Rebecca’s Defense of Duff

Not too long ago, by some conversational equation I cannot recollect, I was talking to my husband about Hillary Duff. Overall, I’m pretty neutral in regards to yet another one of Disney’s former pop princesses. Her music is essentially what you expect it to be, pop spun of the finest sugars that the children from the “It’s a Small World” ride could gather. In fairness, I always had a soft spot for her song “Do You Want Me”. I suspect it’s because even with me coming into middle age I still clearly recall what it feels like to be a 13 year-old girl who knows, that everything is so painfully important, and nothing more so than the affections of a boy.

Anyway, I was commenting to Jim that unlike some other former Disney girls, Duff seemed to be acclimating to life outside of the mobs of tween fans pretty well. I’m not well versed in her life and career or anything, it’s just I read a lot of celebrity gossip websites, a lot of them, and Duff rarely seems to make the scene, and when she does it always refreshingly dull, like her buying a Starbucks latte in the afternoon. So I figure she hasn’t degenerated into a party girl, or pAArty girl, as Perez Hilton would say.

Then she got a little press for her work with the organization whose goal is “to raise awareness about the prevalence and consequences of anti-LGBT bias and behavior in America’s schools.” Duff even did this amusing ad for them.

Nice, right?

So yeah, I was all about how unlike other former Disney pop gals, Duff seemed to be doing it right. No utter meltdowns like Britney and no unfortunate run-ins with leather chaps like the now reformed Christina Aguilera. And let’s all be honest here, Miley Cyrus seems pretty screwed up and she’s still experiencing the fame and glory of the Disney machine.

Then, like a perfectly timed joke Perez Hilton had this on his site. Go ahead, click it and come back. We’ll talk then.

Yep, there’s Hillary, all rolling on the floor touching herself, making out with her reflection in the mirror, and of course, totally running her hands all over that shirtless dude. Now in all seriousness, it’s not really as bad as all that. She’s 21 years-old, and this video is the closest thing I’ve seen to her really “acting out”, so she honestly is still fairing better than her predecessors, and oddly, her protégés. (Seriously Miley, you can’t get all weepy and claim you feel violated when an absolute artist like Annie Leibovitz takes a photo of you and then turn around and date a 20 year-old and post tawdry photos of yourself on My Space. Knock it off.) The unfortunate timing of this video is what makes my argument of a well adjusted Duff seem a little weak. However, I stand by my initial statement. She’s handling the transition of Disney princess to former Disney princess better than any of the other ones. Trampin’ it up to hustle some records never hurt anyone in measured doses.

Also, it may make me a heathen, but I totally love the sample of Depeche Mode’s “Personal Jesus” in that song. Yes, the whole song is such a rip off of Depeche Mode, but darn it if I don’t tap my toes anyway.

For those of you who are curious, this song will be featured on Hillary Duff’s best of album that releases on November 11, 2008.