Breaking through typical stereotypes to bring a new one into the spotlight

Designated ugly fat friend. According to the new film ‘DUFF,’ every group has one. The DUFF is that approachable, friendly, not so attractive friend in your clique that makes you feel better about your self. DUFF sheds light onto this stereotype that, previously, didn’t have a catchy name attached to it.

In the film, Bianca (Mae Whitman) never thought of herself of anything less than her friends, Casey (Bianca A. Santos) and Jess (Skyler Samuels). When Madison (Bella Thorne) has a big party, Bianca is approached by Wes (Robbie Amell), the “cool jock,” who informs her of her DUFF status. Bianca initially responds by throwing her drink in Wes’ face, but afterward she considers what he said more carefully.

At first, she wonders how she didn’t see it before, but for Bianca, once she saw the DUFF’s, she couldn’t un-see them. Bianca began noticing the DUFF’s in each social group at school, she noticed that the friend who fits in, personality wise, but doesn’t look like their group, was typically a DUFF. Knowing that people saw her as the DUFF in her social clique, she began questioning if Jess and Casey were truly her friends, or were using her to be their DUFF. Bianca’s response was simple and deliberate: Unfriend.

“During the movie, my friends and I were laughing so hard,” senior Patricia Borycz said, “because we realized that we’re all the DUFF of our group.”

In her publications class, Mr. Arthur (Ken Jeong) assigned Bianca the homecoming dance story against her will. To write the story about what homecoming meant to her, she knew she had to attend the dance, but she was determined to change her appearance beforehand, and not enter the room as a DUFF of any group.

In her quest to swap DUFF for datable, she enlisted the help of Wes. They made an arrangement: Wes would reverse her DUFF status, and she would help him pass chemistry.

Going through the three stages of “reverse duffing,” Wes helped Bianca change how she dressed, acted, and talked. Changing the way she acted came in handy when the guy she liked, Toby (Nick Eversman), asked her on a date.

“Either there is a DUFF, or they aren’t any in real life,” actor Robbie Amell said.

Being the DUFF was just a way to expose that stereotypes don’t exist nor do they matter. Bianca showed that by explaining that you can either be a DUFF or be nothing at all, because stereotypes are just what you make of them. They don’t make or break you, they are just something to either boost you up or knock you down.

“I had to remember how painful high school was for me,” actress Bella Thorne said. “I was bullied and I had to go back to those painful times.”

Students agreed that the movie was funny, but also made them think about their role in high school and how they fit in with their friends.

“Looking back to junior high and at high school,” junior Tayler Pezanowski, “it made me think about what I could have done differently. I was always so quiet, and I wonder if I wasn’t what might have changed.”

The movie advocates for teenagers to try to ignore what is said, because eventually high school will end, and all of the stereotypes will disappear.

“It’s a different kind of movie,” actress Mae Whitman said. “This movie didn’t have the understanding of the stereotypes, it showed the transparent stereotype.” Throughout the movie, they break down the labels making them unimportant.”

Just remember, you’re always the DUFF to somebody, and that’s a good thing, love yourself.