a body appreciation advocate to appreciate, stop being. This is your best friend. This takes your soul. This allows us to have this conversation on this podcast. Without my body, I would have this beautiful, sparkling soul, just be like you would. 

0:52:17 - Stacey

It would be very sparkling. 

0:52:19 - Emme

You break it down that way. This has got we've gotta take care of her. I'm a girl, her Take care of this thing that allows me to leap and to hug and to feel joy and, yes, the depths of pain, and to feel, to enjoy the food that I make and others that make before me, and to travel around the world to get a massage. So to be body appreciation advocate is pretty much sums up the why I'm here. 

0:52:54 - Mark

Yeah, take care of your body, appreciate your body, and people are being born right now that we'll need to hear that message. It's a generational message. 

0:53:01 - Stacey

That's right there. 

0:53:03 - Mark


0:53:04 - Emme

So website, yeah, sure website emmystylecom Okay, and then the truebeautyfoundationorg, please. We love people supporting what we do. That helps us keep the lights on. For that, and on Instagram the official Emmy, go ahead and follow. 

0:53:20 - Stacey

I'm already there. I'm already following Great. 

0:53:24 - Emme

And that's how you can get a hold of me. 

0:53:26 - Mark

Aw, awesome, awesome. 

0:53:28 - Stacey

You don't talk to any of those other models from the 90s, do you? I do Like Naomi Campbell and all this guys. Are they cool? 

0:53:34 - Emme

I was on a plane and Naomi had a cart thing for her mom and I was coming out and I looked at her. She just wanted to ride. I go, yeah, thank you. Oh my God, it was too funny. She's so beautiful with not a stitch. And when I was working with Revlon, Halle Berry and Cindy Crawford were all working with Revlon at the same time, and when we're all in dressing rooms, I would go over to Halle Berry's dressing room and go let's go look at Cindy. Oh my God, You're going to go look at Cindy. 

0:54:08 - Stacey

And then there's Cindy. 

0:54:09 - Emme

Crawford, not a stitch right, not a stitch. God, she's still just so exquisite. That's the same as Cindy, as Christy Brinkley though I do have to say Christy Brinkley, not a stitch and she just really needs. 

0:54:26 - Mark

We can't thank you enough. This has been awesome. 

0:54:27 - Stacey

Wonderful Talking to you I cannot tell you, it's made my week Probably Really. 

0:54:32 - Emme

Yeah Well, we have to meet each other in person. That's going to be great. Yes, please, I hope that will happen, you have to make that happen. 

0:54:38 - Stacey

I know I'm on it, I'm working on it. I'm going to get on that. 

0:54:41 - Mark

You know. Ok, thank you so much. I mean, I really appreciate it. It's been a great time, it's been an amazing experience. 

0:54:49 - Stacey

We should all do all those things that you are. Thanks for the love. Thank you. 

0:54:53 - Mark

You're welcome. 

0:54:53 - Stacey

Thank you for everything over the years, of course. 

0:54:56 - Emme

Let's have more fun. 

0:54:58 - Mark

OK, awesome, oh my God, good, good, good, good, good, good Good. 

0:55:08 - Stacey

You're still here. You're still listening. Thanks for listening to the Gurus and Game Changers podcast While you're here. If you enjoyed it, please take a minute to rate this episode and leave us a quick review. We want to know what you thought of the show and what you took from it and how it might have helped you. We read and appreciate every comment. Thanks, See you next week.