A new film has been brought to my attention by a national journalist looking to do a real life feature on being a DUFF, or the Designated, Ugly, Fat Friend. I’m not going to spend too much time on this but think it’s worthy of a short post because it made me really annoyed.
The journalist asked: “Were / Are you the less popular, less attractive, more unique person in your close circle of female friends?
Great start. Got my interest at least.
A DUFF isn’t necessarily fat or ugly – perhaps just a little nerdy, a little less pretty and a little less popular. She’s the less intimidating one who gets approached on nights out by guys eager to get closer to her better looking friends, like a gate keeper.
She’s not necessarily fat or ugly, just less pretty and less popular. As if that makes it less bigoted. And what’s a gatekeeper?
Were / are you the quirky and more independently minded but slightly less attractive member of your friendship group? Were / are you always on the sidelines of romance, the last to be invited to parties or simply invited so you’d bring your friend with the supermodel looks?”
And finally, finishing her humble query with:
This is going to be a really honest and reflective piece and, fundamentally, positive.
Oh, it’s going to be positive is it? I almost want to see this article published in our national press, just to see how something that so painfully type-casts women can possibly be positive.
It’s just not how we ought to be portraying young women anymore, and encouraging young girls to categorise themselves into some kind of ‘ugly-but-quirky-so-it’s-fine’ group is backward thinking and plainly unhealthy. Even if the ‘message’ might be some vague, spurious nod to self-acceptance in later life.
A recent survey into self-esteem amongst young women in the UK showed that only 33% if girls aged between 14 and 15 felt good about themselves. Girls ranked ‘the way they looked’ as their biggest worry. Two thirds said they wanted to lose weight, with these worries far outweighing any concerns around school work or home life.
Message to the creators of DUFF (officially the shittest film of 2015, despite having not yet been released*) and to the national journalist looking to give more voice to this ludicrous dross of a film – this is crass and can only add to the problems we have with young women’s self esteem and women’s place in society in general.
I know it’s a film, but…give me strength!
*According to The Busy Cow