The Duff: Beyond the labels

Hannah Preston, Staff Writer

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Everyone has their breaking points in high school:  getting a C on that one big exam that you studied so hard for, seeing your ex with their new bae, growing apart from your best friend since elementary school…  Bianca’s, however, comes in quite the rude awakening when she is unceremoniously told that she is the DUFF – the designated ugly fat friend – in her friend group.  As the one hopeful individuals cross before approaching her more attractive and popular best friends, Bianca has a very strong self-esteem and approachable demeanor.  It had never occurred to her that the entire student body had placed a label on her, and the fact that no one bothered to tell her troubles her deeply.  Along with the help of her neighbor and childhood friend, Wesley, who also happens to be one of the hottest boys in school, she sets out to change the way people see her and prove that she is most certainly not a DUFF, especially to Toby Turner, her long-time object of interest.

Released on February 20, 2015, The Duff opened fifth in the box office.  As of March 22, it had brought in a cumulative $32.5 million.  Adapted from the young adult novel of the same name, The Duff showed a lot of character development and a very different plot than what originally was written.

Appealing to a large teenage demographic with its reputable cast, The Duff has the perfect style of humor which shows a clear effort to connect with today’s youth rather than the same over-played sense that often goes hand in hand with comedies about the lives of teenagers.

Many have said that The Duff is simply another teen comedy telling the horror stories of bullying and social hierarchies that are common in the halls of a high school, but this is one of the first that, as someone that has seen the destruction that a label can do to someone, I have truly related to on a personal level, and I think everyone else can, too.  Bianca is a character that you can respect for her will-power and inner strength, and even though she may not always be heading in the right direction, she finds a way to fix her mistakes and mend the things that matter most to her.  To her, the label as a DUFF is just that:  a label.  This message shows that there is life after mean girls and parties and dates gone bad.

Everyone is a DUFF whether you like it or not.

Learn to embrace it.

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