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Why Did Hilary Duff Struggle during ‘Lizzie McGuire’? The Actress Did Not Have It Easy behind the Scenes

Bettina Dizon
May 27, 2022
07:02 A.M.

Hilary Duff previously admitted that she felt pressured to look great while filming "Lizzie McGuire" as a teen. Her issues eventually led to an eating disorder that made her underweight. Things have changed since.

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Photoshopped pictures of Hilary Duff recently resurfaced on the internet, leaving fans confused about why such images were shared. They aired their sentiments on Twitter, asking why the former Disney star's body was edited to look different. Some defended the actress and stated Duff already had a nice body.

As the photos do the rounds online, Duff has previously spoken about her body image issues, which stemmed from the pressure she received at a young age. With the revival of her career through "How I Met Your Father," the actress will not forget her experiences while filming the hit teen series "Lizzie McGuire."

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HOW OLD WAS HILARY DUFF IN "LIZZIE MCGUIRE?"

Duff was only 13 years old when the Disney Channel premiered "Lizzie McGuire" in January 2001. The series ran for two seasons from 2001 until 2004 and had a spin-off movie, "The Lizzie McGuire Movie."

During an interview with Bustle, Duff shared that she had a deep connection with her character on the show. "I was too young to do a character dive on Lizzie," she said. "I think I was just playing myself, and I really related to that girl. She was me, and I was her, and that was that."

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However, finding work became a struggle for the young actress when the show ended. Duff embodied her titular character so well that people found it difficult to distinguish the actress from the role. She said:

“The lines got so blurry between me and her, and I think they are for the world, still [...]. I think just accepting that has brought me a lot of peace.”

WHY DID HILARY STRUGGLE DURING "LIZZIE MCGUIRE?"

Although "Lizzie McGuire" gave Duff a lot of great memories, it also impacted her self-image. Like many teen stars, Duff struggled when the cameras stopped rolling and eventually developed an eating disorder at 17.

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The actress was obsessed with her food consumption and became underweight. "My body wasn't that healthy," she said. "My hands would cramp up a lot because I wasn't getting the nutrition I needed."

She knew that the body standards promoted by the entertainment industry back then significantly influenced her to want a specific body type. Although she can't pinpoint what triggered her disorder, being conscious of what people said made Duff drastically reduce her food intake.

As her weight fluctuated, people always had something to say. She once felt "almost proud" of being skinny until a fan's mother came up to her and asked, "Are you okay? Are they not feeding you?" Everything has changed since then.

Hilary Duff and Luca Comrie walking down the street on December 21, 2013 in Los Angeles, California | Source: Getty Images

Hilary Duff and Luca Comrie walking down the street on December 21, 2013 in Los Angeles, California | Source: Getty Images

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Duff now appreciates and loves her body even more after giving birth to three amazing children from her previous and current marriages.

HOW DOES HILARY FEEL ABOUT HER BODY NOW?

"I'm proud of my body," she said. "I'm proud that it's produced three children for me. I've gotten to a place of being peaceful with the changes my body has gone through."

Duff also goes for therapy to help her overcome insecurities and nurture her well-being. The "Cheaper by the Dozen" star has come to terms with how her body constantly changes and is at peace with it.

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