Monday, February 23, 2015

Shooting Thoughts: True Confessions of a DUFF


The True Confessions of a DUFF

I read The Duff by Kody Keplinger around the time it came out, and while I've been meaning to read it again, I haven't had the chance. Therefore, I will say right now that this post is not going to be a compare and contrast with the book and movie. Yes, I've read the book and I really loved it. But yes, I also saw the movie and really loved that too. I'm one of those people that don't care too much about changes between a book and a movie because they are two separate things. Not everything from a book can or should be translated the same way on screen. With a book like The Duff, I knew people were wary about the movie because it seemed too different, and not for any good reason. One reason that pops up is that Mae Whitman is playing Bianca, and in no way is Mae what someone would call "bigger" or "plus-sized." I think that's alright though, especially after seeing the movie, because Mae isn't stick-thin and not only plus-size boys and girls have issues with their body or have people make fun of them for something physically "wrong" with them.

At any rate, back to the title and how this relates to me. I had never heard the term DUFF before until I read the novel by Kody, but it's a phrase people do use. If you don't know yet, DUFF means Designated Ugly Fat Friend. I have often joked about being the least pretty of my friends or needing to find friends that are skinnier than I am. I say this was a joke because I would never ditch my friends for being skinnier and/or prettier than I am, at least in my eyes, but it was something I saw and it's not a great feeling for someone who doesn't have that much self-esteem to begin with. One of the reasons I used to joke about needing to hang out less with my pretty friends is because in high school and college, I would like certain guys that would ultimately end up liking a friend of mine, someone I deemed prettier. Looks aren't everything though, and it's something to always remember.


I loved that Bianca was known as plus-sized in the book because you don't always see that. So many YA books talk about girls that are smaller or more average. You even get those so-called plain looking girls that somehow have two guys fighting over them. Does this happen in real life? I'm sure it has, but it's not as realistic as YA likes to make you think. So yes, I understand people being upset that a more plus-sized actress wasn't portraying Bianca in the film. It looks like another example of Hollywood taking attractive actresses and pretending they are "ugly" until they get a full makeover. This isn't quite how the movie goes, however. Sure, Bianca in the movie learns to dress a bit more feminine but she doesn't change who she is or what she likes, and I appreciated that. Plus, like I said above, I do think the overall message is that you don't have to actually be a DUFF to think that you are a DUFF. The movie points out that someone will always be prettier or skinnier, so you have to be okay with what you have and who you are to truly be happy.

As for me, I won't say I'm 100% happy with the way I look, but I think it's a work in progress. Most people have something they don't like about themselves physically, whether they think they are ugly, fat, or something else. The DUFF movie might be different from the book, but they keep the message that being yourself is the most important thing, and in the end, that's the main thing.

19 comments:

Melliane said...

Ah complicated topic there. I remember seeing the book a lot around a while ago and I even think we have it in French but I haven't read it. Maybe one day.

Carmel B said...

I'll notice inconsistencies between books & their movie equivalent, but like you, I view them as two separate things, and don't get update over the chances. I haven't read or seen this one, so I'll hand the floor over to other peeps to weigh-in.

Carmel @ Rabid Reads

Kirsty-Marie Jones said...

Exactly, I'm not too bothered about changes in the movie from the book, sometimes it just makes things neater and ties up some lose ends from the book. And sometimes it just makes things better, same with TV shows that are more "based" around the idea of the book (like Vampire Diaries, Pretty Little Liars and The 100). Unless in movies they take out some major thing or a favourite scene, then I get a little annoyed, haha. And yeah, there's something about ourselves that we don't like, it's the same for everybody, it's just human nature.

Erika Sorocco said...

I think it's great to see YA and the film industry placing so much emphasis on this subject because it is something that a lot of girls struggle with - especially with the popularity of social media. It's definitely a step in the right direction towards acceptance.

xx

Kindlemom said...

I read the book a long time ago as well when it was first released but I so want to see the movie. I prefer not reading the book too close to the movies because then all the changes bug me more. I am so glad you liked both!

Tracy Terry said...

Interesting thoughts on the whole book v film debate.

A book I will get around to reading at some point, I've just been waiting for some of the hype surrounding it to die down.

Liviania said...

I think Mae Whitman does work for the casting (although she is way pretty and thinner than most people), because she is supposed to be a DUFF relative to Bella Thorne. Also, I love Mae Whitman, although it would've been great to see an actually plus-sized actress in the role.

Rachel said...

I have never read the book and I didn't even know there was a movie. Honestly I never read it because it seems a little silly and superficial and just like a girly novel in general, but I do see that it addresses some interesting issues.

Heidi Rainy Day Ramblings said...

I havent' read the book so I know nothing about it. So far the bloggers seem to be liking the movie so I plan on watching it. Terrific post, Lauren. You are right, I think we all have issues no matter who we are or what we look like! You just have to learn to be happy and comfortable with who you are.

Brandi Kosiner said...

I liked the book but have been wary about the movie, but sounds like they did it well

Aylee said...

Yeah, I'm sure most of us have felt like a DUFF at some point in our lives. It's pretty prevalent unfortunately, and why that is the case is a huge subject for another post. I like how the book and movie handle that important message though. I still need to read The Duff - hopefully soon! Great thoughtful post, Lauren!

Diva Booknerd said...

Even at 35, I'm still a work in progress too Lauren. I don't think anyone is ever truly happy with they way they look, but you play up to the parts you DO like and as long as you're fit, healthy and with a positive outlook, that's what's really important. You posted up a photo not long ago Lauren, are you're absolutely lovely, besides that, you're all round awesome too.

I must say, I wasn't all that much of a fan of the book. I read it ages ago and for a girl with seemingly low self esteem and seeing herself as the larger and less attractive friend, she didn't seem to have much of an issue with getting her gear off and hopping into bed with whatshisname. She wasn't a big girl either, from how she was described. Even in Australia, the average size woman is a 14, which I believe is a size 10 in the US. I just have real issues with any book that makes light of body issues really, teen girls are at that stage where they are extremely impressionable and I think we need more positivity in our storylines. Lovely review Lauren and thank you so much for sharing your story <3

Midnight Cowgirl said...

I recently saw the trailer for the movie and thought it looked interesting, but I think I'll read the book first :)

Krysten Quiles said...

I totally want to read the book and see the movie!

Medeia Sharif said...

I read the book shortly after it came out and loved it. I'm not a big movie person, but I'd like to see it.

Interesting post about body image and self-esteem.

Bellas Shelf said...

Read the book about two or three years ago and I was thrilled with it. In high school I had a best friend named Janine. She was thin and pretty and so outgoing everybody was drawn to her. I used to feel like they put up with me because she made it clear I was part of the package deal. It was flattering yeah but it also made me feel bad about myself. She never made me feel ugly or like a charity case or whatever. She had a lot of guys attracted to her. I did not like any of them so it didn't bother me. What did bother me was how when she would walk away it was like I did not exist anymore and they would talk about how hot she was. That only happened one time but I'll never forget it.
I remember I wrote a review for the book and I said that I believed all of us had a little Duff in us. I still think that to be true. How many times have we been among our peers and have felt inadequate somehow? Or if you are out of college and you hear about former college pals doing really awesome and you feel like you're not up to par with them.
I cannot wait to see the movie. I do like the actress they picked, but I wish they would have picked somebody that was truly plus sized. I cannot think of any young plus sized actresses right off the top of my head but I am sure they are out there. And that makes me sad that I cannot even think of any off the top of my head that's how rare they are to see in movies.

Candace said...

I'm excited to watch this!

I did read the book when it first came out and liked it. That's probably good that the memory has faded so I won't compare. I do agree that Mae isn't really that large but she looks like she fits the part and she definitely has the personality so I think I'll be happy with it. We shall see!

L-Diggitty said...

Preach it! I wish that, as women, we were kinder to ourselves. We beat ourselves (and each other) up so much for our appearances and, often, really minor flaws. I think there's a lot more self-love messages in the media these days, but there's still a long way to go.

I know you said you weren't going to dwell on them not choosing a plus size model, but it DOES seem a little messed up given the message of the book. I love Mae Whitman though!

Noelia Alonso said...

Very good and interesting topic! I have to say I was very scared when I saw the movie trailer because it looked nothing like the movie. I still haven't seen it yet because it hasn't been aired in Spain (I don't know if it will to be honest) but at least I'm glad the overall message is the same as in the book even though they changed stuff. And I guess we all have felt like a DUFF once (or more like once) but I don't tend to give it much importance now. It's not about comparing ourselves to others, but to accept ourselves for who we are.