Sexism In Ugly Betty

1275 Words 6 Pages
The show depicts a quirky, young woman named Betty who is often regarded as unattractive by others. Betty lands a job as an assistant at a fashion magazine called “Mode”. Though her physical appearance is often mocked and humiliated, Betty gains her colleague’s respect and eventually finds her way into the fashion industry through her hard work and positive attitude. Meanwhile, other women who work in Mode tend to be careful about the impressions others have on their physical appearance, thus building their body images according to beauty standards. Though the first three seasons of Ugly Betty prove that women can live without following beauty standards, the makeover of Betty in season 4 undermines the show’s efforts to liberate women from …show more content…
As Naomi Wolf wrote in her book the Beauty Myth, “the situation of women in television simultaneously symbolizes and reinforces the professional beauty qualification in general”(Wolf, 35). Women are influenced by external sexism, which is sexist messages or behavior coming through individuals or media. For example, some people may say that “women are too weak to do labor intensive jobs” or “women are emotional and fragile”. There is also internalized sexism, which comes from women themselves. Internalized sexism is from one’s belief about stereotypes and information of sexists. In the pilot episode of the show, on Betty’s first day of working at Mode, we see that she has frizzy hair, wears a red and yellow Guadalajara poncho, orange black polka dot shirt and braces. The front desk receptionist, Amanda, sees her and says, “Are you the before and after shoot?” She uses a slow, mocking tone to express her despise in Betty’s ugliness. When other workers pass by Betty, they either laugh at her or give her a scornful look. The initial reaction and impression on Betty from the people working in Mode portrays the external sexism the society imposes on

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