As a woman in Hollywood, Hilary Duff understands the pressure to look a certain way.
But after years of struggling, the How I Met Your Father star has made peace with her body, opening up about the process in a revealing interview in which she bared it all.
Duff, who rose to fame as a child star on Lizzie McGuire, had struggled with the pressure of being a working actor in Hollywood.
“Because of my career path, I can’t help but be like, ‘I am on camera and actresses are skinny’,” she said, adding that she battled a year-long eating disorder when she was just 17.
It’s why, years later, Duff felt inspired to bare it all for the May/June issue of Women’s Health, posing nude on the front cover.
“I’m proud of my body. 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 said.
“I also want people to know a make-up artist was there putting glow all over my body and someone put me in the most flattering position.”
Help certainly doesn’t hurt, but it’s refreshing to see celebrities be open and honest about the realities of photo shoots.
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The 34-year-old recalled the moment she felt at peace with her body, sharing that it happened after she gave birth to her daughter Banks.
“I didn’t even know if I was going to have the opportunity to have another child [after her divorce from ex Mike Comrie],” she explained.
“So, being a mom again, maybe. It was a whole mix of things – of being settled and realising that I’m powerful and talented and smart. All mental things.”
Duff shared the cover with her fans on Instagram, describing the experience as “scary”.
“I knew doing this would terrify me and I was right!” she wrote.
“@womenshealthmag had the most lovely all-women shoot and I actually had the best time. I felt strong and beautiful and laughed a lot getting into some of these poses without my high-waisted mom jeans and oversized whatever I normally wear.”
She thanked the magazine for capturing a moment in time where she felt “completely vulnerable but powerful”.
Liberation, self-acceptance and empowerment
Duff is hardly the first female celeb to pose nude on a magazine cover and she won’t be the last.
After all, the tide has turned. A nude cover doesn’t just mean a lot of skin anymore.
It’s a sign of liberation, self-acceptance and empowerment.
Women’s Health, in particular, has championed this message for years through its Naked Issue.
Women of varying ages and sizes have graced the magazine’s cover in the nude, exuding body positivity and inclusivity and representing women who are comfortable in their skin.
And let’s not forget Demi Moore’s iconic Vanity Fair cover from 1991, in which she posed nude while pregnant with her daughter Scout Willis.
A nude pregnancy shoot would hardly cause a stir these days, but at the time it was considered very controversial.
Tina Brown, who was Vanity Fair editor at the time, told CNBC she believes they did something great by publishing that cover.
“It’s one of my proudest things that we did for women, because it really liberated women from maternity clothes. And it also liberated women from a sense that pregnancy was something to be sort of covered up.”
The photo, by lauded photographer Annie Leibovitz, made such an impact, Time deemed it one of the most influential images of all time in 2016.
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Thanks to that cover, posing nude while pregnant is normal now.
Serena Williams did it on the cover of Vanity Fair in 2018, as did our very own Megan Gale with Marie Claire in 2014.
But celebrating one’s body isn’t just reserved for the front covers of magazines.
For Britney Spears, Instagram is a perfectly good option too.
The singer has posted a handful of nude photos to her platform in the months since her conservatorship ended.
Although some people have criticised the singer’s choice to do so, others argue the pictures represent Spears’ total freedom after living 13 years of her life under someone else’s control.