Monday, February 19, 2007

how 'ugly betty' got the better of me

Sunday evening seems to be my body's natural slow down time - rest and relax in readiness for the coming week. It takes inordinate amounts of energy to motivate myself to move anywhere, so I usually move as far as the television and stop there for the night - a habit spawned by months of Australian Idol viewing. Before you start thinking 'how dare she watch television on Sunday? She must be totally addicted to that trash,' it's almost the only night of the week I indulge, and this week I had a particular reason for doing so: Ugly Betty.

When I first saw the previews of Ugly Betty I thought it looked like the dumbest show ever produced and I was not inclined to view it. Ever. Not in a pink fit.

Then I started noticing all the good reviews - I even found a blog (long since lost) that extolled the virtues of Ugly Betty. I like to think I'm an independent thinker but, truthfully, I'm easily swayed by the popular press - if they give Ugly Betty good reviews it must be good. I decided I'd at least check it out (to decide for myself of course).

So there I sat last night, taking in the premiere of Ugly Betty.

It was cute, it was funny, and somehow, ugly Betty got under my skin! As the episode predictably built to the point of Betty's gigantic humiliation at the photo shoot, the floodgates of my eyes burst open and I found myself bawling!

Where on earth did that come from?! I know I used to be rather dorkish and was humiliated on numerous occasions, but that was years ago in early high school! Come on Cecily, pull yourself together! You've dealt with that one, changed your image, moved on...

No amount of self talk seemed to help. As the ads rolled over I stumbled into the kitchen with tears flowing down myself, sobbing for Betty's pain... sobbing for my pain... sobbing for the pain of everyone who is judged by their appearance and found wanting.

There was Betty, so keen, so eager, so willing to help - but so ugly, and all people could see was her ugliness. How shallow is that? (Remember though, this is TV. I'm sure she'll blossom as the show progresses - she was already looking better by the end of episode one!) How many times is her story played out in the world around us? How many times do I judge people based on how they look or walk or talk or dress?

Oh what a shallow, cold world we live in! I hope I remember not to judge people by their appearance; that I can remember to value people for who they are, not for what they look like or how they dress. I'd like to kick the image-conscious games we play; to rise above the superficiality of western society and see people's hearts; their rich, wonderful souls.

I'm not sure if I'll watch Ugly Betty next week - it was a bit too painful in both a personal and 'this is so predictable' way. But I'm glad I watched it last night... it's good to think about these things!

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At 7:45 am, February 22, 2007, Blogger Robyn said...

I'm sad for the wound that was exposed the other night (I didn't see the show but can guess the premise). Hugs to my beautiful - in EVERY way - friend.

At 7:52 am, February 22, 2007, Blogger Cecily said...

:) robyn, you're the best. Not only do you write comments, but you fill in my blank comment spaces so I even just feel better cause there's no big fat zero! (I was seriously considering writing a comment myself). Thankyou lovely lady!


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