Learning Life Lessons from Fiction

In college one of my school assignments was a group project to create an online magazine. I had forgotten all about it until I was checking a friend’s bookshelf for something to borrow and saw a copy of  Kody Keplinger’s debut novel. One of my “articles” had been inspired by the book, as I’d just read it that year (book review here). It took me a bit to gain access to the site as no one could remember the password, but I was finally able to and saw that people were still leaving us comments!  Some people thought my article helpful, some wondered if it would really work, and others said it would turn you into a clone. I’ve posted my article below… What do y’all think? 


the-duff.33908If you have never heard of the term “duff” before, you are not the only one. This slang term may not be of a recent creation, but it is only now becoming well known since the appearance of a young adult novel called The Duff by Kody Keplinger.

The word is actually an acronym for “designated ugly fat friend”, the person who is least attractive in a group of friends —usually girls. Some females look for a duff to befriend so they will look more attractive and feel better about them selves by comparison, while others are drawn to each other subconsciously.

While the terminology may be popular among teenagers, it is not just in youth that the feeling of being a duff prevails. At some time in your past, or maybe you are currently struggling with the issue now, you have felt unattractive and insecure about your looks, as well as who you are as a person.

Even if you think you are the duff in your circle and will forever be the duff, think again. It doesn’t always have to be that way, because there is a way for you to stop being the duff.

Feel Invisible?

The designated ugly fat friends are known for being less noticeable than their counterparts. This is not necessarily because you are less attractive, but more because your personality allows you to blend into the woodwork.

If you want to be noticed then get noticed! Stand up straight and keep your head high, be proud of who you are as it is confidence that will draw attention. If you are on the shy side, there is a reason for the saying “fake it until you make it.” Just pretend you are happy and self-assured and everyone will think you are… even if you are quivering inside.

Feel Unattractive?

The letters U and F in duff stand for ugly and fat, two of the descriptors that are attributed to the less-fortunate friend. The key to overcome this dreadful appellation is to figure out what your best traits are, and then make the most of them. Not only accentuate your best physical trait, but also within your personality.

Yes, many guys want to be seen with someone who is considered pretty, but sometimes your attitude can make you seem beautiful even when you consider yourself to be just average looking.

Feel Alone?

You may find yourself the duff of the group —at least for the night— when you find yourself standing off to the side with no one to speak to, and it seems that no one is willing to speak to you either.

That is when you need to stop and assess how someone might see you at that particular time. You need to be fully aware of what your body language is saying to those around you, and ensure it is giving the message you want others to see.

If you are scowling or have your arms crossed, this may be intimidating and prevent people from approaching you. If you are fidgeting, looking around and possibly playing with your hair, this indicates that you are uncomfortable and may make others uncomfortable about the idea of being near you.

What you should do when you find yourself in the situation of standing by yourself is ensure that your facial expression is not unhappy or uncertain, but one that is open and friendly. It also helps if you attempt to converse with others nearby rather than merely hide in the corner.

Feel Ousted?

When you have gorgeous and gregarious friends, as the duff you may find yourself on the periphery of the crowd as mentioned above. Rather than mingle on the edges looking for a way in, move away and start chatting with someone.

When you are on the outside looking in, you are likely giving off an “outcast” vibe rather than a “hot-stuff” vibe. By becoming a major player in a different conversation from your friend you will seem worth talking to in your own right and possibly draw a crowd.

Feel Unintelligent?

It is not hard to believe that duffs are frequently the bookworms and brainiacs of the group, but even they can feel lost when conversing with those who aren’t close friends with them.

Making small talk is almost always a chore, but it can become easier if you do your “homework”. It is a good idea to peruse magazines, keep up to date with the news, track trends via social media, be familiar with popular TV shows, and read the latest bestsellers. This will give you a wide variety of topics to talk about without seeming like a spinster or a square.

While this will not cause guys to make a mad dash to your side, eventually someone will talk to you. And if they find you are interesting to hang out with, they may not leave your side once they find themselves there.

Feel Un-Duffed!

The main trick to loosing your duff-like status is to stay true to who you are. You do not stop being the designated ugly fat friend by changing your personality, your looks, or your beliefs, but by becoming confident in who you are and being comfortable in any situation.

Everyone is different, and rather than assume this means you are not attractive, think about the fact that all men will not be interested in the same woman. For as many guys that find your best friend to be smoking hot, just as many men are likely to be secretly crushing on you.

So get out there and show the world who you are, because that person is anything but the designated ugly fat friend!

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Author: JaimeKristal

JaimeKristal is a freelance editor and writer. She started her book review blog "Tales of a Booklover" for the enjoyment of sharing her love of reading.

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