Why The DFFF?
I was in my final form on a wintery night: topless, laptop balanced perfectly atop my belly and a muted VH1 reality series on my television. As I sipped on my favorite sparkling red wine, a commercial popped up for a film titled "The Duff".
My brow furrowed. My eyes rolled.
The designated ugly fat friend. She's typically frumpy in aesthetic and tragic in attitude. She's either jolly, depressive, or an introvert without an ounce of self-esteem. She's never the object of anyone's affection mostly because she's got the Internet, carbs, and books to keep her company. Most of all, she's simply there to take up space literally and figuratively. She's a shell. Nothing more, nothing less. She's a walking bag of meh.
Another long sip ensued, this time evoking a period of deep thought. Was I the DUFF of my group?
I mean, sure. It's well documented that I was always a bit more fleshy than the girls I chilled with. It was seldom that we shared clothes (my overnight outfit planning HAD to be on point or else). A girls' shopping trip, up until recently, had been a nightmare (plus size apparel didn't start popping until 2010, if we're calling a spade a spade). While they complained about feeling fat, I WAS fat. Maybe I was just that token girl.
But ugly? Me? A bit harsh, no?
I thought back on a quote by author Wendy Shanker that's stuck with me for about three years now. In her book, The Fat Girl's Guide to Life, she says "when I say I'm fat, more often than not someone says to me, 'You're not fat, you're really beautiful.' Or the classic 'such a pretty face' comment rears its ugly head. Fat and beautiful are not opposites. They do not cancel each other out. I am fat and beautiful.” There's no need to scold me when I use the dreaded "F" word to describe myself. As I reach the latter half of my 20s, I have opted not to RSVP to my personal pity party. Why should I let the stigma around an adjective affect the way I view my body, my ability, my activity, and my worth? If I'm the designated fat friend, so be it. A little chub won't get in the way of the physical, spiritual, and financial glo that is in my future inevitably.
That night, The DFFF was born.
My narrative is a special one. I'm chocked full of tales that most wouldn't believe. It's a conundrum, though. On one hand, my journey is definitely molded by my "fatness". My self-esteem struggle and journey into self-love, my interaction with men, my will to be so involved in the plus-size community are all so heavily influenced by my body's appearance and the emotions I've harbored towards her. It's made me who I am. It's helped me love who I am. It's not all of me, though. There's layers to this shit and that's just the surface.
I wanted to be able to show off this beautiful life I live and share my experiences with whomever wanted to read them. I needed to appropriate that term, making it something I'd be proud of instead of hurt by. I had to dab on them folk and show that we fat girls really DO the damn thing. Creating my own digital space was the best way to do that.
So, why the DFFF, you ask?
Because "ugly" will never be a word I'll associate with myself or my lifestyle.
Because robbing my roots of proper care prevents my flower from blooming.
Because I'm a phenomenal fat broad with ill ass stories to tell.