She stands, model-perfect—makeup, hair, outfit—as she speaks. But she’s not a size 0. Or a 2, 4, 6, 8, 10 or 12, either.
Emme—yes, you’ve probably seen her in a magazine or on TV—came to Woburn, to , Saturday to talk to women about positive body image.
The “glass ceiling breaker” started in the fashion industry, she told a group of customers and store staff, in 1989, as a full figure model. She was told, she recounted, that if she lost weight, she could get into modeling.
She said no to losing weight.
“I am what I am,” the athlete who earned a college scholarship in rowing, now a mother, said, confidently.
Little did she know then, she said, that she was walking into a career as a body image-booster for women.
More than 20 years later, Emme described herself as a “social reformer” who “broke the glass ceiling that you have to be a size zero.” In that role, she’s hosted TV shows, written three books and talked to Congress.
Emme described herself as 100 pounds more than most models but “not fat.” She works out regularly, she explained, sometimes by rowing.
As the “Voice of Reason” on body issues on CNN, she urges women to “Go for your dreams.”
“When people say, ‘You can’t,’” she said, “think otherwise.”
“Make your mark where you want to go.”
As the mantra of her EmmeNation (http://emmenation.com), “Be whole,” she urged her listeners, “in body, mind and spirit.”
Do it now.
“Here is all we have,” she added.
Put yourself at the top of your to-do list.
Ask for help.
“Delegate like a queen,” she said.
“Reach up with one hand,” she told the women around her, and help other women up with your other hand.
Emme also urged women to have their bras fitted correctly. She is promoting Amoena lingerie.
Karen Kennedy of North Reading went to Lady Grace Saturday for a bra. She took time for a fitting.
Kennedy described Emme’s message as “excellent.” But it’s hard to get through to teenagers, she said. “Everything around them is ‘thin.’” It would be wonderful, she said, if Emme could go into high schools and tell young women there that they’re beautiful.
Emme’s been talking to middle schoolers in her hometown, she later told Woburn Patch, since 1990. The mother of a 10-year-old daughter, “I’m her role model,” Emme said. Her daughter is exposed to parents who are unaware of body image message plus media messages, she said. One morning, when her daughter was watching cartoons, she saw an ad, Emme said, for an ab cruncher.
“That’s scary,” Emme said.