When she hits a party, Emme boldly goes where no “straight model,” as she calls them, has gone before: right for the bowl of M&Ms. After all, the 35-year-old mannequin needs the sustenance. She has to maintain her 190-pound runway weight and keep up with a schedule that’s becoming ever more frenetic. In addition to modeling, Emme, born Melissa Miller, is the vibrant host of the E! channel’s Fashion Emergency, an inspirational speaker on the college circuit and a Revlon cosmetics spokeswoman. Last month the 5’11” former Syracuse University rower also inked a deal with ABC for a forthcoming daytime show. The size 14-16 model’s success, says Ford Agency president Katie Ford, is understandable: “She’s beautiful, she’s engaging, she’s sexy—and she has a clear image of what she wants to create.”
What she’s after, Emme says, is an America free of fat phobia. She draws tears and cheers at her university lectures when she preaches that beauty comes in all sizes. “Whenever I hear women say they make a point of not owning a mirror,” she says, “I think they should try to figure out what’s underneath that. We have to get past judgment of our bodies.” Self-care is definitely on the menu. Born in New York City and raised in Saudi Arabia, mostly by her mom, Sally, a secretary, Emme treats herself to regular spa treatments and massages (“They slow down the speed of life”) and says she has a whole chocolate cupboard in her Leonia, N.J., kitchen, “but there’s fruit and vegetables in the fridge.” To keep her imperial form, she works out three times a week, but enjoys après-sweat activities more than the burn. “I like it when I’ve done a major cross-country ski and I’m sitting in a pub having a great, tall beer and I glow and I’m exhausted. That’s really, truly who I am,” she says.
She doesn’t need to change a thing for her manager husband, Phillip Aronson. “She’s absolutely exquisite inside and out,” he says. And while Emme herself sometimes wishes her bust were bigger (“but I’m not going to do anything about that except buy my Curves,” she says, referring to the soft pads many models slip into their bras), she has long since stopped fretting over what she doesn’t have. “I’m learning more and more, it’s your attitude that makes you pretty. Because this,” she says, pointing to her face, “is truly skin-deep.”