If Ugly Betty gets a makeover ... will she still be Betty?
by Allison Waldman, posted Jul 31st 2009 7:00PM
If they give the title character a radical change, as sources are reportedly seriously considering at ABC's Ugly Betty, does that include a title change to reflect the alteration? In other words, will Ugly Betty be the same show if Betty becomes a beauty?
Mike Ausiello is reporting that ABC has focus grouped a couple of scenes from the upcoming season in which Betty is remodeled to look more fashionable in the fashion world. As Mode's new associate features editor, she opts for some fancy new outfits and a less eclectic, eccentric look. She's also had her hair, brows and makeup redone ... no doubt after a trip to Hilda's beauty salon.
So the question then is this: if they glam up Betty's outside, will she still be the same on the inside, and will the cosmetic changes do anything to bolster the ratings of ABC's Cinderella sweetheart series?
To be honest, I've been one who has long wondered why Betty's time at Mode hasn't affected how she looks and dresses. Her friendship with Christina should have been more influential, at least when it comes to fashion. And don't even get me started on the braces. Her mouth couldn't have needed full-frontal metal for more than three years! (By the way, the braces will definitely be off in Season Four!)
But one of the strengths of Ugly Betty has been that despite the eccentric exterior, Betty's beautiful soul always shows through. That's why she's not really a wallflower. She's had boyfriends and an active sexual life, and she interacts in a tough work environment successfully. Oh yes, she's mocked by Wilhelmina, Marc and Amanda, but they mock everyone! Betty's appearance has never held her back.
Perhaps the best thing the show could do for Betty is this: give her the makeover and then let her settle back into a more Ugly Betty style that blends the best of both worlds. In that way, it would reflect how it is in the real world ... People who have makeovers always slide back. It's inevitable. So, show Betty in the gorgeous dress with a fancy designer label, but have her carry a Hello, Kitty purse that she found on Queens Boulevard for $5!