‘Pretty Little Liars’ Star Tammin Sursok Inspires People About Her Victory Over A Painful Childhood
“It takes one positive step in the right direction. Just one step.”
Tammin Pamela Sursok is an Australian actress who hailed from Johannesburg, South Africa. Growing up in a family of musicians, she soon found herself following her interests in music, dance, and acting. When her family migrated to Australia, she studied speech and drama in her last years of school. At age 21, she became a recording artist under Sony BMG label, but not before landing a role in the long-running Australian drama series Home and Away. The exposure enabled her to gain popularity and develop her acting skills, and more importantly, win the Logie Award for Most Popular New Female Talent. While pursuing a music career and doing acting at the same time, she realized that she wanted to concentrate on the latter and what better way to do this than to relocate to Los Angeles, California. After debuting in a bit film role in Aquamarine, she snagged a part on the hit American soap opera The Young and the Restless, playing Colleen Carlton for 165 episodes.
Various film and television projects came her way after that, including a recurring role on Disney Channel’s Hannah Montana. It was also around this time that she married actor-producer-director Sean McEwen. The actress-singer has come a long way since the time she has moved to LA, gaining international recognition for playing Jenna Marshall on the teen mystery book trilogy Pretty Little Liars. So successful is her portrayal that she was asked to continue appearing on the series even throughout her pregnancy. These days, she’s enjoying her acting career and family life to the fullest. But life wasn’t always easy for Tammy.
Growing up was difficult
Tammy was a victim of child-bullying, and all because she was overweight. Most of her adolescent years were filled with unpleasant memories of being teased and treated badly by kids at school only because she weighed 200 lbs. She lacked self-love and compassion for herself, which made her experience all the more painful.
She was obviously not popular, but despite the hurt she experienced, she didn’t want to let what other people say define her and dictate her life. One day, she decided that she had enough of her pitiful self. So, she sat down and made a letter to her overweight self about her teenage crush. She wrote, “Not only does he not have any giddy interest in you, but he will verbalize in front of everyone that you are indeed ‘fat’ and after he miniaturizes you, he will parade away. And you will feel the lights just blasted and you are standing on a stage, naked, in all your quarter-pounder glory.” She then told herself not to give up because change is coming. She ended her letter by promising that “Your body will change, not because you are mimicking perfection, but because you will regard it as a vessel that needs to be treated with respect. A figure that will ultimately swell and magnify as it carries your unborn child.”
When she said, she’s had enough
Writing that letter to herself was the start of her resolve to take action and not allow people to hurt her anymore. To her, the weight problem was not just the issue, but even at her young age then, she realized that she had to work on her love and acceptance of self. Staying miserable was no longer an option, and she needed to make the change. She PROMISED herself that no one but HER could make things happen and remove her from her painful situation. Tammy firmly believes that just one, positive step towards the right direction is all it takes to transform from your old unloving self to your real self who knows her worth and values it.
Loving her own person and her family
Tammy loves herself even more but is not afraid to look back at her childhood where she had only painful recollections. Because she has reconnected with her real self and learn to appreciate it, she’s now more capable of loving and taking care of others. She’s still happily married to her husband and is immensely enjoying raising their only child Phoenix Emmanuel. Tammy advises people who are suffering from insecurity and lack of self-appreciation never to lose hope and take it upon themselves to do something about their situation and not let other people’s opinions cloud their self-perception. She further stresses that we need to believe that we can make the change, and it starts from within.