So...who's your friend?

My friend's blog entry, " Should Height Matter ," got me thinking ** about all the prejudices out there in the dating world. ...

My friend's blog entry, "Should Height Matter," got me thinking** about all the prejudices out there in the dating world.  I'm in the "de gustibus non est disputandum" school of thought -- "there's no disputing taste."  We like what we like.  There's no right or wrong.

But that's not the point of this blog post

This post is about the "D.U.F.F." -- the Designated Ugly Fat Friend a/k/a the "Big Fat Friend" a/k/a the "grenade."

Through no fault of my friends (i.e., they aren't/weren't friends with me just so they could look better by comparison, but we were actually people with common interests and mutual affection), I've been treated like a DUFF many times -- the plain friend that's the gatekeeper to the beautiful ladies.  It's not a group of 6 hot bitches, it's a group of 5 hot bitches and their body guard/personnel manager.  Instead of approaching their mark directly, a guy who thinks he's all crafty will cozy up to me and say "That hamburger looks tasty.  So....who's your friend? What's her story?"


In high school, I twice (that I know of) had guys use me to get to my girlfriends.  One of them was especially painful because I was also good friends with him and I would be the one who he'd talk to on the phone, pouring his heart out because she treated him like crap.  And yet, he could never be interested in me, despite being smart, caring, and a great friend.  Completely out of the question.

It didn't stop in college, and it hasn't stopped in my adult dating life.  I'll go to a bar and some guy will chat me up just to ask "When are you going to introduce me to your cute friend over there?" "First, never, because I know she doesn't like guys without balls.  Secondly, stop eating my fries."

The thing is this -- you can have 5 perfect 10 foxes go out together, and invariably one will feel like the DUFF/BFF without having anyone else confirm it.  Heck, maybe all 5 feel like their the DUFF/BFF.  Maybe she's insecure about her intelligence, maybe she thinks she's not as good as a conversationalist as the other.  But trust me, women are comparing themselves to all the other women in the room.  We don't need some douchebag exacerbating the situation. ((Disclaimer -- I know not ALL guys are like this, but the douchebag is ruining it for you too.))

In regards to stereotypes -- I wonder if society regards overweight/obese people as the consummate wingman/wingwoman, the yentas of our social groups.   We're smart, we're funny, we like to have a good time, and society either thinks we're asexual or happy with the leftovers.   We're the sidekicks, the punchlines, the ones left behind. 

Ack this is getting ranty!  Instead of editing, I'm just going to cut it short:  dudes, don't be afraid to look at the DUFF as an actual person that you might consider dating or hanging out with, not just as a means to an end.  You never know, you might find someone you like that will share her fries with you.  And I promise you, I'll try to start looking at short guys as more than just comic relief.



** It also made me think about how we project personality traits onto certain physical types, and how those stereotypes make us have expectations.  Are short people expected to be funny/charming to make up for their lack of height, for example? Do people associate fat people with laziness? How much of body type bias is learned, and how much is intrinsic/evolutionary?

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8 comments

  1. I've had that happen to me, too. A guy at a bar, who started out hitting on me, asked me if I'd set him up with a friend and I asked him if I looked like a pimp. End of conversation.

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  2. amen.

    I feel like that all the time. everyones actions...no matter what they may be...have me judging myself, scrutinizing myself, losing self-confidence with every misinterpretation or correct interpretation.
    i hate that i rely on other people to make me feel good. or beautiful.

    i've seriously loved following your blog. it hasn't been long. but i feel like you speak to so many of us (us being women in general). that you understand where we're coming from cause you've been there.

    thanks for this post - really needed it. today especially!

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  3. Yep...BTDT. I tended to be the gatekeeper...and I wasn't even all that heavy, just supremely insecure (which sometimes came across as supremely NOT insecure). I've noticed that when we go out in groups, group mentality takes over (for both men and women). And the venue turns into the stage where the drama unfolds.

    Based on my experiences and what I know of human nature, we tend to be attracted to (and we tend to attract to us) a specific type and it's based on a lot more than physical attributes. I tended to attract (and was attracted to) foreign men who were unlikely to commit to anything long term. They would be my "boyfriend" but they weren't interested in a relationship and all that comes with one.

    I know I have said this before, but when I met my now husband, it was via an online personal ad (way back before sites like match.com). We exchanged some emails, spoke on the phone, and then met in person (there was no exchange of photos). Neither of us were "attracted" to each other, although that's not to say that we were turned off, either. It was a good thing. :-)

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  4. Yup, I'm a DUFF. Always have been.

    Many years ago I had a guy friend explain the situation to me while we were camping. We weren't particularly close, but he was really upset that I was being teated as a DUFF by a girl we had just met. He kept going on and on about it and actually went as far as to ban her from our camp site.

    It was hideously embarrassing having my group of friends discuss and comment on the situation all weekend. Especially since the guy wasn't as upset about my DUFF status as he was about the fact that she had turned him down. He just wanted to hate her, and he took up my cause instead of focusing on the real reason. Ironically, he has used me as a DUFF more times than I can count to gain points with my female friends.

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  5. You know, I got no words for anyone on this one. No positive silver lining. It's just a sad state of affairs that some people can only feel good about themselves when they're actively/passively putting another person down.

    Like it'd be really nice if we were *decent* to each other because that's how we wanted to be treated.

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  6. Wow, what a great post. Great because I started reading and I knew exactly what you meant.
    I was in love with a guy in high school (and by in love, I mean distractingly writing his name in my school books while the teacher was speaking).
    He used to call me every night to ask about my best friend.
    I'll never forget it because I promised myself I'd never put myself in that position again (willingly).

    It sucks, but it's something some of us have to deal with. That's why sometimes people think I have a thick armor on 24/7. Experience.

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  7. Wow. Until recently I never really had female friends, so never had this happen to me. BUT, I can certainly empathize! I have the experience when meeting a new group of people of being dismissed at first because of my size (larger than everyone else since it's usually a skinny crowd). It's not until the conversation starts and I show I have done interesting things and can talk on a lot of topics that people start wanting to talk to me because they want to, not because they're stuck being polite.

    I'm glad I have a thick skin or it would be downright depressing.

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  8. Well, it's not always girls treating other girls as the DUFF -- but guys will pick out the DUFF and separate her from the group.

    I think people need to wear some sort of a blindfold when meeting new people -- physical attraction is only one element. Gotta have a brain too, yanno?

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<3 Robby