Hilary Duff — god, love her — is in on the joke about her early aughts “dance” moves.
This week, in “boomers and cheugs try to keep up with Gen Z trends on TikTok by reporting it several days after the fact” news, the internet feasted its eyes on the #hilaryduffchallenge. The challenge has TikTokers recreating a car accident of a performance of Duff’s from an episode of “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” in 2007. The dead-inside “performance” to her song “With Love” has the “Younger” star serving spastic little knee twitches under side bangs and a beehive half-updo. Mom, pick me up, I can’t take it.
Yesterday, after much agonizing by me personally, Duff broke her silence by recreating the moment fourteen years later.
My big question here is what’s the deal with her choreographer, who seemingly wished to shun her to the bowels of YouTube to be mocked forevermore? Seriously, WHO DID THIS TO HER? Even if you remove the Duff from the situation, the choreography is scarring at best. I recognize some of those moves from my high school dance team, particularly the squat with hands in front, little knee twerk, little knee twerk, so we may even have a Big-Red-stole-all-her-choreo burglary on our hands.
I have to assume that at the peak of Duff’s Disney-facilitated pop stardom, someone must’ve had the coin to hire a very talented, very well-known choreographer and chose negligence instead. Perhaps it was the fault of Disney’s “make her a star but subtract the sex appeal, no thrusting, no body rolls, and give her a chastity belt” mandate, but it’s really not that hard to make something cute and impressive without also making it sexy. Also, as every good dancer knows, the true gift of a choreographer is not to spit out the kewlest, most singular moves of all time, but to play to your client’s strengths. Not flexible? Here, have some floorwork. No rhythm? We’re gonna do some cutesy hip rolls and call it a day. Are you Hilary Duff? Perfect, let’s plop some angular, strong-armed steps and complicated footwork — you’ve got it, right, sweetie?
And trust me, I am forever a Hil Duff stan. I am someone who waited three hours in line to see Duff’s Metamorphosis tour, so I could scream-cry “LET THE RAIN FALL DOWN” with my best girlies, donning our Juicy velours alongside our mothers. I love this woman deeply. I am proud of her for sticking it to the Mouse, most of all for turning down Lizzie McGuire the Sequel because they wouldn’t let her talk about fucking hot divorcees and how much she uses her dildo.
But, sorry, Hilz. Your hips don’t lie. Your choreographer should’ve just let you waltz around the stage during the instrumental break and, instead, has the blood of your singing career on their hands. Reveal yourself. I would like a word.