There’s always a lot of talk about millennials and baby boomers going tête-à-tête about who to blame for destroying the planet and ruining the economy, but the real chasm is the one happening between millennials and generation-Z. Just ask fans of Billie Eilish, who has emerged on the scene as a cultural icon for the 21st century youth.
In a recent interview with Nardwuar, the host gave Eilish a few gifts that were nostalgic of various pop culture icons or moments. The first present, which was received with excitement, was a miniature yellow submarine with tiny replicas of the Beatles attached. This one went over pretty well with the superstar, who exclaimed that she loves the Beatles. But it was a gift that Nardwuar gave her later in the interview which drummed up a bit of confusion for Eilish.
When Nardwuar gave Eilish a Hilary Duff sleeping bag, she appeared to be perplexed. “So, ‘Who is Hilary Duff? is the real question,” Eilish immediately inquired, to which Nardwuar replied, Lizzie McGuire, in reference to the early aughts Disney Channel original series starring Duff as the titular character.
It seems like everyone on Twitter who saw this Nardwuar interview was struck with the hard truth that the pop star really is that young, but there’s really no good reason to shame the 17-year-old for not having the same pop culture references on her mind as everyone else. At best, she just sounds a lot like that classic Vine in which a young man couldn’t remember the name of Duff’s Disney show.
This is also the same generation-Z pop star who thought the Spice Girls were a made up band until about two years ago. “I didn’t have cable growing up so I didn’t really watch TV shows on a channel,” she told Capital FM in the interview that revealed her unawareness of the Spice Girls. “I had DVDs of things, and I just rewatched them. So I never saw SpongeBob the show. I didn’t know it was a show; I thought it was only a movie.” Eilish would have been an infant when Lizzie McGuire, which aired from 2001 to 2004, was on Disney Channel, and she has also admitted that she did not watch much television growing up anyway.
But if Eilish didn’t know who Duff was, and she is an avatar of sorts for teens, it could be possible that there is an entire generation out there that remains unaware of the impact Duff has made on music (real Metamorphosis heads will always remember) and pop culture in general.
Duff, who managed to be one of the few Disney Channel stars to mature successfully and still maintains success and popularity with a television career (she currently stars on Younger), has yet to respond.