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Mother's Day Issue

Emme, Body-Positive Pioneer, & Daughter Toby Cole

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Before Candice Huffine, before Ashley Graham, before Kate Uptown, there was Emme. Just Emme. The New York City native was the first extended-size model to pioneer a body-positive image, nabbing a spot in People magazine's list of 100 Most Beautiful People—not just once, but twice, in 1994 and 1999. Oprah's even dubbed her the "godmother of the full-figured industry."

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In the years since, she's added one inspiring notch after another on her CV, from television personality and author (she has several books to her name) to the founder of Fashion Without Limits, a program at her alma mater Syracuse University for inclusive-minded fashion design. She's even been the answer in multiple nationwide crossword puzzles, like the New York Times and Washington Post. Hey, when you're famous enough to go by one name, you've reached a whole different stratosphere of celebrity.

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But Emme is a mom, too, and through it all she was raising a young daughter. Today, Toby Cole is a model herself, signed with IMG. We chat with them both here and discover how this mother-daughter duo make it work—and get their secrets to style, beauty, healthy living and living well, too.

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Q&A: Mom Emme

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What are your Mother's Day traditions?
Breakfasts in bed to bike riding and enjoying a picnic on a pier; however, given our new normal, a fun way to celebrate this year might be sunbathing on our roof after a delicious el fresco brunch. (Fingers crossed for good weather.)

Best Mother's Day gift given?
An elaborate breakfast in bed, complete with a handmade card and flowers.

What's your morning beauty and self-care routine?
Pre-COVID-19 I was training for a Spartan race in early April and three triathlons this summer. Sadly I had to adjust my workouts and have taken a much more chilled approach. Today I wake up around 6 AM, walk for a few of miles, jump online LIVE for my @supermodelemme IG/Zoom meditation/reading group, from 7:30 AM to 8:40 AM every morning (day 40 tomorrow!), shower with my toxin-free Raw. Natural Products, apply my Boom Silk body cream, comb through my eyebrows, throw on some Salty Girl Beauty toxin-free lip gloss, pull my hair back in a high ponytail, and off I go into Zoomland for a few hours.

Any beauty tips you've picked up from your daughter?
Keep it simple, highlight, and maintain killer brows!

Emme on the cover of More magazine

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“When Toby was young, I used to ask her to bring home the funniest and silliest jokes she could get to share at dinner that night. Laughter is key.”

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What are your hacks to keeping work, family and personal ambition in balance and in check?
I keep a journal next to my bed and carry it to my meditation practice shortly after rising. I find my best insights are in my dreams and during my meditations. When Toby was young, I used to ask her to bring home the funniest and silliest jokes she could get to share at dinner that night. Laughter is key.

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As a working mom, what were your secret weapons to getting it all done?
I made it a point to have our food in the house be of the highest nutritional value (Non-GMO/organic), made sure I was home to have dinner together three days out of five during the week and included Toby and her friends in the work I did on TV in the city or on location. And when I was on location, to not to be away more than two nights, ever.

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Favorite thing to borrow from each other’s closet?
Makeup/hair products

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Greatest lesson you’ve learned from your own mom…
To be self-reliant.

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And one life lesson you’ve learned from Toby…
To allow manifestation to come in all its forms.

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Your relationship with Toby in three words…
My best friend.

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Q&A: Daughter Toby Cole

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Favorite part of Mother’s Day?
It is another day for me to appreciate my favorite human.

Best Mother's Day gift given?
I’m not sure, maybe breakfast in bed, but my Mom is a better judge of that.

What are some style and beauty tips you’ve picked up from your mom?
Always bring a shawl with you.

What's your morning beauty and self-care routine?
I drink a big glass of water right out of bed. Then I wash my face with African Black Soap and moisturize with BoomSilk by Cindy Joseph.

Greatest lesson you’ve learned from mom…
Living well is a mindset.

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“I borrow everything from my Mom's closet—she has amazing style.”

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How are you most like your mom?
We are both very passionate.

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And different?
I love board games and card games, but she can’t stand them.

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Favorite thing to borrow from each other’s closet?
Everything. I borrow everything from my Mom's closet—she has amazing style.

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Favorite mother-daughter activity?
Cooking together.

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Your relationship with your mom in three words…
My biggest advocate.

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