Ugly The New Sexy, By Tanya Gonzalez

2059 Words9 Pages
Although Betty and some other characters in the show are regarded as ugly by stereotypically beautiful women, they seldom question the beauty standards and often choose to accept the situation, which shows their internalized sexism. In the first three seasons Betty remains the same body figure and clothing style, which is considered “ugly” by her colleagues. Though being optimistic and confident about her life, she admits her ugliness. Betty’s childhood memories are mostly negative because her classmates laughed at her appearance and made fun of her ugliness. Suffering from negative reactions from her peers, Betty accepts the mainstream beauty standards, admits that she is ugly, and frequently relates failure and her tragic past with her…show more content…
Although Betty does attempt to challenge beauty stereotypes a few times in the show, the results are often unsatisfying and insignificant because of women’s internalized and externalized sexism. In the episode “Zero Worship”, Betty suggests Daniel to use more “healthy” models that are not overly skinny. Daniel accepts the suggestion and invites women from all ages, body shapes and sizes to be models for the fashion show. Although this seems like an attempt to challenge the one-dimensional beauty standard, the result is not significant at all. Betty only receives support from her boss Daniel, her family, and her nephew’s friend, Taylor. Moreover, Taylor does not express her applause in public. Instead, she sneaks out and talks to Betty secretly because she is afraid of letting her friends, who believe in mainstream beauty standards, know her thoughts. This scene implies the difficulties women face when challenging and refusing to accept externalized sexism, and insisting on their own belief of beauty.
Internalized and externalized sexism trigger women’s beauty obsession and the show portrays the negative influence of beauty obsession. The food provided in Mode’s cafeteria and offices are usually sandwiches and salad. The workers seldom eat snacks, and they do not eat cheese or meat. Because of their beauty obsession, they cannot have a normal diet. In Debra Franko’s article “Considering J.Lo and Ugly Betty”, she researches the body

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