real life

How a 23yo mum became one of Australia’s most followed Instagrammers.

Seven and a half million people follow Tammy Hembrow’s life. That’s equal to the entire population of African country Sierra Leone. Or the total population of Melbourne, Perth and Adelaide combined. Cool.

Seven and a half million people. Just, you know, casually.

Which obviously begs the question ‘why?’. Why would someone be so universally admired, without the status or PR machine of a celebrity?

Well firstly, in the name of transparency, Hembrow has a bum that… that needs to be seen to be believed. As in, it’s remarkable. Re-mark-a-ble. Absolutely better than my face. It’s better than my whole damn life, really. I’m kidding of course. Kinda.

But there’s more to Hembrow’s success than weighted squats and hip thrusts.

The Gold Coast-based fitness entrepreneur, who first cashed in on her Instagram following when she launched her online workout programs in October 2015, manages to achieve something very few influencers do; she almost ticks every box, of every audience.

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At 22, Hembrow was already a mum to son Wolf, now two, and 19-month-old daughter Saskia. She’s also a successful female entrepreneur.

And so, Hembrow doesn’t just appeal to those who love the gym. In living a life unlike many others’, she has cultivated an audience that’s equal parts diverse and engaged. Since becoming a mother, her following has increased 10-fold. In reflecting the (immaculate) lifestyle of a gym junkie, busy mum and businesswoman, she simultaneously appeals to people of all ages and walks of life.

Hembrow’s not just another fitness blogger. And that’s what makes her so damn interesting.

Feeling so blessed

A post shared by ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀Tammy ???? (@tammyhembrow) on

From all accounts, this is a life of unplanned and unadulterated perfection.

To become young parents wasn’t in the blueprint for Hembrow and her 23-year-old fiancé Reece Hawkins. After just a couple months of dating, the pair fell pregnant unexpectedly.

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“Wolf was not planned, he was definitely a little surprise,” the fitness trainer said in YouTube video in 2016. “When we found out we were both in shock, I don’t think I could even speak and Reece looked like he was going to pass out. After we processed the initial shock we were both really excited.

“Saskia was planned, we were like well, let’s just get another one out of the way so then Wolf has a little friend to play with. I didn’t realise how hard it would actually be but it’s so worth it, I’m glad we have both of them. They’re the most beautiful, amazing thing that’s ever happened to us.”

To become parents so young, well before the financial security they have now been afforded by their fitness and lifestyle empire, was a monumental leap for Hembrow and Hawkins, who now drive matching luxury Mercedes Benz cars, live by the water and take sun-soaked trips to the Maldives. When they said ‘yes’ to becoming parents at 20, they said yes to a life very different to the one they have since created.

Almost overnight, two young parents channeled a booming Instagram account into a thriving business. Despite the odds, they became the most unlikely of celebrities.

Since becoming a mum, Hembrow has launched her own fitness company TammyHembrow.org, her own athleisure clothing label Saski, and become the brand ambassador for protein shake company Women’s Best, fashion brand In The Style, and Khloe Kardashian’s denim label Good American.

Of course, while Hembrow’s brand is extremely lucrative, that doesn’t mean it’s without criticism. As with many others, there’s still a heavy focus on aesthetics – in particular how quickly women’s bodies “bounce back” postpartum; something problematic that other fitness influencers like Tiffiny Hall have deviated away from this year.

Listen: How Tiff Hall’s attitude towards her body changed after the birth of her son. (Post continues…)

Still, what Hembrow has achieved while navigating the perilous path of motherhood is eye-watering. It’s inspirational and envy-inducing all at once.

On the cusp of adulthood, Tammy Hembrow placed one foot on the journey of a young mother and the other on that of an aspirational entrepreneur.

And by all accounts, she’s simultaneously nailing both.