National Eating Disorders Association

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brookespre
The DUFF

So, by now I am sure most of you have heard about the film, The DUFF, which comes out in theaters today. DUFF stands for "Designated Ugly Fat Friend". The first thing I notice in the adverstisements for the film is the actress playing the "DUFF", Mae Whitman, is neither ugly nor fat by any means. Her BMI is in the good range and she is perfectly healthy and "normal" looking as far as actress standards go. Having her play this character that they call ugly and fat, in my opinion, has the potential to be very damaging and send a horrible message to girls everywhere. Most girls are her size, not model-esque like the non-DUFFs that play the cool girls. It's deeply dissapointing that a girl with normal proportions and everyday looks is finally the star of a movie, only to be broadcast as "ugly and fat". This film has the potential to be very triggering for those of us who have struggled with body image and eating disorders. Young girls will see this and think that this is the standard for being overweight, once again reinforcing the impractical beauty standards that Hollywood tries to shove down our throats. Bottom line: I think this film is sending a horrible message to girls by broadcasting someone who is clearly healthy and beautiful as a "Designated Ugly Fat Freind". I'm pretty sure that having a DUFF is not a very common thing, but now girls will be paranoid that maybe that's what they are.

This movie also follows the typical highschool story that ends with the loser finally getting the girl/guy of their dreams and being accepted by everyone, because clearly girls cannot lead happy lives and love themselves without first getting a boyfriend and becoming popular.

Highschool girls are the primary demographic seeing this movie, and they are the ones who will be the most damaged by seeing it. They also do not realize that none of the "higschoolers" are HIGHSCHOOL AGED. The actress who plays the DUFF is 27, and the youngest actress is 18. Hardly a realistic depiction of what a higschooler should look like, but most teens watching won't know that. I don't recommend anyone see this movie, ecspecially young girls and anyone who has ever struggled with body image and an eating disorder. Don't let the Hollywood standards of what highschool should be like and what you should look like warp your view of how beautiful and unique you truly are.

Does anyone have any other viewpoints or comments on this movie or any other movies coming out?

hannahls
brookespre

brookespre,

I completely agree with everything you said in this post. This media already portrays skinny women as what everyone else should strive to be, but this movie goes beyond that - not just showing skinny women as idols, but showing a supposedly "ugly/fat" woman as the anti-idol who needs to be changed. I also agree with what you said about their actress playing the "DUFF" - if someone watching the movie notes that this actress as actually smaller than they are, what does that make them? Gigantic? Obese. It is a real problem. Obviously it is "just a movie," etc, but I think it could definitely be triggering for the naturally self-conscious audience it attracts.

:(
Hannah