Not-so-stylish su­per­star

Her self-con­fi­dence is Betty’s se­cret weapon on ShowMax.

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Betty’s not go­ing to let her awk­ward­ness get in the way. Ugly- duck­ing Betty (Amer­ica Fer­rera) is ruf­fling feath­ers among the pea­cocks of New York’s fash­ion scene in sit­com Ugly Betty (2006-2010; all four sea­sons are avail­able on in­ter­net TV ser­vice ShowMax). We can’t help but root for this plain Jane with a beau­ti­ful mind. And so what if she has were­wolf eye­brows, a smile like a cheese grater with those braces and a wardrobe that a church raf­fle would re­ject? Her de­ter­mi­na­tion and pas­sion let her peck her way into her dream job at fash­ion mag­a­zine MODE and Amer­ica adds that “Betty as­pires to suc­ceed in a world she so doesn’t fit in. But with her op­ti­mism, in­tel­li­gence and con­fi­dence, she not only suc­ceeds, Betty is able to ef­fect change in those around her!” Like when…

In episode 1, me­dia mogul Brad1

ford Meade (Alan Dale) is the first to spot some­thing spe­cial in for­mer ice cream shop worker Betty – ad­mit­tedly it’s that she’s so unattrac­tive he thinks that his wom­an­is­ing ed­i­tor-in- chief son Daniel (Eric Mabius) wouldn’t flirt with Betty if she was his PA. The joke’s on them though – once Betty has her foot (and sen­si­ble shoes) in the door, those Meades won’t know what kicked them!

For her first day at MODE in epi2

sode 1, Betty ar­rives wear­ing a red poncho to match her big, red-framed glasses. The staff reel in shock at the fash­ion faux pas, but Betty’s Latina pride makes a fash­ion state­ment that the in­se­cure mod­els can’t match. At least not with her sil­hou­ettes, flo­ral mo­tifs and colour choices…

The fash­ion peo­ple spend their 3

lunch chow­ing down a model’s favourite meal: air. From day 1, Betty eats de­li­cious home- cooked food in the of­fice. Not only nu­tri­tious, it wins the heart of MODE’s seam­stress Christina (Ash­ley Jensen).

In sea­son 1 episode 7, Betty vis­its 4 a ho­tel to write a re­view and she ar­rives at the posh ho­tel res­tau­rant in her poufy, pow­derblue prom dress from high school. It’s about match­ing the spirit of the oc­ca­sion for Betty, not the dress code!

Betty takes an­other step to­wards 5

mak­ing her fan­tasy world a con­crete re­al­ity in sea­son 2 episode 3 when she joins a cre­ative writ­ing class, since MODE isn’t giv­ing her the writ­ing ex­pe­ri­ence that she wanted. That’s how to think out­side of MODE’s big, clear per­spex box!

Betty looks at how fash­ion’s 6

skinny em­pire harms lit­tle girls in sea­son 2 episode 11 and she takes on the in­dus­try to con­vince Daniel to put on a plus-size model show dur­ing Fash­ion Week. Betty even takes to the catwalk in what turns out to be a hit show. Her con­fi­dence is in­fec­tious.

Miss Suarez not only has the 7

be­lief to choose work over love in sea­son 3 episode 1, Betty treats her­self to a hol­i­day road­trip too, filling her­self with in­spi­ra­tion and re­mind­ing us that lov­ing and do­ing what’s right for our­selves isn’t be­ing self­ish.

Betty uses a but­ter­fly mo­tif in 8

her cloth­ing and in sea­son 4 episode 2, she puts to­gether ev­ery­thing she’s learnt in her years at MODE for a DIY makeover. As for her “co­coon”, she frames that in­fa­mous poncho and hangs it on her of­fice wall. Betty has the courage to trans­form at her own pace while still lov­ing who she was.

In sea­son 4 episode 17, tooth­fairy 9

Kathy Na­jimy shows Betty what her life would’ve been like with per­fect teeth. Betty’s sub­con­scious is telling her that be­ing the cut­throat, am­bi­tious beau­ti­ful sis­ter would’ve been a night­mare. She knows that she had to build that con­fi­dence by fight­ing peo­ple’s ex­pec­ta­tions daily.

And in the series fi­nale, sea­son 4 10

episode 20, MODE cre­ative di­rec­tor Wil­helmina ( Vanessa Wil­liams) ex­presses ad­mi­ra­tion after Betty re­veals that she’s off to Lon­don: “You’ve got balls, Betty Suarez.” The re­spect of an en­emy is a lot tastier than the love of Daniel and worth the fight.


Even Wil­helmina ap­plauds Betty. ShowMax is Africa’s largest in­ter­net TV ser­vice, with thou­sands of series, movies and doc­u­men­taries avail­able to bingeview for just R99 a month. You can watch as many of ShowMax’s series as you like with­out re­stric­tions. You can pay one month and not the next, then sign back in again. It’s up to you! Go to to sign up for a free seven-day trial!

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