Take a Movie’s Advice is a weekly column attempting to discover the similarities between our favorite movies and real life. Grab some popcorn, sit back, and enjoy the show.
With the stress of tough academic courses and the struggle to maintain a healthy social life at the same time, it’s easy to succumb to the expectations of our peers. Every day it may seem like you’re surrounded by bubbly personalities, intelligent scholars, compassionate advocates, and high-achieving young professionals.
In college especially, it's tempting to compare yourself to others, especially when those around you seem to have so many accomplishments.
The result? Feeling inadequate, inferior, defeated, and even envious. We've all been there.
But in reality, there is no comparison to be made when it comes to who you are and who you have the potential to be. You just have to get your own self confidence up.
When it comes to boosting your self-confidence, there’s one genuine gal that comes to mind – The DUFF’s very own Bianca Piper.
Here are four tips for becoming more confident, courtesy of her story:
About the Movie:
Based on the novel of the same name by Kody Keplinger, The DUFF is a 2015 teenage comedy following Bianca Piper (Mae Whitman), an aspiring journalist who’s currently living up her senior year of high school with best friends Jess (Skyler Samuels) and Casey (Bianca Santos).
Everything is going well – she has high academic rankings at school, supportive friends, and a caring mom by her side.
That is, until her neighbor, Wesley Rush (Robbie Amell) passively reveals that she is the DUFF, or “Designated Ugly Fat Friend,” of her friend group.
While Wesley defends his stance by claiming that the term doesn’t necessarily mean a person is ugly or fat by any means, the label offends Bianca. As it should!
She suddenly notices small details in everyday interactions with fellow classmates. Most ask her about her friends instead of herself, leading Bianca to believe that she is less popular and more 'approachable,' the mark of a DUFF.
But after overhearing that Wesley could lose his football scholarship due to low grades in chemistry, Bianca strikes a plan to have him help her start being the “datable one and not the approachable one.” Her words, not mine.
From embarrassing videos going viral to attractive crushes, homecoming dances, and uncomfortable situations galore, Bianca sure lives the tumultuous high school movie experience. However, with the help of her trusty neighbor, she learns that she can keep her flannel and wear it too.
Here's what Bianca can teach us all about self-confidence:
1. Channel your strengths.
From the beginning of the film, it’s clear that Bianca is intelligent, thoughtful, and ambitious. While she maintains a top performance in her classes, it’s her love for writing that propels her to excel in her journalism class. Her wit and contagious sense of humor leave her readers wanting more.
In life, there is always room for improvement, but make sure you don’t dwell on your weaknesses too much.
We all have our little niche "thing" – whether it’s design, coding, writing, or anything in between - that we enjoy and may even excel at. This "thing" makes us unique. Taking note of our achievements in this area, whether tiny or massive, can ultimately result in higher confidence levels.
What are you waiting for? You know you're good at some things. Compliment yourself today.
2. Confront your fears.
In his quest to make Bianca "dateable", Wesley advises her to strike up conversations with random guys at the mall (probably one of the more intimidating tasks EVER) so she'll be comfortable when she finally talks to her crush later in the film.
While her first attempts are awkward and cringe-worthy, the experience teaches Bianca to not be afraid of making mistakes or saying the wrong words.
This is such an important lesson for all of us. Fear -- whether it's of failure, embarrassment, or disappointment -- can cause us to miss opportunities to succeed. It's okay to be scared. It's not okay to let that fear cripple you and stop you from taking risks.
So instead of focusing on any anxieties or nerves that come with leaving your comfort zone, turn those feelings into excitement. Feel the fear and do it anyway.
Also, remember that everything -- even the act of doing scary things -- gets easier with practice: Every time you do something scary, you build that muscle for stepping outside of your comfort zone. Soon, you'll be taking more chances and risks than you ever dreamed possible.
3. Good vibes only.
When reality-star-wannabe Madison (Bella Thorne) shares an embarrassing video of Bianca to the entire school, everyone has a different view of the fiery high school senior.
Bianca's phone, in true catty high school form, is suddenly flooded with negative comments online. This leads Bianca to be more wary of her interactions with others.
However, once Bianca realizes that it doesn’t really matter if everyone knows about her crush on Toby (Nick Eversman), life gets a whole lot easier for her.
The lesson here is to let things go, and to prioritize your own happiness.
Replacing negative thoughts with positive ones is a good trick for being your own best friend. Regardless of the situation, don’t be too hard on yourself. Ask yourself -- does this criticism and nastiness I'm putting on myself really, truly matter? If not (and 99% of the time, it doesn't), stop dwelling on it.
Besides, shouldn’t you treat yourself in the kind way that you treat others?
4. Own your personal style.
While it’s helpful (and fun!) to keep up with the current fashion trends, at the end of the day, you should wear what makes you feel the most comfortable and free.
Style is all about the expression of self and not about a repetition of society’s standards.
In order to prepare for the homecoming dance, Bianca seeks help from Jess, who also just so happens to be a budding fashion designer. Together, they work to formulate an outfit that is reminiscent of Bianca’s true style. Flannel and all.
No matter the current trends, it's important to understand your own sense of style. Style is just another awesome thing that sets you apart from the crowd -- embrace yours and love it!
Do you ever compare yourself to others? Have any additional tips you'd like to share? What movie should we watch next? Start the conversation - comment below!