We knew her as the scene stealing “bum dancer” from Big Brother. Nine years on, Sara-Marie tells Glen Williams about her new outlook on life.
The beautiful dark-haired girl running carefree and playful through shallow water has an air of familiarity about her.
You feel you know her, but can’t quite place her. Then you hear the madcap laugh and booming voice that turned the Big Brother favourite into a household name.
How could we ever forget Sara-Marie Fedele? One minute, she was in our faces, wearing bunny ears and shaking her behind at the cameras in what became a dance sensation. The next she had transformed into a best-selling author and released a successful range of pyjamas, and even a CD.
Then she allowed herself to slip from the public eye. “That was nine years ago, and the hardest thing for me has been people expecting me to still be that girl,” says Sara-Marie. “I knew the celebrity thing wasn’t real. I went off and had a ball learning childcare.
“I re-emerged to do Dancing With The Stars. That was a lot of fun, but then I’d come straight back home to be with the kids at kindy. The kids were a joy, how they made me laugh. I deliberately took myself away, took time out and found contentment.”
That contentment shows on her face; she radiates good health. “Yes, I’ve changed,” she says confidently. “But as you get older, you gain a different outlook, and handle yourself differently. I used to have a weight issue, but you have to remember, when I was on Big Brother, I had a different lifestyle – eating pizza and drinking a lot.
“I haven’t had a drink in a long while and that’s just by choice. I just surround myself with people who have a healthier lifestyle.
“It’s not because I drank too much and one day woke up and said, ‘That’s it’. It was just for myself. I’ve now surrounded myself with people who have a different outlook on life. They don’t drink, so I don’t drink.”
For the full story see this week’s Woman’s Day, on sale March 15, 2010.