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ABC wants you to Be Ugly in '07

by Julia Ward, posted Dec 21st 2006 7:02PM
America FerraraUgly Betty is joining the fray in fighting for young girls' self-esteem. ABC has announced a new public service campaign - Be Ugly '07 - to hit the web and the streets on December 30th. The campaign's aim - aside from scoring more viewers for ABC's hit dramedy - is to debunk conventional notions of beauty. The campaign's slogan - "Be real, be smart, be passionate, be true to yourself and be ugly."

ABC, which pulled its plastic surgery show Extreme Makeover from the airwaves, is hoping to capitalize on the recent super-thin model backlash started on the catwalks in Europe and the Dove "Real Beauty" ads. ABC marketing executive Michael Benson would like you to know that redefining beauty is "in the cultural zeitgeist."

Highlights from "Be Ugly '07" include:

- Jason Mraz's newly-composed ditty "The Beauty in Ugly," which you can hear on BeUgly07.com - lauching on December 30th.

- Hundreds of Betty Suarez lookalikes hitting high-profile public events with Betty masks to distribute. Expect to see the Guadalajara-poncho wearing Bettys in Times Square and Disney World on New Year's Eve and at the Rose Parade in Pasadena.

- America Ferrara - the girl who plays Betty Suarez - does the cover of Cosmo Girl this January and will unveil a T-shirt to help raise money for Girls Inc., a non-profit group that promotes educational programs for young women.

Here's the thing with these kind of "ugly vs. pretty" public dialogues. The people that get held up as "real women" - Kate Winslet, Janeane Garofalo, Margaret Cho - are only unattractive by Hollywood standards. I recall Bill Maher making this observation after the Dove campaign started - the one with all the "average-sized" women in their underwear. He said exactly what I was thinking - "They're all still f---able." Even with the braces and the dowdy get-up she wears on Ugly Betty, America Ferrara is a serious looker. This doesn't diminish the necessity of this kind of campaign, but come on, we should all be lucky enough to be as "ugly" as Betty.

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Tony C

Great ugly! Love the show, always have since day one. This "Be Ugly '07" effort is a pretty thinly disguised marketing tactic (they've already used the flash mob of poncho'd Betties before to drum up interest in the show), but I suppose their hearts are in the right place.

And, actually Bartman, ABC gave Daybreak a *huge* chance, if you look at their past track record. All too many ratings "flops" on the alphabet network quickly and sometimes silently disappear post-haste -- to the tune of an episode count you could make on one hand. At least Day Break made it to six airings.

"Emily's Reason's Why Not"? One of their reigning pair of sniper headshots at a whopping single episode, the other being "Dot Comedy". Not far behind was "Wonderland" with two. How about canceling a show before it ever airs? Try "Welcome to the Neighborhood". "Master of Champions", five. "Nightstalker", six. "The Dana Carvey Show", six. Much, much more I didn't make the time to research into.

Not all of them exactly ringing endorsements of a high-quality television landscape, but hey, it's network TV -- where craptastic reality television like "Fear Factor" and "Survivor" live on to produce a hundred or more episodes.

December 22 2006 at 5:17 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Melanie

Yay, Jason Mraz! He's excellent live.

No, really.

December 21 2006 at 11:04 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
BartmanDK

Its funny.. i love Ugly betty.. but i still cant get over the fact that ABC dident give Day Break, a snowball's chance in hell!!

December 21 2006 at 10:10 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Michele

So glad TV is taking a turn for the better. Generations of females have been waiting to for such a campaign. I say, go for it and let's start changing direction for current and future teens.

December 21 2006 at 8:11 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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