'I have spent 30 years hating my body': Tammin Sursok fires back at critics over nude photos

Instagram/TamminSursok
Instagram/TamminSursok 

Actress and mother-of-two Tammin Sursok has hit back at critics after posting nude photos to Instagram, sharing that she wants her daughters to have a healthier relationship with their bodies - and she wants to empower them to do so.

Two days after sharing the image of herself and her girls, Phoenix, six, and Lennon, one, Sursok took to social media with a lengthy reflection on years of hating her body, which began at 15 when a boy told her she needed to go to Jenny Craig.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Tammin Sursok (@tamminsursok) on

At 17, the Pretty Little Liars was suffering from bulimia, "ramming my chapped and raw knuckles down my throat."

"I knew this routine well. I had become an expert at lying... I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror and saw my eyes, they looked like they were bleeding. I weakly smiled at my reflection. I was 100 pounds, I thought, now people would love me," she writes, sharing a series of images alongside her heartbreaking words.

And, at 21, an older boyfriend told Sursok, "your stretch marks are getting better."

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Tammin Sursok (@tamminsursok) on

After the birth of her first baby, aged 30, Sursok once again struggled with her self-image. "I would brush my hot skin with the tips of my fingers. They would fall into the grooves on my stomach that looked like a map of Venice.

I cried salty, plump tears. Was I now deformed? I had spent the last 30 years being told that the only way to happiness, worth and love was for other people to view my body as good enough."

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Adding that she had let her body be objectified "by the hands of men," the actress realised it had to stop.

"Not anymore," she writes. "As I sit here and lament over the last two days, I have come to the realisation that we as a society have made the objectification of the female form something we have become accustomed to. We view women as sexual objects that are ours to puppet and play with.

"We do not celebrate the real value of a woman. Her body that feeds and houses her child and ultimately births them. The parts of her body that are used for creation we hide and censor, for it creates fear in our mind of what we have been taught is bad or sexual or wrong."

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Tammin Sursok (@tamminsursok) on

We can do better, she says. And we must.

"I have spent the good part of 30 years hating my body. I can't get that time back. But my children can. I will not let opinions that are coated in other people's insecurities disempower who my daughter's are and will be. It starts with me."

Sursok has been widely praised for her candour and grace, with many applauding her bravery.

"You were, and are, beautiful. and not just on the outside, in the inside where it counts. Uou are an amazing role model for your daughters and i hope they grow up never hating themselves the way we did as children," one commenter wrote.

"Loved your picture with your daughters," another added. "Body positivity is so important, they will not go through what you went through. We will build a better future. So sad so many people still can't see the beauty and value in the strides that are being made forward in so many things. Carry on Tammin, it's so wonderful you're happy now."

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Tammin Sursok (@tamminsursok) on