Tuesday, January 16, 2007
America the beautiful
America has a new hero -- and how utterly appropriate that her first name is "America": America Ferrera.

The star of the hit ABC show "Ugly Betty" was named best actress in a TV musical or comedy at the Golden Globes and, with her presence, sent a powerful message: that women everywhere -- women who are tired of the often unrealistic body image messages that Hollywood sends -- now have someone they can look up to as a symbolic representation of reality.

In "Ugly Betty," Ferrera plays Betty Suarez, an overweight young woman with braces who plays an assistant working for the fictional fashion magazine Mode. She is the proverbial fish out of water, her looks glaring and daring in a world obsessed with every nuance of the superficiality of beauty.

"Showbiz Tonight" was backstage at the Golden Globes after Ferrera received her honor, and what she said should be applauded.

"I don't really see Betty as ugly. I see her as closer to the real girls I see in life," she said. "There are hundreds of Bettys in our own lives that we love, so we need to stop using that word ("ugly") and the expectations that we put on the generations. We need to tell the future to explore their talents and have [those women] offer what they have to offer beyond what they look like."

America Ferrera was not the only fuller-figured beauty who was celebrated at the Golden Globes. Jennifer Hudson, who rightly deserved the award she received for best supporting actress in a musical or comedy for "Dreamgirls," recently proudly told "Showbiz Tonight," "I like my thickness. I'd rather be thick any day."

"Showbiz Tonight" has seized this issue with our ongoing coverage of the "Showbiz Weight Watch." We've made it our mission to resist Hollywood's persistent beauty-definition pressure -- standards that make women feel ridiculously guilty for looking and feeling normal -- and to make sure stick-thin, scary-skinny stars and fashion models are not held up as role models to emulate, as well as expose the influence they have on many young women who are driven to eating disorders.

With the likes of America Ferrera and Jennifer Hudson as real models, there may be some hope yet.
I have to agree 100%. Its tremendously encouraging to see America and Jennifer earn prominent places in Hollywood, inamongst all the skinny, nipped and tucked stars. What America said was dead on - if only women would EMBRACE that message and collectively refuse to conform to the unrealistic beauty standards pressuring them. Lorel and Maybelline can only sell their wrinkle cream, hair dyes, nail polish, eyeliners and lipsticks if women feel they need them to feel worthwhile and beautiful!
I donk think Ugly Betty should have one. I have seen the show several times and it is just average. The title just hits me as offensive also.
Bravo to Showbiz Tonight for going in this direction. With so many young children and even grown women trying so hard to emulate the starving stars of today, it's nice to see someone breaking the mold and showing that talent shouldn't be and in many cases isn't based on how thin you are. And congrats to America, Jennifer, and all the winners!
Is it really that much better to have overweight body role models for women than unhealthily skinny ones? Jennifer Hudson and America Ferrera may more accurately represent most women in this country, but this country collectively has an obesity problem and embracing body types that fit our ever-expanding image will do nothing to stop it.
I have been thin all my life. I cannot help it. I am 41 years old, weigh 95 lbs and I'm 5'2". I have tried all my life to gain weight. All my life people have come up to me and asked me if I was anorexic. People would not go up to a large person and ask why they are fat. I finally accepted myself the way I am. I am very hurt when shows like Show Biz Tonight lashes out at thin people. You would not do that to large women. To use terms like "stick-thin, scary-skinny" is very offensive. Please don't say it is out of fashion either. My husband does not think I am scary. He makes me feel accepted because he never called my skinny. You make me feel so unattractive and unwomanly. It is very painful.
I find the show offensive. I have seen pictures of America (The actress) And, she is far from Ugly. She is a little over weight and they put some fake braces on her and call her ugly. All they are doing is insulting the women in this world that have not been blessed with hollywood's version of beauty. I can imagine a young woman or teenager watching this show and saying to herself, "If that's ugly, I must be the bottom of the barrel" When in fact this young woman may be quite attractive. I think there is enough pressure in this country to be "beautiful" that we don't need to take an otherwise beautiful young woman dress her down and call her ugly just to get some TV rating. The women of this country do not need the pressure of trying not to be uglier than Betty. In my humble opinion.
OOO I cried when I heard speech and I cried again just reading a portion in this article. I agreee 100%. Many realize how different everyone gets treated. Because they do shows where skinny dresses up in a fat suite. We are all beauitful people on the inside. and everyone is different outside for a reason. It would be boring if we all looked alike. I applade America Ferrera for her speech (considering she said she wrote it while on limo on way. (words from the heart) and I do love the Show because it more normal with everyday situations. Keep up great work
Why the personal attacks on thin models and actresses? Seems like Dave Levine has a personal vendetta against them. Are only stars like "America Ferrera and Jennifer Hudson" real models to him? Is he heavy? Lay off!
Ugly Betty is a great show. I don't like the word "overweight" to describe her. SHe looks like a healthy normal weight to me.
Ugly Betty is great, and what is great are the layers. In the Show the less attractive aren't all good, and the pretty aren't all bad. It shows the pressures and the costs of both lives.
There needs to be a middle ground. I have many patiens who are teenage girls whohave a new found pride in being "big girls", not "scrawny little sticks", who have BMIs over 30 and are prediabetic and hypertensive. Being overweight is at least as unhealth as being underweight.
Ugliness and beauty are both found in attitude towards life, and thinking you are beautiful when you are dangerously fat or skinny is an ugly way of thinking.
Isn't it amazing how all an actress who plays 'Ugly Betty' has to do to turn back into your typical good looking woman is take off a pair of glasses? Let's be honest: 'Ugly' Betty is not and the show is tripe.
I am getting sick and tired of this constant cultural assault on the cult of female beauty. What is wrong with being attractive? Why is it that no one seems to criticize it, when woman desire attractive men with good looking bodie's? Why is it that never seems to become an issue? I see far more obese women, who absolutely take no pride in their appearence more than woman who look like Victoria Secret girls. I hate that show Ugly Betty simply for the fact that it pictures women who are attractive as some how superficial and shallow, I personally think that is very unfair. For all of you who are sick and tired of the media's portrayal of female beauty, why dont' you all go to Saudi Arabia or Afghanistan where all women are forced to where veils! Long Live Female Beauty!!!!!!!
im a bit tired of pretty women playing parts labeled as "ugly", America Ferrera is not even remotely an unatractive woman. their is a world of differance between a truely physically unattractive person and someone who does not fit the barbie mold, real people find non barbies attractive to and a truely non attractive person truely does have it alot different from most people and i find it a bit annoying when attractive people are used as actors in situations where the person is suppsoed to be ugly, putting braces and a pair of glasses ona a woman does not turn her ugly and a woman who has a little weight or in her case more just a bit of curve does not make one ugly either as a photographer i see alot of women and i really feel its a disservice to people when we hold a woman such as America Ferrera up as an "ugly" (ven though the point is that shes not) actor i still feel it shows mass medias views more than it does the general culture of america no wonder kids (and im not just talking about girls)can be made to feel ugly when a woman like this is portrayed as an "ugly" person
Now if the clothing designers and fashion industry would only pay attention!
I totally agree with Barbara, it is a very average show with Disney-like story. I never even thought it would get anywhere close to Golden Globes. There is absolutely nothing original in that show. I do not get it. The show is nothing but a repeat of "Devil Wears Prada" concept. Strange win.
After watching the Globes and seeing America Ferrara (seriously, get the spelling right)in her gown, do you really think she's overweight? Granted, on the show, she looks dumpy, but on the show she also has oversized glasses and braces. America looks healthy and not like she needs a burger, as do most of the women on the show that follows "Ugly Betty".
To celebrate this show is to cater to the people in our society who feel bad because they don't fit some kind of mold that pop culture has created for them. 'Ugly Betty' isn't rejecting the stereotype of extremely attractive white women on television shows, it is backwardly embracing it. It would be one thing if the creators hired a truly average-looking person to play a lead role in a TV show, but what they have done here is take a very attractive minority and place her in a show that is all about how "ugly" she is. IT is very much akin to the blackface performers back in the day. If it were just called 'Betty' and had a truly average-looking actress playing the lead role, as opposed to the normally-gorgeous America (see the glamour shots of Ms. Ferrera on IMDB.com) then it would be commendable, this is just pathetic.
I am so proud of Showbiz Tonight for their stance. I can only imagine how much better my life (and many other lives) would have been if I didn't spend most of my time feeling inadequate. I think America and Jennifer are absolutely beautiful AND wonderfully talented. They both deserved to win.
When I saw Jennifer Hudson, I did not remeber she was large. I was surprised. And America is not ugly. I think she is prettier than Jennifer.
Funny, I always wondered why they called the show "Ugly Betty". There are lots of girls who fit into her mold, and they should not be called ugly. I'm glad someone finally brought attention to this
What a great article, there is nothing UGLY about America's charaacter Betty Suarez, as a matter of fact if she was real and I was straight I would ask her out!!
Interesting that Americans are obsessed with being thin, yet 65% are overweight. Double standards, hmm?
I agree with her message but I am sick and tired of hearing about how ugly and overweight she is. Look around, most women are bigger and "uglier" than she is. She is well above average in the looks department. I'll believe all the hype when they give us a REAL unattractive role model.

Most of this "movement" is just a pathetic response to a very real backlash. Women are sick of being dismissed when we hit 35 or decide that there's more to life than Maybelline and the South Beach diet.

Also, we're sick of sitcoms about fat unattractive losers married to hot women. I'm waiting for the reverse.

We'd all be happier -- men included -- if we all changed our standards of beauty to something closer to reality, and realized that women have a lot more to offer than sexuality and Bundt cake. Look around. The world needs our influence.

Mother Theresa, Susan B. Anthony, Eleanor Roosevelt, Madame Curie, Katherine Graham...these women were beautiful.

Are you really "ugly" and proud of it? Stand up and be seen and heard!
Does this mean that overweight, insecure people are role models now?

This is just one extreme to the other. how about a middle ground. And to use the word "hero" here is pretty disingenuous. The word has totally lost all meaning these days. I don't consider sports figures or actors as heroes just by doing their jobs.
Barbara: I always thought the title was intended to be ironic.
I personally find the title very offensive. The show�s goal may be to demolish some of the beauty stereotypes that exist in our society, but in reality I believe it is cementing the perception of what is beautiful and ugly. Should a person be labeled ugly just because she uses little makeup, wears braces and glasses, and dresses plainly? The post by �Showbiz Tonight� describes Betty as �an overweight young woman with braces�� How can they call Betty overweight? Must one be anorexic to not be considered overweight? I agree with America Ferrera in her assessment statement about the character: �I don't really see Betty as ugly. I see her as closer to the real girls I see in life.�

I can only imagine the impact the show must be having in nation�s schools kids where teasing less than �kool kids� comes so naturally. Now we have a show that gives them a reference and model to attribute the qualifier �ugly�.
I think it's funny that you say America Ferrera is what normal women look like while at the same time calling her overweight and fuller-figured. Which one is she, average or above average?
Go America Ferrera, and "Yay" to Showbiz Tonight for your Weight Watch segments! You may be interested to know that there are a group of amazing teens in Atlanta who are DOING something about all these insane pressures! The Eating Disorders Information Network has an outreach program where teens develop campus-wide awareness events during "Love Your Body Week." The teens produce documentaries about food and create artistic displays; they cover the mirrors in the bathrooms with positive affirmations; they put facts about fat and carbs in the lunchroom; they put information about the dangers of purging in locker rooms. These courageous teens are challenging Hollywood beauty ideals, exposing the dangers of extreme weight loss methods, providing healthy ways to cope with stress, and examining America's narrow definitions of beauty.

It's important for teens to know that they can speak out and help each other to resist these influences....and by doing so they may be saving lives! You don't have to be a victim of Media Influence! These teens are making changes happen at the grass roots level... Maybe sweet Betty and talented Jennifer Hudson will help change things in Hollywood.

Visit www.edin-ga.org to start something in your school!
What's offensive is your grammar, Barbara.
Hey, I'm all about women learning to love themselves but we need to stop saying 'its okay to be full figured', because it isn't. Its unheathy and the cause of diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease.
The title of the show isn't offensive, but rather it's ironic.

Betty isn't as stylish and physically attractive as the others on the show, but her personality makes her more stunning than any of the other.

Get it?
To Espy in DC: It IS FerrEra, unless ABC's Web site has it wrong as well:
http://abc.go.com/primetime/uglybetty/bios/america_ferrera.html
I agree that the modeling industy's, and Hollywood's, perception of "normal" is skewed. Rail thin and anorexic is unhealthy and IMHO, pretty gross. However, in the effort to steer women away from one extreme, let's not sway them to the other. It's one thing to teach women to be confortable and happy in their own skin, but it isn't okay to give the message that overweight is OK as long as you are happy being overweight. Overweight is unhealthy too, and I think that both America Ferrera and Jennifer Hudson could both stand to lose a few pounds for that reason.
I agree with what both America and Jennifer said. They are "real" American women...look around if you don't believe this. Sadly, I think it is the men who continue to encourage woman that thin is beautiful. I found it interesting when the fasion shows in Spain and Italy changed their standards, that the comments I saw from women were positive regarding the BMI limit and encouraging a healthy body image. Every man interviewed (the ones I saw were male designers) were extremely negative about the BMI limit for the models. They believe it is absolutely OK to have an emaciated woman walk down the runway showing off their designs. Sadly, in the real world I have also found this to be true. Having lived as both a fat and thin woman (I have lost 165 lbs), I have really moved from being "invisible" and having doors slammed in my face (really!) to having men jump to open them for me now. My career has skyrocketed since I lost the weight 4 years ago (my salary has literally more than doubled)...this is a sad testiment to our culture I think. It has definitely been facinating to see the world from these different perspectives! As a culture we are learning one thing from our pop-culture, tv, movies, magazines, etc., yet we are told by our parents and others that it is what is inside that counts, etc. and with something like 60% of the population now overweight there is a real contradiction. I think this is causing so much unnecessary grief and stress. Granted most overweight people do need to loose weight, but the expectation that you have to be a size 6, to be beautiful, is just too much. I think our media needs to get more in line with the real world. It is sad that there are only a handful of "real-sized" women on tv and they almost never get the leading part. I am so happy that this subject is even being discussed and brought out into the open. By the way, by no reach of the imagination do I consider "Ugly Betty" to be ugly...I think her beauty just shines through!
Lets not promote this too heavily.
I don't want to see alot of beautiful women "let themselves go" under the guise of feeling "ok".
Yes theres too thin, but there is also such a thing as too thick. This can be just as unhealthy physically and mentally. Ask men what they think before you push this one too far.
While I applaud America's comments and the sentiment behind them I sincerely wish that people would realize that ALL body types are normal, not just the larger ones. Take it from someone who has literally been told 'if you weren't so skinny you'd be beautiful,' sometimes being thin is just as painful as being 'thick'. I hope that someday people will leave women like Natalie Portman alone about their weight just like they should leave Jennifer Hudson alone. Both are beautiful, elegant women who are carrying the weight that is natural for their body type and health. Please, people, I beg you, don't start persecuting naturally slender women just because of the foolish mentality that you have to be thin to be a viable actress/singer/model.
The article was not about the fact that Ugly Betty one, it was about the message that American Ferrera and Jennifer Hudson wants the world to see. Not all skinny is beautiful. Healthy women have curves and should not feel any less confident than a skinny woman. Little girls should not be taught that if they are "fat" by Hollywood (and America's) standards that they are not beautiful.
I think it is a GREAT show and America is certainly deserving of the award. Anyone who has ever worked in corporate America can identify with the program.
Quick response to all.
America is an amazing woman for her performance and there are a lot of amazing people invovled with the show to take a shot on it. Seems beauty runs deep in the cast, crew and producing team.
And Barbara, the title is specifically intended to seem offensive, so you can watch the show and see that "ugly" Betty is infact the essence of beauty. It is a play on words so that beauty, or ugly is only skin deep. And in America's case, it take a good costume designer to make her just slightly awkward. Ugly never comes into play.
I didn't like the name from the very beginning. What does this say about our American society!? and what about the show "I hate Chris". I could not believe the name of that show either. Since when is the work "hate" ok.
I think I would like the show better if they dumped the ugly stereotype of braces and glasses and weird clothes. Anyone can see that this actress is very pretty- why didn't they choose a talented actress who doesn't have to be made "ugly" with props?

As far as the weight issue goes... again, what is she? Maybe ten pounds over the accepted weight limit? Only in Hollywood would that be considered both ugly and a guideline for standards.
I find it interestesting that you describe Ferrera and her character as "overweight", then later on go on to say that its your mission to resist "standards that make women feel ridiculously guilty for looking and feeling normal." You might want to consider how you're doing on your mission, as overall, Ferrara's character is NORMAL. She is anything but the image that a term like "overweight" projects. Pick on or another. Is being bigger than a size 6/8 normal? Or is it overweight? How about a size 12? It certainly isn't fat, I'd say its average. Normal.
I am saddened by the fact that, in the same article, you contricted yourself like this.
I hate the show's title "Ugly Betty." I think it should be called "Beautiful Betty." Beauty is completely subjective and encompasses more than just what one looks like.

Besides - America is beautiful!
It all sounds nice about all the 'normal' girls out there and wanting to encourage them, but look at the producer, Selma Hayak who herself has taken to the knife to make herself not so 'normal'. What a joke!
Thank you Dave Levine :) I completely agree!!! After battling bulimia for years, I'm finally accepting that my curvy size 12 is the healthiest and sexiest for me and screw the anyone else who wants me to feel otherwise. And Barbara, it's WON, not one like the #1.
The actress is lovely and talented, and I'm sure deserves her award. But I've always wondered why the sho'w producers had to get a pretty woman and drab her down: they couldn't find a nice, talented 'ugly' actress? That says a lot about Hollywood and America (the country), and dilutes the message the show seems to be trying to promote (with blatant hypocrisy).

Of course, if they had found a chubby, drab actress who made a splash, how long would it be before she and they slimmed her down and prettied her up so she would fit in with the plastic barbi dolls that pass as actresses today?
I love Ugly Betty and America and I have to agree with this blog. The Golden Globes won for the show and its star were both well deserved. It is one of the best shows on TV today and the chemistry between the actors is so perfect. I am addicted to this show and I hope everyone can check it out at least once just to see that not only is beauty just skin deep but women that are thicker than others are no less talented than anyone else and they do have a lot to offer.
I have no problem with the actress I must agree with a previous blogger who said that although she represents the real american girl, the use of the word ugly is too much. Furthermore, there is an epidemic of overweight people and you know where that leads to? Huge healthcare costs. So, I don't think that overweight people should characters should be encouraged in our tv screens.
Hudon will have a short shelf life.
The Dreamgirls part was taylor made for Hudson, unfortunately for her there just aren't many parts out there for big woman who sing. She will be fighting for parts with Queen Latifa, not exactly a great actress herself.
As for Ferrera, while the concept of the underdog is sweet, she really doesn't add to much in the way of acting to the show. They could get a robot to act as good as she does.
to alan virginia beach -

When you say Long Live Female Beauty, exactly what do you mean? We all know that beauty is subjective, or in the eye of the beholder, as the old saying goes. What one person may find beautiful, another may find unattractive. I am sick to death of people just looking at the outer superficial appearance, without taking into account what is inside a person. What about qualities such as charm, wit, charisma? I have seen many actresses that are average looking, but they seem to be beautiful due to the power of their presence and their inner confidence. That can make someone appear more attractive than just what you see on the outside. I don't believe that you can quantify beauty. I think it defies categorizing and stereotyping. But the one thing I know is that I do not want a world where men all think like Donald Trump and objectify women and value them only for their pretty face and great body. Even women that do fit the Donald's very selective and narrow definition of beauty, still want to be valued for other qualities, such as intelligence, compassion, humor and so on.

I thought America Ferrera's speech was eloquent, heartwarming and much needed in this shallow world of today. The show is great and has a wonderful message for all young girls and even grown women like myself. It's great to look good and be appreciated for that, but it's also nice to be seen as a whole human being, with feelings and ideas and thoughts that matter. That is what I celebrate with the win for America and Ugly Betty at the Golden Globes. How fitting it was that Trump was sitting right there in the audience when America gave her speech. But, knowing him, it probably was way over his inflated, egotistical head.
Being overweight (ie Jennifer Hudson) is not a virtue
First of all, no one has even mentioned the fact that these two women are not caucasian, and are built differently as ethnic women. It's a simple fact that your race effects your physical build and to ignore that is...well, ignorant.
Secondly, we know nothing about their personal lives or health, so making judgements saying they are "overweight" is ridiculous. Anyone know their BMI's? Or if they are on medication that could cause a weight gain or plataeu? Both girls appear happy, healthy and confident in their own bodies, and THAT is what we should be applauding in our role models.
People have been singing the praises of thin women for YEARS. So some "heavier" women are receiving this praise now, what's the big deal? All this shows is that there's enough praise and criticism to go around. None of this would matter if one's appearance didn't play such a large role in the treatment they receive from others.
... maybe it's time to re-name the show "Beautiful Betty."

Ugly comes from the inside ..
The fashion industry, women's magazines, mass media, and movies are ALL culprits in the war on women's bodies. We should be learning how to eat better and exercise. Moreover, we should be learning how to accept ourselves for who we are, not someone else's version of who THEY think we should be. TV is a bad place to go for truth. Just look at how many TV shows have mediocre, doughboy looking "husbands" who are married to good-looking, svelte "wives"?! There is a double-standard at work, and we should expose it. Instead we talk about the same-old stuff and never get to the real truth of the matter. Americans are obsessed with things that don't matter much in the grand scheme. Open your eyes, free your minds, and your booties will follow.
Please, I don't not know why she won. I do watch the show and Betty is kind of annoying. The show is average and she is not my favorite character. There is nothing wrong with being Ugly. God did not intend for us all to look the same. We all come in different shapes and sizes. Not everyone is overeating or starving themself. God did not intend for all of us to be thick or thin or skinny or whatever. People need to shut up. All that should matter is how you treat others. Nobody should take the Hollywood foreign press seriously. They only gave her the award because her show is the talk of the town right now.
Elena and Veronica - You are so right...can't anyone see that the word "ugly" was meant to be ironic?

And Alan and Tim, unless you are getting back waxes, working out every day, and worrying about hair transplants, you have no right to judge women that have higher priorities than anorexia and trips to the mall.

Bravo for celebrating women for more than their ability to diet!
If it is your "mission to resist Hollywood's persistent beauty-definition pressure" then don't refer to people as "fuller-figured."
I know it seems silly to some people, but I'm another naturally "skinny" girl who feels the backlash- It's true that people do make comments about it that would never be made to people who are overweight. Thin people are not necessarily anorexic or image obsessed just as overweight people are not necessarily lazy.. we're all just people.
I love how suddenly everyone wants to praise fatness and pretend like being skinny is somehow bad, unattractive or makes one worthy of being criticized or mocked.

Do you realize how hypocritical you are when you praise the fat girl or guy and ridicule the skinny one?

The door swings both ways here folks. Don't complain how fat people are made fun of in one breath and then turn around and do the same to a skinny person.

At least I'm honest with my feelings... fatness is unhealthy and unattractive. A lean and well-kept body is healthier. I didn't say anorexic... I said lean and well-kept.

Seriously, why are we trying to pretend otherwise?
I find it insulting that you classify Betty/America as overweight. Yes, she's "overweight" when compared to her co-workers in the fashion industry, but I'm betting that she's a size 10, maybe a size 12. When the average American woman is a size 14, Betty/America is not average nor overweight. I think she's portraying a more realistic view of American women but to say she's overweight is negligent and plain wrong.
I think the people who hate the title of the show "Ugly Betty" are missing the irony. Betty is not ugly, but is perceived as such by the fashion industry. She and America are attractive.
Fist of all, is not my intention to insult anyone by giving my personal comment about this issue. I have not watched "Ugly Betty" yet, but I have heard what's about. I have watched "Las Fea Mas Bella" Which is the Mexican version and it's my understanding that it's pretty much the same version. Now we all need to understand that every one was born differently. Some of us were born skinny, some of us were born heavy and some of us were born average people. This doesn't mean that just because we are heavy, or skinny or average makes us ugly. The point is, that is in our hands to make ourselves look beautiful not just from the outside, but from the inside. I have seen so many girls who were born heavy weight and are beautiful all the way, because their self esteem is up and they don't go by what people is going to think about them. For example, I was given the opportunity to be part of the Barbizon Modeling Agency. When I was choosen to be one of the 300 girls they were looking for, I was glad and blessed to see that they choose not just skinny girls like me, but heavy looking ones as well, whose self esteem was so down and most of them thought that they were not going to make it because of their appearance. But they did! It all about you! don't let others think that you're ugly, just because you are heavy or too skinny. We are all God's creation and we were all made special in our individual ways and men have different taste, some of them like them skinny some of them like them thin and some they just like all about you it doesn't matter how you look and they love you the way you are. I once feel ugly and looked ugly, but that's because I was too busy hearing negative things and not doing or taking the positive comments in action. Believe me, life is about decisions, we are constantly making them one way or anothe by choosing a restaurant to eat dinner or by choosing to go to college or not. Make a decision to believe in you and treat yourself with respect and people will see that and they will start doing the same as well.

Let's all have a great day!

Sandra N. Marquez,
For those of you who are saying that women shouldn't embrace being large because it's unhealthy: a little perspective. Even though you think women shouldn't accept themselves as they are, the exact opposite is true. As a matter of fact, everyone should accept them. I'm currently in a Master's program in psychology - with a health psychology emphasis. In my studies, I ran across experiments showing that rejection actually causes a reduction in people's ability to self-regulate, so when we reject people for being fat, we're actually contributing to their inability to stop overeating. You worsen the problem you're trying to help. People who are rejected go into survival mode because they are emotionally threatened. Without a therapeutic environment, people cannot change.
Oh well, I'm fat and ugly so I guess I don't deserve any kind of human decency, right scott?

Nevermind that I had cancer and went through chemotherapy that destroyed my pancreas and liver and my ability to digest.

No, people like you think I eat all my meals at McDonalds and that I'm not worthy of any kind of decency. You make me sick. Your ilk has been raised to want a playboy bunny in every bedroom and a calendar girl in every kitchen. Here's a newsflash, looks fade. Beauty is fleeting.

Good luck getting Cindy Crawford to marry you.

Never judge a person until you've walked a mile in their shoes.
"women who are tired of the often unrealistic body image messages that Hollywood sends"???????? Are you kidding me???? This has nothing to do with Hollywood and if you want to think that it does then you're just looking for someone other than yourself to blame. If you think you have to be beautiful, then you are pretentious and the problem lies within you. The problem isn't Hollywood's "persistent beauty-definition pressure" - it's YOU and your pretentiousness.
I am very happy to see the America won. She is a bright and talented women and should be proud. There is nothing wrong with being normal. Cheers for her.
By using the title "Ugly Betty" the producers were declaring that Betty was indeed ugly. To have this statement that, well, I don't see Betty as ugly is ludicrous. If she felt that way, she would have insisted along with the not ugly Salma Hayek that the show be merely called Betty. Instead, they wanted to let us dumb tv watchers know that it was "okay" to think that Betty was ugly from the get go. I suggest they drop the Ugly all together. No one is ugly in real life. There is always some one who will find them attractive. Nuff said.
Think the show sucks and I am offended that someone would name their child "America"
I read a few of the posts and I just wanted to make a few points.
First of all, nobody ever said that the show is called Ugly Betty because America Ferrara is ugly, or the character she plays is ugly. The show is called Ugly Betty because it is based on a Columbian soap by the same name, "Betty La Fea." Secondly, anyone could be made to look a lot more attractive with haute couture and professional makeup and hair. So why are we focusing on how attractive the actress is and how this somehow disqualifies her from the role? Riciculous!

My third point is that we automatically have to turn any event into a battle. No one said that it is not okay to be thin. Some people are born with thin genes and they will always be thin. It would be unfortunate if these people started to hurt themselves by eating unhealthy foods in excess. The point I think that was tryig to be made is that there are people out there without thin genes that do exactly that, hurt themselves. They do it by not eating, binging and purging or exercising too much in order to be thin. And they do it because the images we see all around us value "thin" over anything else.

And to the person who said that embracing actresses like America or Jennifer may only make the obesity problem in this country worse, do some homework. It has been proven that the more that Americans have subjected themselves to diets, the heavier they've become. A person who feels terribly overweight (and is actually only 15 lbs overweight) starts a diet and eventually ends up developing an obsession which can lead to an eating disorder like bulimia, anorexia or binge-eating and eventually, she will put on more weight. Turns out those 15 lbs she had to lose because all of those fashion models and actresses we see who work out 4 hours a day may have been her perfect weight.

Bravo to actresses like America, Jennifer, and Sara Ramirez of Grey's Anatomy for reminding us that sexy comes in all shapes and sizes.
Thank you, thank you to those of you who recognize that the title "Ugly Betty" is mean to be ironic!
I'm shocked how many people don't get that... and that they can get so easily offended. Geez!

America's speech was heartwarming and I was happy both she and the show won. It really is a great show all around and the cast really seems to click. Congrats to them all.
Ugly is a prefectly appropriate word to use. Try as you might, you will never make every one look first at someones inner beauty or whatever you call what you use to mask a lack of physical beauty. She is not repersentative a a healthy average woman. being over weight is not healty no matter how much someone cries about it. you do more harm trying to make people believe that extra weight is ok and is the norm and not harmfull as it really is.
Amen!!!
I find it hard to believe that she has the audicity to suggest we stop using the word "ugly". Meanwhile the girl is making money off the word.
who remembers the twilight zone episode 'eye of the beholder?'
Men prefer a woman with curves not a stick figure, boys like the stick thin model types. being overweight versus normal is different, ribs should not be countable but an inner tube isn't appealing either.
Betty Suarez isn't really overweight... she's pretty normal in size. Plus, she wears frumpy, baggy clothing.

America Ferrera is hands down gorgeous.
Overweight? I think you mean normal weight? Or do you really not have a clue what women look like? That one word seems to belie the rest of your post. Yoe seem to display some of the same bias you claim to be railing against. Betty (and Ms. Ferrara) simply looks FEMININE; unlike the typical Hollywood waif, who looks like a boy. As for those who find the title or concept offensive - you are missing the point! She is NOT ugly. It is her shallow co-workers who think so. Are you as shallow as they are? If you watched the most recent episode, you should realize that it is Salma Hayek playing the ugly character.
So is she "normal" or "overweight"? You are still labeling her as "overweight" when she is just normal. I do believe we should be concerned about our weight whether we are overweight or underweight because of health issues. However, I would not put "Betty" in the overweight category.
Some people seem to miss the point of the show and the title "Ugly Betty." Initially, I too was put off by the title but I now see that is it meant to be ironic. Betty works in the fashion industry which is extremely image conscious. In that world, she is "ugly". I have heard Andre Talley of Vogue Magazine interviewed several times indicating that the Editor in Chief (for whom Meryl Streep's character in Devil Wears Prada is supposedly based) Anna Wintour, does not like fat women and doesn't want overweight women working at the magazine. Even Oprah had to go on a diet in order to be considered worthy of being on the cover, so I don't think the show is far off in that respect.

The show is meant to highlight who is really beautiful. Those who are rail thin, wear designer clothes but have horrible attitudes or a normal, smart, pretty, kind woman like Betty.

Those of you who are not watching are missing out. Not only does the show feature various standards of beauty but I also like that it has a culturally diverse cast which you don't see that much of in TV. I also believe America is a great role model for young women of all races.
I loved her in Real Women Have Curves and wish her continued success with Ugly Betty.
Did you know the formula for Ugly Betty hads been done in a couple different countries? In Germany it was called "Verliebt in Berlin"(In love in Berlin)
I liked America's speech. It's very true in today's society, especially in when it comes to tv/movies or modeling. However it's contradictory that the name of the show is "Ugly Betty."

And a side note, unfortunately, I also disagree with her winning the award. While the show has its moments and she does well, she's not the best actress in that category and that show is far from being the best/funniest on tv. I almost feel like it won because of the issue of weight and beauty as opposed to the quality of the show. But America had a nice speech and did a nice job accepting.
I had the wonderful oportunity to meet America while she was in Toronto on a promtional tour for her movie "Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants" and I must say she was so humble and sweet. America is one star who is totally deserving of all the success that is coming her way. Keep up the amazing work America because we will all be cheering you on
I'm happy to see this issue is actually getting attention. I am overweight and have struggled with this problem all my life, fluctuating between a size 10 and at my biggest a size 20. Part of my problem was the way I was brought up to believe I SHOULD look - "double digits in sizes aren't attractive" as I was often told by friends, family, even teachers. I am very happy that truly talented individuals like America and Jennifer are actually recognized for what they can do, not the way they look. Perhaps if we focused more on talent and less on beauty, this country wouldn't be afflicted with so many image-related illnesses. The most important thing for people to realize is that we are who we are, and we should only try to change if we really want to change ... not try to fit in to some manufactured image of what we should be. Big or small, all different types of women can be and are beautiful in their own way.
I watched this show for the forst time tonight and I AGREE.
AT first you see her LOOKS and think. OH WOW!
BUT THEN?
SHE comes alive and you see her real potential.
I LOVE it and will watch this show religiously!!!!

THANKS to BETTY!
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