Emme (born Melissa Owens Miller; June 30, 1963) is an American plus-size model, social reformer and body image advocate. Emme gained worldwide fame as the first full-figured model chosen for People magazine's 50 Most Beautiful People, first in 1994, then for a second time in 1999. Emme is largely recognized in the 1990s as the leading model in the profession, as well as its highest earner.
June 30, 1963
Manhattan, New York, U.S.
|Alma mater||Kent School
Syracuse University (BS)
|Occupation||TV Reporter (1986–1988)
Model, Activist (1989–present)
TV Personality (1994–present)
|Height||5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)|
(m. 1989–2008; divorced)
|Social Media: @SupermodelEmme|
Born Melissa Miller in New York City, Emme was raised in Saudi Arabia, and returned to the United States as a teenager to attend Kent School in northwest Connecticut. When Emme was in high-school, her family moved back to the States, settling in Houston. She later attended the Kent School in Connecticut, where she joined the rowing team.
In her book, she tells the story of her stepfather instructing her at age 12 to strip down to her underwear while he took a black marker and drew circles on her outer thighs, hips, stomach and arms to highlight where she needed to lose weight.
Syracuse University awarded Emme a full athletic scholarship and she became a member of the crew team; she is also a member of the Syracuse University Orange Plus Hall of Fame, where she was inducted for her significant contribution to women's athletics and to the sport of rowing In addition, Emme was invited to the U.S. Olympic Team trials, as well as several U.S. National Team trials.
Emme's sister Melanie is also a model. Emme married Phillip Aronson in 1989 and moved to New Jersey. In 2001, Emme's daughter Toby was born. She separated from her husband in 2007, and later finalized her divorced in 2008. Emme's daughter Toby Cole was recently in Teen Vogue and is signed at IMG Models.
In May 2007 Emme was diagnosed with Stage 2a Hodgkin's lymphoma – a type of lymphoma that is often curable with radiation and chemotherapy. She had surgery and in November 2007 doctors declared that she was "cancer-free". She separated from her husband, Phil, in October 2007.
Emme had a sportswear line of sized 2–26 women's clothing sold at QVC under the me BY EMME label and the Emme Collection sportswear line manufactured by Kellwood and sold to department stores. A 16" collectable doll bearing Emme's name and likeness generates money to benefit body image and self-esteem organizations.
|Hall of Fame ||Syracuse University Orange Plus||1994|
|Woman of Distinction – New York||Girl Scouts of America||1997|
|S.A.R.A. Award ||Syracuse University||2006|
|Letterwinner of Distinction ||Syracuse University||2008|
|Hall of Fame ||Syracuse Alumni Rowing Association||2013|
|Inspiration and Visionary Award ||Women & Fashion FilmFest (WFF)||2015|
|Fashioning Futures for Women Award ||Career Wardrobe||2015|
- Witchel, Alex. "Size 14, 190 Pounds: A Model Figure", The New York Times, March 12, 1997. Accessed October 11, 2007. When Emme was in high-school, her family moved back to the States, settling in Houston, where she attended the Kent School in Connecticut. At the Kent School Emme joined the rowing team, sealing a life's passion for strenuous exercise.... In her book, she tells the story of Sam's instructing her at age 12 to strip down to her underwear while he took a black marker and drew circles on her outer thighs, hips, stomach and arms to highlight where she needed to lose weight."
- Pedota, Chris. "One couple's climb to hope Supermodel and husband tell their sides of coming back from his depression", The Kansas City Star, April 2, 2002. Accessed June 2, 2007. "Emme and Phillip Aronson at home in Closter, New Jersey."
- cuse.com. "'Night of Distinction' to Honor SU Athletics Alumni", Syracuse University Sports, Syracuse, NY, 15 October 2008. Retrieved on 7 April 2015.
- "Beauty at Large". Retrieved 13 July 2011.
- "Emme's Cancer Battle: 'I Needed to Be Strong'". Retrieved 12 July 2011.
- Toby Cole Signed to IMG
- Emme's Cancer Battle: I need to be strong (interview in People magazine, Jan 2008)
- "Emme Doll Aims for Healthy Body Image". Retrieved 12 July 2011.
- Emme: Syracuse Hall of Fame
- Night of Distinction To Honor SU Athletics Alumni
- Women & Fashion FilmFest Launches Online WEBFest featuring Panel Discussions with Fashion & Entertainment Leaders, Films & Webseries on Womenfashfilm.com
- Career Wardrobe Gala: Fashioning Futures for Women Award