Hilary Duff says 'it was scary' posing nude for magazine cover, but 'I'm so happy I did it'

Hilary Duff is coming clean about her journey with body image and health.

The "How I Met Your Father" star bared it all for the May/June issue of Women's Health, posing nude on the magazine’s cover. In the interview published Tuesday, Duff spoke about how a career in the spotlight has inevitably taken a toll on her body image.

"Because of my career path, I can't help but be like, 'I am on camera and actresses are skinny,' " Duff said, adding she struggled with an eating disorder when she was 17. “It was horrifying,” Duff recalled.

But the 34-year-old actress said she was inspired to pose nude because of the self-empowerment she now feels with her body, even if she gets some help along the way.

"I’m proud of my body. I’m proud that it’s produced three children for me," Duff said. "I’ve gotten to a place of being peaceful with the changes my body has gone through. I also want people to know a makeup artist was there putting glow all over my body and someone put me in the most flattering position."

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Actress Hilary Duff attends the Tribeca TV screening of "Younger" during the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival at Spring Studios in New York City.

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In an interview with Entertainment Tonight Tuesday, she further opened up about the "scary" moment of vulnerability.

"I really like to do things that kinda make me a little uncomfortable, and so this was obviously that," Duff said. 

She added: "I'm not that person that cruises around my house naked, ever, so, it was scary, and then it was an all-female set that day, and so that was very … everyone was just there boosting me up and making me feel great and beautiful. I'm so happy I did it."

Duff shared the cover with fans on Instagram May 10 and similarly discussed her fears about baring it all. 

"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," Duff captioned the post.

Duff, who has three children – Luca, 10, Banks, 3, and Mae, 2 – said motherhood has played a role in her evolving body image.

"I didn’t even know if I was going to have the opportunity to have another child" after her divorce from Mike Comrie, said Duff of the impact of having daughter Banks. "So, being a mom again … was a whole mix of things — of being settled and realizing that I’m powerful and talented and smart. All mental things."

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Hilary Duff attends the “How I Met Your Father" fan experience in Los Angeles celebrating the show’s first season finale with cast on March 10, 2022.

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Duff also said mental health is an important aspect of her well-being, adding that therapy has become just as crucial as getting into shape "to look the best we can."

"We get facials and Botox and our hair done and highlights and brows and lash lifts and all this (stuff)," Duff said. "But I want to work on the inside."

Duff has even talked to son Luca about the positive benefits of therapy if he’s ever interested in it.

"He was like, 'I don’t need a therapist!' " Duff recalled Luca’s reaction. "I said, 'No, no, no, I didn’t say you need a therapist. But I love my therapist, and I always feel better when I leave because I can say whatever I want and not feel judged.' Everybody needs that."

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