View Full Version : ''Zero Worship'' - Ugly Betty

M. Lopez
11th January 2008, 14:58
Here's another example of TV that should not have been missed (but unfortunately, I did miss it). Last night's brand-new episode of Ugly Betty sounds like it was scripted by a member of this forum.

The recap is here:


The pertinent bits:

Holy Manolos, it's Fashion Week on Ugly Betty! And Mode fiercely brought it to the industry's most opulent convocation...

After Justin and what seemed like a young version of the Gossip Girl cast visited Mode and made it clear they were obsessed with anything wafer thin, Betty went on a crusade to persuade Daniel to stop hiring skeletors and instead use real-looking models for the magazine's fashion show. At first, he wasn't so keen on the idea (the increasingly buffoonish editor was more preoccupied with things like his new swivel chair and a yo-yo!), but after thinking about the glowing publicity he could squeeze out of Betty's gimmick, he signed on, while visions of Fashion TV puff-pieces likely danced in his head. But then he had to run the idea past Alexis, the new president of Meade Publications. (Remember, she won the paintball contest, so she's in charge!)

The pioneering idea was eventually approved, but with a major change that Betty didn't know about. Instead of actually hiring heavier models, media whores Daniel and Alexis simply held a press conference where they weighed in all their usual runway hangers with a rigged scale. As Betty shrewdly put it about one of the waifs: ''I've eaten hamburgers that looked heavier than her!'' In a hilarious bit of comedy, Justin rattled off what the models really weighed, and when Betty gave him a puzzled look about his weight-guessing abilities, he replied, ''That's my gift! That, and accessorizing.'' Naturally, Betty wasn't going to take it. Daniel got an earful, and next thing we knew, a renegade fashion show was in the works. (Loved it when Henry and Betty were going over the code names they'd use Princess Daisy and Black Dragon.)

The secret fashion show within a fashion show went off without a hitch and with (Lil') Bow Wow and Omarion serenading the voluptuous ladies as they made their way down the catwalk.

...Earlier this season, a story line about how much Betty had supposedly changed since she started working at Mode played out, but I never bought it. She's got more conviction than any other character on television, and last night's heartfelt episode proved it especially as she strode to the end of that runway, horn-rimmed glasses and all.

In the end, Alexis was pleased, and she actually claimed the whole thing was her idea.
I didn't see it, so I don't know what the quality of the models on display were. I hope they either used actual top plus-size models, or actresses who looked equally beautiful. But however it turned out, the premise is brilliant. It's exactly what one wishes would happen in the fashion world.

The preliminary bit about the fashion apologists claiming that the skeletor models are oh-so-healthy is right on the money, expressing how the fashion industry claims that its famine victims should never be criticized, and are just perfectly fine. The deceit, the attempt to dupe the public - it's exactly like their attempts to dodge any regulation in their industry, and their failure to acknowledge the extent of the problem, even as models are dying of starvation.

Excellent to see Betty championing a plus-size fashion show. It's what I always hoped would happen with the character - that she would lead a change in the fashion industry on the show; and moreover, reflective of what I hope someone like her would achieve in the fashion world in real life.

So, it was a brilliant idea. I just hope they pulled it off. It all depends on whether the models were goddesses or not. I hope they were. This was a singular opportunity, and I hope the show took full advantage of its potential.

11th January 2008, 22:39
So with a little searching, I turned up an online video of the show. Most of the episode is brilliant, and it is definitely anti-starvation.

But the problem is, the fashion show at the end is a total let-down, and a tremendous step backward. The models are hideously unattractive - in fact, they were obviously chosen to look homely - and that completely undermines the positive message that the episode would otherwise have sent.

There are some marvellous jabs at the fashion industry. One of my favourites is when a stylist says:

I spent this morning fitting a spinal column with a tuft of hair.There is also a great scene where Betty explains to her boss what the fashion industry is doing to women:

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But like I said, its all ruined by the choice to use the most grotesque-looking women it could find. Its an insult. If the show had used professional plussize models instead, this would have been a perfect episode. As it is, the whole message collapses because instead of showing plussize beauty, the program supports the worst stereotypes that full-figured women are not attractive.

What a pity. One step forward, two steps back.

Here is the URL where you can see the show. You need DivX to watch it though.


12th January 2008, 01:25
What a missed opportunity. The program had a chance to do something really extraordinary. The buildup was tremendous. Perhaps the most poignant moment was seeing the clique of young girls begin starving themselves after watching the emaciated models. Seeing that is what prompts Betty to attempt to change the fashion show.

It would have been nice if the writers had allowed someone to refute the publisher's pathetic excuses about why designers use underweight models. Those arguments have all been destroyed, here and on other forums, but they stood unchallenged in the program.

Still, the fashion show itself was the greatest disappointment. The last time the program tackled a similar issue was when an actress who had gained weight had her pictures digitally distorted. In that case, the episode succeeded because the actress in question was gorgeous:


The time, the program botched it badly. And the writers themselves practically acknowledged the failure of what they'd done, by showing the clique of young girls reacting negatively to the show. Of course they would react this way, seeing a show full of women who looked like their mothers. How could they relate to old, frumpy models?

If the runway show had featured gorgeous young plus-size models instead, it could have challenged and changed the young girls' beliefs about weight and beauty- and the beliefs of many viewers.