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Fame & Fortune
She has confidence in her body and her businesses
Celebrity interview

Fame & Fortune: Emme

Do models come in all shapes and sizes? While the world is fascinated by designer clothing on rail-thin models, 5-foot, 11-inch plus-size supermodel Emme is here to prove that her 187 pounds is just as stunning to the public.

In fact, Emme was the first plus-size supermodel and was chosen twice by People magazine as one of their 50 Most Beautiful People.

Her down-to-earth style and outspoken self-assurance has made her a cottage industry unto herself: TV personality (MSNBC, ABC, QVC, CBS), best-selling author ("Morning Has Broken," "Life's Little Emergencies,""What Are You Hungry For?"), clothing designer and motivational speaker.

Born in New York City and raised in Saudi Arabia, Emme now makes her home in Bergen County, N.J., with daughter Toby and husband Philip Aronson, a former advertising executive. Since June, Emme has reluctantly slowed down a bit after being diagnosed with Hodgkins lymphoma and has been receiving regular chemotherapy treatments for her cancer. But she remains upbeat and optimistic about her future health, even letting her fans know of her toxic health and home makeover to help her in her fight against cancer.

Emme has proven that size doesn't matter, at least when it comes to her successful career and financial status. Her "me by Emme" collection is still very successful both on her own Web site and through QVC. Though she has lost some weight due to her cancer treatments, Emme still refuses to measure her self-esteem by any scale and even looks at her cancer diagnosis on the positive side, revealing, "I am one lucky woman to have the kind of cancer I have."

Bankrate: Would you say you made your first financial gains during your modeling days?

Emme: Yes. Modeling gave me such a wonderful opportunity to travel the world and make great money in a relatively easy profession. It also was a great stepping stone for me to get where I am today. 

Bankrate: In 1998, you signed a six-figure deal with Revlon.

Emme: Yes. I was the first plus-size model under contract to a cosmetic company at that time. Now full-figured models is a huge, huge business. 

Bankrate: You have branched out considerably since then and bought a beautiful large home in New Jersey. Is there anything you do that would be considered thrifty? 

Emme: Sure. I make my own holiday gifts, actually. I have a whole area of my backyard where I planted lavender because I love it. It really helps me sleep because the oils from it help calm me down. I cut down the flowers, dry them and then put them in little silk satchels. I usually make my gifts in the holistic approach and send to family and friends. We also play tennis at the community tennis courts, rather than a private tennis club, and I swim laps at the community pool. 

Next: "Self-esteem is not contingent on dress size..."
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