We all feel ugly sometimes, but what is it like being or feeling like the ugly friend? In this article, nine Nigerians tell us what it’s like.

A, 23

I know I have friends that are much more beautiful than I am.

People don’t make jokes about it, but they suggest things to make my face better and more appealing – I have dark circles and large pores.

My friend always assures me that I’m beautiful just the way I am. She also gives me tips on how to make myself better, but there are some days I feel down thinking about how I’ve let my face become this bad.

Ola, 26

My friends used to call me “monkey” as a joke, but that was a while ago. Sometimes, they would all hang out without telling me.

I have only a few pictures with them because they almost always ask me to take pictures. I used to agree, but not anymore. I feel like I’m close to them, but they’re not really my friends.

There was a time people would compare me to them and it bugged me. I may not meet up with the beauty standards of society, but I swear I’m not ugly.

Ibukun, 25

When I was in university, I had this beautiful friend and people would always wonder why we were friends. They always looked confused when they saw us together.  

The DUFF movie came out around that time, and I was her DUFF. People would come and talk to me and act like they wanted to be friends just to get close to her. The funny thing is that it was girls that did this. I don’t think I’m ugly, so it didn’t affect my confidence, but it was very irritating.

Zeek, 22

I have always felt out of place because I’m the “ugly” friend. To make matters worse, my friends are entertainers, dancers, singers and performers, and I’m the plain ugly one.

I get compared to my attractive friends, mostly indirectly or as a joke, but they aren’t the ones doing it. They keep screaming in my ears to stop saying I’m the ugly friend. 

Sometimes I distance myself from them, and I feel lonely even when I’m around them.

Ernie, 23

Whenever I take pictures with my friends, I feel like I’m not attractive enough to be their friend. I’m always the odd one out. I’m the one with bad hair or awkward facial expressions and bad posture. 

They all have phones with good cameras so they can take good pictures of themselves. I have to rely on Snapchat and photo editing apps to boost my confidence. 

My friend once asked for pictures of me to post on his status, but he didn’t post them. I asked him why and he said the pictures weren’t nice. I felt he meant that I wasn’t good-looking.

Sometimes I wonder why I’m friends with them when I’m not that comfortable with them. I feel like they’re fine and rich, and I’m not.

Rachel, 20

I have always been the fat and less attractive friend, and it sucks. My friends deny this, but it’s very obvious when we go out. Boys flock to them all the time and I’m usually left to myself. 

The last time we went clubbing, different people asked to dance with them. Not a single person came up to me. I hardly ever agree to go out with them because I know I’d most likely be ignored when we run into other people. 

I hardly ever take pictures with them. When I do, I never post them. I feel invisible and small whenever I’m out with my prettier friends. I always feel like people are comparing us even if they don’t say anything.

Ife, 24

I’m pretty sure I’m “the ugly friend”. None of my friends would agree that I am, but I’m fat, dark-skinned, and have a lot of skin issues. 

They try to make sure I go out with them but seeing them get lots of attention while I fade into the background sucks. I’m not mad at it because they deserve it, being bad bitches and all, but being the odd one in the group gets tiring.  

I usually end up as the undesignated mom friend anyway. I’m the one who stops guys from being creepy with them, and of course, men are weird about that. It doesn’t bother me, as long as my girls are good, but it’s not fun.

I try to make up for it with personality and sometimes feigned confidence. People comment on my looks, but I don’t let them see it get to me.  If I say something, they’ll say it was a joke and that I take things too personally. I can do all my self-pitying in the comfort of my room.

My family and friends are big on positive reinforcement, so they never let me forget how loved I am and how much they like me as I am, so that keeps me going.

Kike, 24

I think the feeling that I am the ugly friend started in JSS2. One day, people were discussing who the prettiest in our set was. Someone mentioned my name, and the whole class burst into laughter. It hurt because I had never seen myself as ugly, but my eyes opened that day.

I am very dark-skinned, what Nigerians would call “black”, so I got called ugly throughout my teenage years. In SS1, my agric teacher said I looked like an ugly old grandma. I had classmates who didn’t want to talk to me because they thought I was ugly.

Sometimes when I hang out with friends and they get all the attention, I think “oh well, I no kuku fine before”. I have learnt to not expect male attention when out in public. When it comes, it’s very shocking. 

I was the ugly friend in secondary school. Now, I think I am just the bland friend. I hardly use makeup or anything to accentuate my features because I want anyone who likes me to see my real face and like me like that, not that I will use makeup, and the guy will feel like it’s not what he ordered that he got.

It messed with my self-esteem a bit, but I think I am great now. I may not be the classic beauty to others, but I find myself very beautiful.

Itohan, 20

I’ve always been friends with stunning people. You know, the popular ones with thousands of followers on Instagram. They had a look I couldn’t quite achieve. I didn’t wear makeup like they did or even make an effort with my appearance, so that made me even worse in comparison.

I was also younger, so while a lot of them had grown up faces that matched their lovely bodies, I had the face of a 12-year-old. I was considered cute, but in comparison with my friends, I was the ugly duckling. They were so gorgeous that photographers and modelling agencies would approach them when we go out and ask/beg them to model. They always laughed and turned it down.

I guess in a way I resented my friends. People always described me as dependable and kind. Like yeah, but I wanted to be hot too. It messed with my self-esteem a lot. It made me feel like a side character and they were the main characters. You know those movies about the best friend of the main character whose life revolved around the main character? That was me.

I was always on call because I thought I couldn’t be hot. Just kind and dependable. Now, I multitask. I know I’m not the prettiest flower in the garden, but I hold my own. I’m kind, funny, dependable, and hot as fuck.

I still view myself as the ugly friend, but I think I’ve decided it’s not a bad thing. I’m learning to live with the fact that my friends will always be more beautiful than me, and that’s okay. On some days, I cry about it, but other days I feel okay.



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