*This is an unedited version I wrote a year ago but couldn’t put myself to publish. Here it is anyway because I shouldn’t be embarrassed of who I was, or who I am. No one should. And neither should you.*
If you have ever seen the movie “The Duff” you’ll know what it means. But if you haven’t, it is simply an abbreviation for ‘Designated Ugly Fat Friend’. They are the kind of friend that almost every group has; the kind of friend who is the ‘approachable’ one. He/she is the friendliest of all the people in the group among the rest of style divas or rock stars. If you look around you’ll see a DUFF in every group. They may not be ugly or fat but the essence of this is that they are the people who are in front of their friends and guard them from all sorts of people out there.
I was a DUFF and this is my story.
This is about 4 years ago. I had a best friend. She was beautiful, intelligent and kind to me. We met in 8th standard and we were inseparable since. We went everywhere together. We ate our food in the recess together, played games together and talked to each other almost every day. She was the best ‘best friend’ I ever got.
At that time I was more of a shy girl and I didn’t know how to talk to boys and what to talk about. It was then that my best friend came to rescue me. She used to talk flawlessly to them and I decided to learn by observing her. But unfortunately my social skills didn’t permit me to even open my mouth in front of them.
Then came a time when most of the boys came to talk to me. They’d ask random question about my best friend and I’d happily answer thinking I was improving my talking skills. It was practice.
Everything went smoothly until my best friend ended up in a different class than mine because of the subjects she chose. We talked for about a few months but we both knew we were slowly getting apart due to studies and lack of time: she went to study in an academic institute after school so that left us with no good time together. This growing apart costed us and we both lost touch even though we were still in the same school.
Then she got new friends and I got too but I never forgot her. But I guess she did. During my last few months at school she would often pass by and won’t even notice me.
We are no more best friends. I still feel bad for our friendship and her.
It was not until I saw the movie few months ago that I came to know what happened with me 4 years ago. I was the DUFF. There are many things that are mentioned in the movie and I don’t want to spoil you so I’ll just tell you the basic things.
The DUFF is the one that more friendly. That was me. The DUFF is also the one who’s more approachable: for their friends. I was that too. Boys came to me to ask about my best friend. The DUFF is often caught either talking to their friends or talking about their friends to other people. That as me too.
And as I saw the movie I realized I was a DUFF (I’m no longer one). To tell you the truth being a DUFF is nothing to be ashamed of. It sure feels like an atomic bomb when people point that out in your high school but it is not bad after all. Actually it’s nothing but a silly abbreviation created to make people feel bad.
Here’s what I think.
A DUFF is a normal person like you and me. A DUFF is only labeled that because of the fact that they hang out with people who are not like them. Like in the movie Bianca, the main lead, has two beautiful best friends and she feels judged when she is with them. She feels that everyone will judge her by comparing her with her best friends. The thing she feared was the people’s thinking about the outer breauty. Sure Bianca was beautiful from inside but are there people who still believe that people are actually beautiful from inside. After hearing that she’s actually a DUFF she breaks her friendship off with her two best friends.
At the end of the movie she comes to know that they were actually her best friends. She felt bad because of the fact that she was the one when guys came to, to talk about her best friends. But then she understood she’s no DUFF, she’s herself. And she’s proud to be someone who’s different from others.
If you’re reading this and you think you’re a DUFF, cheer up. It’s no bad thing. It’s something which will help you to be you. If people say you’re a DUFF, say yes and move forward. Be the bigger person. Dress up like you want. Eat what you want. And be the people you want. Be the approachable one or choose to be different. It’s all your choice.
But just remember: You being the DUFF is something that’s temporary. A few years from now you’ll realize that you are no more the person you were before. You changed, for the better.