Hilary Duff is opening up about the pressures of child stardom.
The Disney Channel alum, 35, revealed that she struggled with a “horrifying” eating disorder for a year when she was 17 as she spoke to Women’s Health Australia about how she overcame her body dysmorphia.
“Because of my career path, I can’t help but be like, ‘I am on camera and actresses are skinny.’ It was horrifying,” she recounted, explaining that she’s since developed a healthy relationship with her body.
“[I’m] appreciating my health, doing activities that make me feel strong instead of just bettering the outside of my body,” Duff added. “Spending time with people that make me feel good and share similar views on health and body positivity and getting enough sleep and balance in my diet.”
She found fame as a child with breakout roles in Casper Meets Wendy(1998) and her Disney Channel series Lizzie McGuire, which ran for two seasons from 2001 to 2004, launching a feature adaptation in 2003.
Duff’s personal trainer Dominic Leeder explained that although she’s dedicated to her health and fitness, they aren’t Duff’s top priority.
“I don’t feel like she’ll mind me saying this: yes, her fitness and health are hugely important to Hilary. What’s more important to her is her family and work,” he explained. “When she comes home from work, she wants to spend time with her family because she spends very little time with them when she’s hard at work, so every moment counts.”
The How I Met Your Father actress previously opened up about her relationship with her body when she posed nude for the cover of Women’s Health in May.
“I’m proud of my body,” she said at the time. “I’ve gotten to a place of being peaceful with the changes my body has gone through.
“I think that at 34 I have just gained a lot of respect for my body. It’s taken me all of the places I need to go. It’s helped me build a beautiful family. I feel like the older I get, the more confident I get in my own skin. And my body’s been many different shapes and sizes and I’m really just fascinated by, one, being a woman. And two, all the changes that your body can go through throughout your lifetime,” Duff added.
She explained that becoming a mother has been “powerful” for her, noting that she learned to accept her body after she gave birth to daughter Banks Violet, 4, with now-husband Matthew Koma, with whom Duff also shares 20-month-old Mae James.
Additionally, Duff co-parents son Luca Cruz, 10½, with retired NHL ex-husband Mike Comrie.
Hilary is one of the few child stars who grew up and got it right.