Hilary Duff Looked Back At An Iconic & “Anxiety-Inducing” Teen Photo Shoot

The drama is so yesterday.

Hilary Duff's 'Vanity Fair' cover was "anxiety inducing." Photo via Getty Images
Steve Granitz/WireImage/Getty Images

Nearly two decades on, the alumni of Vanity Fair’s 2003 “It’s Raining Teens” issue are still very much part of the pop culture consciousness. The project included everyone from Solange Knowles to Kaley Cuoco to a pre-Jack and Rebecca Milo Ventimiglia and Mandy Moore, to name just a few familiar faces in the star-studded special issue.

If you were a kid leafing through the pages of the magazine, you might have imagined it’d be super fun to dress up and hang out with your fellow famous peers all day — but, uh, Hilary Duff remembers things a little differently. In a March 10 Lie Detector Test with the very same magazine, the How I Met Your Father star remembered the photo shoot as a pretty nerve-wracking time.

“I remember being like, ‘This is cool I was included in this,’ but no, this was a very high-stress, anxiety-inducing day,” she said, when asked whether or not the cover was a career high. It’s easy to imagine where at least some of the stress came from: Both Lindsay Lohan and Aaron Carter were also included in the photo, and the teens were involved in an alleged love triangle at the time. (Duff and Lohan are both in committed relationships today, so it looks like this drama — like most teen drama — is, thankfully, so yesterday.)

Of course, it’s just as likely that Duff’s nerves came from, well, being a teenage girl (stressful) navigating the leap from adolescence to adulthood in the public eye (extra stressful). “That was a really rough time to be in the public eye, and that definitely triggered a bad relationship with food,” Duff told Cosmopolitan in 2020 of her late teenage years. “I had really poor body image, I guess.”

Duff’s Metamorphosis came out in 2003, too, and she would soon be feeling the strain of the Disney rep on her budding pop career. “I was selling just as many records as all of the contenders in my realm, and selling out huge arenas, but could barely get played on the radio,” she told Bustle earlier this year.

Nineteen years later, though, the stressful day has given way to at least one fond memory. “Mandy and I are great friends now, so this is very funny,” Duff said, noting her arm-in-arm pose with Moore on the cover.