Hot Topic Tuesday: Did you ever feel like The DUFF?

DUFF = Designated Ugly Fat Friend

I'd never heard the term "The DUFF" before I heard of the book with the same name by Kody Keplinger. Since we're highlighting Kody's book tomorrow, I thought we'd talk about this term.

 In my group of friends, I think everyone thought two of the girls were beautiful and probably all the rest of us felt like the DUFFs. I wasn't fat, but I felt like it sometimes around my friends, especially when they'd talk about their chubby thighs and then I'd look at mine.

 It's not a fun thing, to feel like the ugly and/or fat one most of the time.

The cool thing about THE DUFF is that it's not a really a book about a girl and her struggle with weight issues, though. Like, that's not really the focus. There's a lot more going on, and we get to know a girl who is struggling on a whole bunch of levels, and isn't that usually how it goes? There's family stuff and personal stuff and boy stuff, and they kind of run together sometimes because it's really hard to keep it all separate.

You'll hear more about the book tomorrow.

Readers who like THE DUFF may also enjoy THE EARTH, MY BUTT AND OTHER BIG ROUND THINGS by Carolyn Mackler.

So, here's what we want to know - did you have a DUFF in your group of friends? 

Did you ever feel like the DUFF yourself? 

If you asked your friends, what do you think they'd say? Is there a chance someone else, maybe more than one person, might have felt like the DUFF too?

One more thing - are you excited to read this book? We are!!


Mindi Scott said...

I have never once felt like the DUFF. Oh, no. I was the DUSF: Designated Ugly Skinny Friend.

I have tiny bones and was very much a "late bloomer," as they say. (Yuck.) It didn't help that I started school a year early and was therefore up to a year younger than some of the other girls in my class. None of these things felt like a blessing when I was a teen.

When I was 15 and 16, some of us girls would go out to a teen dance club in Portland called The Quest. As was the fashion at the time, we'd wear super-tight tops, which were actually bodysuits. (No, seriously.)

So there was usually four or five of us hanging out together in our bodysuits and jeans. I always, always, ALWAYS felt so insecure beside my friends because the way my clothes fit compared to how theirs fit totally highlighted that I did not have curves.

If I were to ask them now, I'm sure that some of them probably did feel like the Duff. Back then, though, I was sure that I was the only one with body issues, of course. :-D

Raven said...

Kody is awesome and I've been waiting months for this book - so yeah, I'm pretty excited!

But, yeah, I feel like the DUFF from time to time. Especially in my sophomore year of high school (I'm a junior as of Sept. 2nd YAY!) but that was because all of my friends were amazingly skinny and beautiful and I was just the geeky fat friend.

It didn't bother me A LOT though, namely because my friends were awesome, and didn't make me feel insecure.

Kathleen said...

I think I've always been the DUFF. Both in high school and in college. I think it's actually one of the reasons I'm so snarky/good at making people laugh. Compensation.

I remember being in the ninth grade and having my friend Tash tell me that it worked in our favor that we weren't as pretty as our friend Frankie--that guys would be too intimidated to ask her out and settle for us.

This was not, as you might expect, quite as comforting as I think Tash meant it to be,

Danielle said...

My older sister pointed out to me a a while ago that every group of girls has at least one "fat" girl. I started seeing this a lot. And one day, years after high school I realized I was the designated "fat" girl in my group of friends.

I have never heard of the term DUFF before the book, but I can absolutely relate to it.

I often feel like the DUFF even in my adult life.

I think everyone does at some point.

Michele Shaw said...

I heard the term the Duff many years ago, and I didn't just feel like the Duff, I WAS the Duff. I wasn't that big, but compared to my bikini clad friends... I was the one who tagged along alone while everyone else had a bf. All the guys spoke to me to get to my cute friends. I had severe insecurity about my bad hair, braces, acne, body type...someone please stop me! The flip side of that is my skinny, cute friend who seemed to have it all in hs led a very unhappy life that continued into her adulthood. I got over my issues and have a full, happy life. Wish I could have seen the whole picture back then. Ah, growing up.

Denise Jaden said...

Like Mindi, I was underdeveloped for much of my young adult life. DUSF.

I think I've been more of a DUFF since high school. My husband is a personal trainer who often trains competitive bodybuilding and fitness competitors. Whenever we go out, I'm often the frump of the group.

Fi-chan (Bookish-Escape) said...

:/ I feel like one. Maybe it's just my insecurities. Doesn't help that some guy friends are so straightforward and tell me that my friends are prettier.

Emily Wing Smith said...

I've always felt like the DUFF of various groups. Then, when I looked at all the pictures of me as DUFF, I noticed something. I basically looked the same as everybody else. I’m no fatter or thinner or uglier or prettier. It wouldn’t matter if I were, of course—self-esteem and all that.

But I think self-esteem is boring. What’s more interesting to me is this: If I, average-looking Em, considered myself the DUFF, which of my average-looking friends considered themselves the DUFF, too? And why is it?

Lindsey Leavitt said...

I that first f can be substituted for anything--skinny, stupid, shy... whatever trait we perceive as our weakness.
Junior High was a huge DUFFish time for me. I didn't have a huge metamorphosis in high school, but my confidence improved and that trickled into other areas

Sara said...

I can't wait to read Kody's book! Having said that, though, I'm really sad that there have to be DUFFs at all. Is the idea that we have to have someone around who we perceive as less attractive in order to feel attractive ourselves (and actually designate that person as such, whether consciously or unconsciously)? That bugs me. I don't think I've ever had a DUFF, and I don't think I've ever been the DUFF. I just can't get my head around the idea of creating that dynamic within my groups of friends. But maybe I'm the odd one out here? Hm...

Melissa Walker said...

I love how Kody points out in the book that every friend feels like the DUFF at certain points. I have definitely felt that way with some friends--still do sometimes! It's a universal feeling, and such a great jumping off point for an awesome book.

Sara said...

Sara again... I totally get how everybody sometimes feels like the frumpy one in their group. I often feel like I'm not as stylish or pretty or cool. I guess it's just the idea of actually choosing someone to hang out with because you think they're less attractive than you and will make you look better - or designating someone in your group to be an ugly duckling of sorts. Wow! (At least that's how Urban Dictionary defines a DUFF...) I really want to read this book, because I'm sure Kody handles it all awesomely. It's just the overall concept of a DUFF that I can't wrap my head around. It feels mean...

The Dangerous Liaison said...

I HAVE read Karen Mackler's book and loved it, and my preordered copy of The Duff will be picked up today. I am ALWAYS the Duff. Always. Especially now in my thirties, when most of my friends are married, but the single ones are extremely attractive and younger and thinner. So going out with them makes me a wingman and the girl the one of the guys has to take the grenade for.

I agree with Kathleen - Being the Duff has made me more sarcastic and funny, which has its own attractiveness

Claire Dawn said...

I was fat. But I'm not ugly. And in my country, a little size is a good thing. Like you said, the DUFF is a mental thing. That was never me. said...

One of the things I love most about Kody's book is how it puts DUFF in perspective. It's really not about an ugly fat girl -- not by a long shot. Like Melissa said, lots of people *feel* like the DUFF at some point, whether they're fat or ugly or whatever perceived weakness, and Kody captures that so well in this book. It's really an honest and raw look at a part of life almost any girl (and woman) can relate to, even decades after high school. Go read it!

Jess (The Cozy Reader) said...

I've never heard of the term and I'd have to say, no, we didn't have a DUFF in our group of friends.

To be honest the title really turns me off. I don't usually read summaries on books so the title and cover have got to hook me one way or another.

I would have no intention of picking this one up in the bookstore but I might make an exception this time because I am participating in the Contemps Challenge. :)

Micol Ostow said...

I have DEFINITELY had my share of DUFF-y moments! I wish I could say I outgrew them the same way I outgrew adolescence, but sadly, not so much.

However, I've been on a kick this year of refusing to "body snark" myself or others, and I have to say, all in all, it's had a positive effect on my own body image. So I recommend it as a tactic!

Kari (Flamingo1325) said...

I've definitely felt like the DUFF alot... my best friend in high school was pretty, skinny and made friends easily.... though we didn't go to the same school. I was good with her, otherwise I was so awkward. My other best friend now is skinny and petite and only about 5'3'' but she had alot of the same social issues I did in high school... and even after. Her husband helped bring her out of her shell, and she's done a lot for me in turn... even if I still have my DUFF moments, and she still has her skinny, anorexic looking girl moments. =)

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