Fans of throwback Disney Channel shows like That’s So Raven, Wizards of Waverly Place, Jessie, Suite Life of Zack and Cody and Good Luck Charlie are about to feel pretty old because most of the stars that they grew up watching are all grown up themselves now — and boy, do they look different.
Take Miley Cyrus, for example. She starred in Hannah Montana when she was only 14 years old, and now she’s 28!
To celebrate the 15th anniversary of the hit Disney series, Miley took to social media to write a letter to her alter ego.
“Hi Hannah, it’s been a while. 15 years to be exact. Since the first time I slid those blonde bangs over my forehead in the best attempt to conceal my identity, then slipped into a puke-pink terrycloth robe with a bedazzled ‘HM’ over the [heart],” the singer wrote via Instagram in March 2021. “I didn’t know then … that is where you would live forever. Not just in [my heart], but [in the hearts of] millions of people around the world.”
Miley also reflected on the lasting impact that Hannah Montana would have on her after her transition from Disney star to rock princess.
“Although you are considered to be an ‘alter ego,’ in reality there was a time in my life when you held more of my identity in your glove than I did in my bare hands,” the “Slide Away” performer continued. “You were like a rocket that flew me to the moon and never brought me back down. … You and I have been through it all together, my friend. We’ve shared many firsts. A lot of lasts. Ups. Downs. Tears and laughs.”
Five months later, Miley opened up about how she found herself exploring different versions of herself even after her run on Disney ended.
“It did translate into my real life. There was a different level of, like, hysteria when Hannah…the way that kids would react at these Hannah shows, versus when I was myself and I would meet fans out, it was different,” she noted during an interview with Kevin Hart in August. “And so, again, on that kind of psychological level, I guess that’s kind of why originally when I started doing solo projects as my own identity, I’d almost create kind of alter-egos of myself.”
What about Hilary Duff? The actress was only 13 years old when Lizzie McGuire premiered, and now she’s a full-fledged adult with a husband and three kids!
Although Hilary moved on to other memorable projects after being on Disney, she previously told Us Weekly that she wouldn’t mind portraying Lizzie again.
“I loved that character, obviously. There were times when I never wanted to hear her name again, and there were times when I was extremely grateful for the experience, having her in my life just like everybody else had her and for all of the opportunities that it created for me,” she told Us in November 2019. “After meeting with Disney on multiple occasions about possibly bringing it back, finally the story line felt right.”
While a revival was subsequently planned for Lizzie McGuire on Hulu, production was halted in January 2020 and the show was officially canceled in December 2020.
Meanwhile, fans have truly had the pleasure of watching so many stars grow up right in front of their eyes. J-14 went ahead and rounded up a bunch of then-and-now photos of some more fan favorite Disney Channel girls, so prepare to be shook over how much they’ve all changed over the years.
Scroll through our gallery to uncover 50 Disney girls who look completely different now compared to when they first started on the network.
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