27 March 2010
In the incredibly artificial world of Ugly Betty it makes total sense that her holier-than-thou, do-gooder thing would completely disappear to be replaced by ruthless ambition and general heartlessness if she’d been born with perfect teeth. Not because pretty people are evil (though the Betty powers-that-be beg to differ), but because Betty’s always been a bit of a villain simply hiding behind her outsider status.
That personality 180 was pretty much the premise of this week’s episode: an It’s A Wonderful Life-esque adventure of predictable and angering proportions. It was also a bit of an excuse to get the stunning America Ferrera out of her horrible Betty trappings to show her off for a day. But that’s beside the point.
and so I write:
Dear Betty People (oh, and CC the Glee people while we’re at it),
Being pretty does NOT make you mean. It doesn’t make you selfish or vain or ambitious or callous. It just means you’re pretty. Sure, sometimes the less-than-beautiful people are forced to grow thicker skin, they may run from the mainstream or fashion world to protect themselves. They may make a big stink about individuality and down-to-earth inner beauty. But that doesn’t make them better people. Pretty people suffer too. Kids are mean, they’ll find something to pick on in everybody. At least with the ugly kids it’s their hair or their teeth, not their intelligence, their values, their family or their abilities. Of course some of the pretty people are mean. But some of them aren’t. Appearance is not a symbol for anything. Villains aren’t all scarred and weathered, victims aren’t always blonds; glasses don’t make you smarter; muscles don’t mean you’re dumb; perfect hair is not a pre-requisite for menace, but neither is frizzy hair, ugly extensions, terrible bangs or a bald head. It only means something if television manages to convince the public that it does. Betty’s entire personality couldn’t, wouldn’t change because of teeth. Teeth just aren’t that important.
PS: why are we doing entire episodes about teeth when Justin’s going through a life-changing issue? Instead of traveling to London next week, how ’bout we stay at the Suarez household and spend some much-needed air time with Ugly Betty‘s most sympathetic character.