Photography by Joel Barhamand for Yahoo Style.
We might be in the midst of a body revolution—women larger than a size two are popping up in Sports Illustrated’s swimsuit issue and lingerie ads—but in the ‘90s, Emme was the only plus-size model to earn the industry’s attention. She was featured in magazines like People and Glamour. She hosted a reality show called More to Love, wrote a book, and spoke to congress about eating disorders. Needless to say, she’s always been ahead of the curve. We asked her to share exactly how she learned to feel so confident in her own body–and how we could do the same.
“It’s my absolute honor,” she says. “So let’s have some fun!”
#1 Repeat after me, “we are spiritual beings on a human journey”.
This helps set the stage for acceptance to flow from the inside out—not the other way around, which is a never ending cycle of failure. No matter what we do to our bodies, we can never take away our own differences; we are meant to have them. Sure, we can choose to remain on a hamster wheel of self-hate, but why? This perspective shifts focus always from the body to who we really are and what’s most important: one’s true self.
#2 If we were all the same, life would be very boring.
A world in which everyone looks the same lacks spice and nuance, the things that attract us to each other for the fun stuff. All the same ethnicity, skin color, hair/eye color—B O R I N G! We are made to be different. Don’t just believe it, observe it every day, all around you, and enjoy it.
#3 Write on your mirrors.
Yes, grab a grease pen and start scribbling affirmations on your mirrors in the bathroom, bedroom, entry way, living room—surround yourself! We could all use a nice reminder to live well.
#4 Create a #NOBODYBASHING hour each day.
And encourage all of the women in your life to do the same. Start a journal or a blog to keep track of how it changes your life. Extend those precious hours into days, then weeks, and see how you feel about life and the body that takes you everywhere anytime you ask it to. It only takes one person to create change.
#5 Thank your body.
Thank your body for everything that it does for you; do it upon rising, and before you go to bed, for the miles it walks each day to and from work, the lifting of the hundreds of grocery bags, children, furniture, dogs in and out of cars. Thank it for the millions of times it breathes, allowing you to see sunsets and moonlit evenings, to squeal with joy on the back of a jet ski. Let #BodyGratitude be top of mind on social media. And when you achieve miraculous physical feats—be they athletic or wheeling yourself across a platform for your graduation ceremony—be grateful that your body’s made it happen. No matter how big or small, our bodies do miraculous things.
#6 Reevaluate your support group.
Hang with sisters and brothers who respect you enough to honor the whole you. Not your body parts, your possessions, or the money in your bank account. Next.
#7 Walk away from negative self talk.
Unfortunately women have made a habit of connecting over negative self-talk—and that never ends well. Everyone loses in this seemingly “supportive” environment. Beware the collective mentality of, “I’m-so-fat-but-looking-for-a-compliment-because-I’m-really-not.” They’ll make peace with their body when they’re ready; it’s not your job to tell them there’s a whole new world out there. Seek out those who live on the brighter side of life and let your glass half empty friends continue to choose comfort over challenge, refusing to believe they’re worthy of a better job, boyfriend, or home; you’ll see them still hanging at the same local haunts for years to come.
Reduce stress and create positive energy by moving, jumping, and playing. Massage therapists who see back after back filed with knots say, “It’s a wonder people are able to walk around, no one breathes!” Breathe in deeply the life that is before you. When you’re stressed, breathe. When you’re happy, breathe. When you’re in your moments of bliss, breathe again. Getting on a good sweat a few times each week does much more than keep you in shape, it releases toxins from your day, and allows you to nourish your body with movement that helps digestion, mental clarity and peace.
#9 Bless your body with an oil bath weekly.
I began doing this a while ago with coconut oil that I heat up in a small diffuser after a shower. Your skin feels so soft and supple, but what I love the most is it reconnects me to me. I smooth it on all over, from the bottom of my feet up to my face at night. Sometimes I spritz a very expensive eau d'parfum into the oil in the diffuser to add a special touch but the plain coconut oil does the trick for me every time. Light a candle grab a glass of Prosecco, or whatever makes it special for you, and let your mind and body reconnect.
Follow @SupermodelEmme for more #BodyBeautiful inspiration and her upcoming clothing line announcement!
Photography by Joel Barhamand for Yahoo Style