Pop starlet Mandy Moore is best known for her sweet song "Candy" — and a clean-cut image that defies scantily-clad junior vixens like Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera. Though aware she's less high-profile than they are, Moore is more concerned with staying true to herself.

As she tells TV Guide Online: "In this day and age, you're criticized for doing the whole sexy thing, but at the same time, you're getting so much attention for it that people end up loving it — or talking about it, at least — and I guess that's the whole point. It's a lot easier to go down that path, but it's just not me."

"I want to look back at photographs in 10 years and [think], 'Well, maybe that's not in fashion anymore, but at least I'm not embarrassed by what I'm wearing,'" says the 17-year-old. "I would be embarrassed if I was wearing some of that stuff [and I couldn't] pull it off. I have no confidence. I'd trip and I'd be hanging out of all my clothes."

Even if she's cautious in her dress, Moore's still willing to take chances. Co-starring with Once and Again's Shane West, the singer takes to the big screen in A Walk to Remember (opening Friday) — a transition that other musicians, like Glitter girl Mariah Carey, have failed to make before. "I'd love to continue to do other film projects," she says, "and if [this film's] a failure, then it's going to be a little bit of a hindrance. But at the same time, this was such a beautiful experience that no one can really take that away from me."

Moore showcases her vocal talent in Walk when her character performs in the school play. Ironically, that was one of her most difficult scenes. "It was nerve-wracking because I wasn't singing as myself," she says. "I was the character. Then, filming it on camera and [knowing] you're not making a music video and you can't strut around and be sassy and stuff... It's a weird thing."