Are You “The Duff”? The Designated Ugly Fat Friend

February 15, 2015  |  

If you’re into comedic films that star or cater to teenagers, then you’ll probably enjoy The Duff opening in theaters next weekend. When I first saw the trailer, I wondered what a “duff” was – and then they explained that it means the “designated ugly fat friend.” Ouch. The film is about, as you can guess, a high school senior who instigates a social pecking order revolution after finding out that she has indeed been labeled as the “designated ugly fat friend” to her prettier, more popular friends. While that all seems very “high school” and immature, I wondered how many adult women keep certain company in order to make themselves look or feel better.

At this stage in my life, I can’t imagine I’d need to “designate” my friends as anything other than true friends. I don’t look at women and decide to befriend them based on their looks, their weight or any other superficial trait. And I consider ALL of my female friends to be beautiful women, both inside and out. Additionally, I don’t feel “diminished” or “elevated” in any of their presence as well. Hopefully they judge me the way I judge them – on their character, not their looks. But is this more common in adult women that I think?

If I were to ask my male friends, they’d say all my friends were “hot” and that pretty women flock together. But there is always a “fat” friend, a “funny” friend or a “not as attractive” friend in the bunch to “balance things out.” While I will say that I have a diverse group of friends, I never put labels on them or placed them in a certain box. Even if our physical differences were apparent – I’m taller than almost all of my friends at 5’10 – it’s not like I said to myself, “I must have tall women in my circle so I don’t feel like I tower over everyone.” Nor did I say “I need to keep a bunch of short women around so that I appear to be statuesque.” Black, white, brown, short, tall, thin or thick – if you’re a good person, I can rock with you – period.

But do you feel that you surround yourself with a certain group of women in order to “stand out?” Or do you ever feel like YOU might be the ugly friend? The fat friend? I mean, we all have our insecurities, whether you consider yourself attractive with “pretty girl problems” or not. And even if you feel that you look “average” or like the girl next door, there may be a time or two where you feel invisible next to one of your skinnier, taller, hotter friends. It happens to all of us.

But if your friends don’t make you FEEL like you need to compete, then it’s all probably in your head. No two friends are exactly alike, or at least they shouldn’t strive to be anyway. My two best friends and I couldn’t be any more different from each other, but I don’t feel like I need to keep up with my super model BFF who lives a fabulous life on Long Island any more than I feel the need to compare myself to my super mom BFF who lives in a suburb in Pennsylvania.

If you truly love yourself, then your friends will, or should, love you for who you are as well. There is no need to compete, measure up to or be the “designated” anything amongst your lady friends. Good friends will love you for you. And if you feel that you need to surround yourself with people you deem a “duff,” then YOU are the one who is ugly, not the other way around.

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