Tuesday, September 14, 2010

What it means to be a DUFF?

Last weekend I read the book The Duff.  By now, if you've been following any YA blog you've heard about it.  The release was almost as exciting as the Mockingjay. 

I know I said I was going to do a full review on it,  but I also figure by now lots of people have done their reviews and you know exactly how awesome it is.  I also figure it's going to top a LOT of people's best books of September list on the YA Highway WRT.

I will say it was a solid read, enjoyable, completely believable.  And since Kody is a teenager herself, it's nice to know I got a lot of the lingo and mannerisms right for my own novel. 

For those of who you don't know, a DUFF is a designated ugly fat friend, and according to the book, every group of girls has one.  So look at your friends, if all of them are hot, chances are, you're the DUFF.

Ok that was a little mean, sorry.

In reality though every group has a weak link, one who is either less attractive then the rest, not as smart, too smart, or just can't seem to get their life in order.

There's a dude, I don't remember his name so I don't want to misquote him, but he came up with the idea of relationship economics.  EVERYTHING has a value.  Including relationships.  You "spend" time or energy or emotions on a person and in return you get "something."  Most of times its trust, compassion, humor, a mental break from reality.  Sometimes the relationship is physical but most of the time it's not. 

If you are the Duff of your group, then chances are you are there because it benefit you too.  You're in a cooler crowd or they have a car and you need a ride or something.

I'm not sure if I was the Duff of my group in high school.  I felt like one, or more like a butterface, (butterface definition:  cute body but her face, yuck). AUTHOR'S NOTE:  I didn't post that line so I could get all sort of comments about how I'm not a butterface because I'm using the term to prove a point.    But I hung out with my friends, because they made me laugh and I made them laugh.  I pride myself on being funny despite the current topic of this blog.  My friends were there for me when my cousin passed away.  They were good people.  I didn't mind being the Duff of my group. Whatever.

Besides if relationships have their own economy then some people are long term investments.  I might have been around to make other people look more attractive, but flash forward 13 years and damn, some of my friends are just train wrecks--- thank you facebook for making me feel good about myself.

I'm not saying some of my friends got fat, but I am going to question their ability to pick a profile picture... THAT'S THE BEST PICTURE YOU COULD FIND! Seriously?
Or on the other extreme some people never grew up, never left college and high school.  They look like they should be auditioning for a VH1 reality show. 

Back to the point, everyone is a duff or a butterface or pig, dog, bitch or whatever.  We give ourselves the labels because of our own self esteem issues.  Or other people give us the name because of their self esteem issues.

And let's face another fact, we ALL have someone in our lives we keep around just to make ourselves feel good about ourselves.  That one person who attracts drama like fresh shit attracts flies.  They can't get their lives together.  They are the comparison, the gauge, we all have to figure out how far we've come, to make us feel good about ourselves.

Everyone is SOMEONE's DUFF.

Go forth and read the book.

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  1. Dane Cook had a bit saying how every group has *that* friend. The one you're buddy-buddy with but talk smack about behind their back. And if you say your friends don't do that, then you're *that* friend.

    Being the DUFF is the same concept just in different packaging. I wasn't *that* friend because my friends talked about EVERYONE (and I do mean everyone) but one of my besties treated me as a DUFF. Definitely not a fuzzy feeling.

  2. 100% true, all the time, and I'd say that is definitely the message I took away from Kody's book. In any given group you are the DUFF -- if not in attractiveness then in intelligence, or connections, or money or whatever.

    I loved that Kody said she felt she had to write the book after talking to her friends and realizing they ALL felt like they were the DUFF. Accepting that, and recognizing it in others, makes the world a whole lot easier to live in.