With 7 million followers on her Instagram platform, it’s safe to say that Tammy Hembrow is a very influencial and well known public figure. She Inspires countless women from all over the globe to strive to achieve post partum health and fitness, and is a firm believer that pregnancy does not mean you have to kiss a bikini body goodbye. Tammy has proven that a woman’s body can indeed look amazing after birth, and assures many of her followers that they too can get their body back post baby – determined to stamp out the stereotype that mothers cannot look good after having children. Tammy encourages women to have a more positive outlook on their physique, and maintains that mums all over can even improve their overall health and fitness after they have given birth and have children. She has been honest about her post baby journey on her Instagram account, keeping it real with her followers with progress photos only a few days after birth of her daughter Saskia, and continuing to update as the months have continued including details of her daily food intake. This has really helped her gain momentum with her following.
Tammy had both her children in under 2 years, and her following grew after the birth of her first son Wolf 2 years ago. She trained during both her pregnancies quite close to the end, demonstrating her commitment to a healthy lifestyle even when it was challenging. She resumed her training at the recommended time post baby and continued to nourish her body with the right nutrition. She credits achieving her post baby body that she has now to the right nutrition and exercise on average of 4 times per week. Tammy accurately sums up her advice as this – “Everybody is different and you should never compare yourself to others, but if you give your body the love, exercise and nutrition it deserves, you will reap the rewards.” Passing on her advice and experience to other women was her next step, and she has released an online gym and home based exercise program that has helped thousands of women become motivated to achieve health and fitness. On the back of the success of her exercise programs, Tammy launched her own luxury athleisure wear label Saski Collection this year, which was received with much enthusiasm from her fans and is already a huge success Australia wide and beyond.
For many months I have overheard other women talk about Tammy in both a positive and negative manner, assuming they know what she thinks about certain subjects and voicing their opinions on her success, her account and her body. I wanted to approach her myself and ask her a few questions on things other than her fitness guides, so I contacted her for a quick Q & A for my blog. She was very down to earth, friendly and obliging, which initially I was surprised about considering her very large following and busy schedule. She really is a sweetheart and has a very casual way of interacting which was refreshing. With much curiosity surrounding Tammy and her Insta-famous status, I wanted to ask her a few questions relating to social media, self confidence and her feelings towards having such a large following. There is a lot more to Tammy than meets the eye, and I wanted to share a snippet of that with you all!
Overall how much importance do you place on social media? Both from a business and personal perspective?
I think it’s very important in terms of my business. I have developed a great following and this has allowed me to open so many opportunities. Because of social media I was able to launch my clothing brand with great success, which was a passion project of mine. In terms of my social life it has less importance because I mostly spend time with my family and my babies don’t even know what it is haha.
What would you say would be the main purpose of your Instagram account?
To connect me with my fans. We’re seeing people connect with people of similar interests or specific expertise that are relatable. For me I think there are a few things that people can relate to: being a mum, my dedication to a healthy lifestyle, my interests in beauty and fashion and working hard to achieve your goals. Social media allows people to see different aspects of my life, which I think makes my followers feel closer to me.
Do you consider carefully what you share to the public before posting?
Yes, people will ask to see certain things and I listen to my followers and I do read their comments but some things I like to keep personal for privacy reasons like my house or sometimes locations I am at. In that regard I will make sure that I either post when I’m in a different location or that there are not any recognisable traits that could give away where I live.
Do you ever have any doubts about the message you are trying to portray on social media once you witness people’s reactions?
I honestly don’t! While I’ve always enjoyed an active lifestyle, my teen years were generally unhealthy and unbalanced. With fluctuating weight and untoned muscles, I was unhappy and realised I wanted to change my body but also change my life. My interest in fitness became an addiction, and I was inspired by how good I felt but also the changes it was making to my body. I focus on tips and tools that can help people to achieve their own body goals whether it’s to gain or lose weight, everyone is different, and in the process I share my own experiences. The message I want to portray is that women can take control of their bodies, before and after kids. Your body goals are you body goals and no one person is the same, I would hate for people to think I was just advocating my body type, that was my choice and my own personal goal.
When your account started to rapidly grow, what were your initial thoughts?
I was excited! For me it happened really organically and my fans inspired me to keep pushing further and I hope to give back to my followers by sharing knowledge, experiences and expertise.
Do you believe someone’s social media account always honestly reflects their “real life” persona?
Not at all. I think one big misconception is that my Instagram is a direct reflection of who I am. I don’t always look my best, I have nights where I’m up all night with the kids, I’m working, or just having downtime. People can be quick to label me based on my looks but that is just one part of me. A massive misconception is when people equate my looks with my intelligence or how hard I work. Just because I post a photo at the beach doesn’t mean I was at the beach all day, people can be really quick to judge.
You receive many positive comments on your photos, how does this make you feel when you read them?
I love seeing positive comments. I love people supporting other people.
What do you feel when you read negative or extremely inappropriate comments? Do some cross a line, upset or hurt you?
I’m not going to lie it does effect me sometimes, but not as much these days as it used to. I have definitely grown a thicker skin. I don’t have time for that kind of attitude and I think sometimes people need to be reminded that I’m a person and I see their comments. So if you write something mean and I see it – blocking you is my way of letting you know.
Would you feel comfortable sharing a couple of examples of hurtful/hateful comments you have received?
People say that I photoshop my photos or that my bum isn’t real, I think the most hurtful ones are hurtful because they’re not true. Or when people say I’ve had plastic surgery because I’ve taken a photo from another angle lol. I was openly honest about getting my breasts done (my only cosmetic surgery) after my babies and I didn’t have to be, it was something I did for me after breastfeeding. I didn’t have to share it but in some ways I did feel some pressure to because people would constantly comment on them. There was even an Instagram account dedicated to “exposing” the fact I got my boobs done even though I didn’t hide it.
As a whole do you think there are any negatives when it comes to social media? (This can even be very minor things)
I think there are for sure, some people hide behind their profiles and use them to say horrible things or put people down. I think that’s terrible.
Have there ever been times where you have been over all the “Insta-fame” that you want to just walk away from it all?
Not really it’s such a big part of my life and I really enjoy connecting with people. I can’t say I’ve wanted to walk away but there have definitely been ups and downs.
Does having such a large following on social media change how you feel about yourself?Say, earlier days compared to now?
It’s hard to say because I have grown to be the person I am today as my followers grew. Like I said I lived a very different lifestyle and I wasn’t as in control of my body and my body goals. So of course I feel different about myself today as opposed to then but I wouldn’t attribute it to my following but more to my own life choices and decisions.
Would you consider yourself a confident woman, social media aside?
I would consider myself confident in certain aspects of my life. I’m confident in my body and my family, not so confident when it comes to interviews haha sometimes I just don’t know what to say or feel awkward but I’m working on it.
Is there anything about your physical appearance or personality that you feel insecure about?
Not really haha people like to point things out though – like my jaw is slightly misaligned. I didn’t even notice until people started to mention it in my Youtube videos, it kind of goes to one side more.
Do you think women place too much emphasis on social media compared to real life? Feel free to elaborate…
I can’t really speak for other women but there has definitely been an increase in the role social media has in today’s society. More people are focussing on their social accounts and for some it has opened opportunities but I think it’s important to keep your own personal balance.
How much time per day on average would you spend on Instagram?
Not much honestly, my days are really busy so sometimes I will only go on to post a photo and reply to some comments. If I’ve got some downtime though I spend more time online because it’s so available and I might end up scrolling through photos and reading comments for longer than usual.
Are you ever concerned about your children’s privacy when you share photos of them on Instagram?
This is something that I have become more concerned about. Now that Wolf is getting older I want to start posting him less, and the same with Saskia as she gets older. This is definitely something that I’ve been thinking about.
Lastly, what advice would you give your son or daughter one day if they were bullied online?
I think I will focus more on building their self confidence and self worth. Sadly I think there will always be bullies out there, both online and in person. I want them to know who they are as people and to be able to rise above negative comments as a result. In terms of advice I would let them know that retaliation can often make things worse so it’s better to take the high road.
Thank you for your honesty and taking your time in letting us get to know you a little better Tammy 🙂
Hope you all enjoyed reading!