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The D.U.F.F in Us

I never heard of the term/ abbreviation D.U.F.F (Designated Ugly Fat Friend) not until I came across the movie The DUFF which was released February of this year.  It might be a little late to talk about it by now (for those who haven’t watched yet, maybe this is a great opportunity to watch it) but I still want to highlight the positive message of the story.


Well yes, some may say that this is nothing but “yet another childish victimized teen” plot that you saw before. And even the movie apologetically explained that by being a DUFF doesn’t literally mean “fat and ugly” but he or she is the “third girl” who hangs out with her prettier pals, or that “awkward looking guy” who is with a bunch of popular jocks, or that “goofy kid” who is always the butt of jokes in a group is REAL.

DUFF is Real (not just in high school, it goes past that).

It is but sad that we live in a world where social hierarchy or some may call it social stratification exists. There is always a demarcation line where people are categorized based on their socioeconomic strata like occupation and how much income they generate, wealth and social status, or derived power (social and political).

And if you research further, you will see that yes—it is not just in our generation today but it has been…ever since, even the Bible talks about it. Even animals have this hierarchy.

Just like bullying, I so believe that everybody had experienced being a DUFF at one point of our lives (or might still be experiencing until now). Being that “awkward person” who hangs out with the coolest, most popular girls in the class. The wallflower who uncomfortably sits in a corner watching her friends being asked to dance the entire night. The person who is always the gateway so guys can get information about your "cute girlfriend” or that “approachable friend” who is being handed with not-so-anonymous letters of lovesick girls to his “popular buddy” or that employee who is with the “best of the best” or “future team lead” or that “hot chick” in the office.  

The feeling of being passed by as if we don’t exist hurts! To be invisible to others and not being seen as who we really are. But the question is- “What will you do about it?”

You Can Definitely Un-DUFF Yourself

Yes, you might be “not that good looking compared to your girlfriends” or have that sexy chin like George Clooney but who cares? Just like what the movie emphasized—everybody is a DUFF. Even the most popular girl in your class, the most intelligent people in the planet, the richest and the most famous celebrities have all insecurities. And there is always someone who is better than them. There is always someone better than us.

But that doesn’t mean that we have to remain on that “designated spot” and be scared to go out of our comfort zone forever. Instead of you sulking around and feeling sorry for yourself, look at yourself in the mirror, look directly in your eyes and say “Hey, I am fearfully and wonderfully made by God!” And do something about it.

Celebrate all the good qualities that you have and highlight those that inspire you the most in life, draw closer to God and build a relationship, being positive and accepting yourself according to God’s purpose is the key. And please bear in mind not to do the same thing of stereotyping people around you just because the society does. It is a domino effect. If you stop thinking what other people think about you, then do the same. Instead, focus on their personalities and the beauty that they emit, not just on the outer surface, know their hearts.

Let your inner shine radiant outside. When you feel good about yourself; that's all that matters actually.

In the end, just like what the movie states, “it isn't about popularity or even getting the guy. It's about understanding that no matter what label is thrown your way, only you can define yourself.”

So next time someone made you feel like a DUFF, just swat if off and shrug it out!

I was the Duff. And that was a good thing. Because anyone who didn't feel like the Duff must not have friends. Every girl feels unattractive sometimes. Why had it taken me so long to figure that out? Why had I been stressing over that dumb word for so long when it was so simple? I should be proud to be the Duff. Proud to have great friends who, in their minds, were my Duffs.” Kody Keplinger

Image credit: The DUFF movie posters

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