Years after starring in the Disney Channel series, Lizzie McGuire, Hilary Duff continues to radiate charm and sweetness. Like her famous character, Duff exhibits a unique level of prudence and responsibility: she remains one of the only female Disney Channel celebrities to avoid scandalous press. Rather than follow the worn-out path of party photos and half-nude magazine covers, Duff remains a poster child for “The American Dream.” Marrying NHL player, Mike Comrie, and subsequently giving birth to an adorable son, Luca, she also maintains successful music and acting careers. What more could the Disney producers who created her have asked for?
Turns out, life is no Disney show. The perfect family life has gone sour, and Duff’s status as “The Perfect Woman” has fallen away. A long road brought her here. Despite a separation last year due to marital struggles, we, her fans, remained confident that Duff would not let a divorce (gasp) tarnish her name. Images circulated of Duff and Comrie spending time together with Luca in public, and we breathed a sigh of collective relief.
|Photo by David Shankbone|
In her cover article for Cosmopolitan Magazine’s April issue, Duff addressed her pending divorce with Comrie, and her resulting opinions on marriage. She showed no regret for their decision to marry: “Mike and I were very in love when we met,” she shared, “We both really wanted to get married. I’d been working since the age of eleven or twelve, so making that choice at a young age seemed right for me. Maybe it wasn't, but we spent the majority of our time together really happy.” Without insulting Comrie once, Duff added, “It wasn't working well enough to stay together, but there was still a lot of love involved. It was just a slow set-in of us not being the match that we used to be.”
It wasn't all love and positivity, though. Despite her poised attitude when discussing her break with Comrie, Duff had a few reproachful comments for ex-boyfriend, Aaron Carter. After her first separation with Comrie in March of 2014, Carter tweeted, “I’ll spend the rest of my life trying to better myself to get back to her.” He continued a stream of similar messages via social media, until September 2014, when he proclaimed that he didn't want to be “that dude” who breaks up a marriage and a family. Nice.
When asked about Carter’s tweeted declarations of love, Duff scoffed, “[him] reaching out through social media? It’s ridiculous!” At least Carter responded by publicly moving on: following the interview with Cosmo, he tweeted, “Stop. Talking. About. It. I did.” Duff chose not to respond.
“I don’t want to sound bitter because I’m definitely not, but I don’t know if people are meant to be together forever,” Duff said, “Things happen over a long relationship that you can’t always fight. A marriage of twenty years, the accomplishment of that must feel really great, but there are also huge sacrifices.” Duff shrugged, “I just always want to fight for happiness.”
Despite the stress of her divorce, Duff remains considerate and open-minded. She might no longer embody the idealistic image of wholesome homemaker and successful career woman, but perhaps what she does represent is much more real. With the divorce rates climbing every year, maybe Duff isn't the poster child for the ideal American life; maybe she’s the poster child for a realistic American life--one filled with good fortune, and challenging relationships.