| Hilary Duff
New York, Oct. 13: Should Hilary Duff, America's reigning teen queen, follow the career trajectory of several of her peers, she will end up either a) in rehab, b) battling an eating disorder, c) married to a backup dancer or d) baring more and more for less and less.
But Duff, 17, made clear one recent morning that she had no plans to sully her Girl Scout image ' at least not anytime soon.
'I think growing up means different things for different people,' she said, her slight five-foot frame wrapped snug in a fluffy pink cardigan. 'I don't think it means taking your clothes off and going out and partying.' Nor, she added, does it mean 'having my boobs pushed up to my chin'.
For nearly four years Duff has been an icon for the training-bra set, first as the star of the Disney Channel's Lizzie McGuire series and now as a singer and movie actor. While the likes of Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera and Mary Kate Olsen have generated tabloid headlines with their antics or ailments, Duff has remained decidedly strait-laced ' no steamy, semi-nude spreads for men's magazines, no risqu' lyrics or music videos, no make-out sessions with middle-aged women, not even a mini or midriff-baring blouse.
Like Kix cereal, Duff is kid tested and mother-approved. And parents of those impressionable 8-to-14-year-old tweens who make up the majority of Duff's fan base will be happy to know that she sticks to the wholesome script in her new movie, Raise Your Voice, which opened in the US last weekend.
Duff plays Terri Fletcher, a singer-songwriter who wins admittance to an exclusive summer music programme in Los Angeles. Terri, the film is careful to point out, prays and attends church regularly and remains toothachingly sweet, even as her classmates mock her for being nice. 'She kills 'em with kindness,' Duff said, 'and eventually everyone comes to really love her.'
The same formula has been working for Duff, who has a palpable every-girl charm. Her last film, A Cinderella Story, raked in more than $50 million at American theatres earlier this year.
Duff said that she would never sing about sex. 'What's the point' she asked. 'When you give it all away, there's nothing left to wonder about, and I'm a big believer in that.'
Some industry observers wonder how long Duff can sustain her good-girl persona before she loses her relevance. 'If she was reflecting a true 17-year-old, she'd be all raging hormones, conflict with authority and testing every limit that can be found,' said Joe Levy, deputy managing editor of Rolling Stone.