ABC wants you to Be Ugly in '07
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.