Pretty Ugly


By Editors

The sensibility also emanates from virtually every character on the show, including bitch goddess Wilhelmina and campy assistant Marc St. James (Michael Urie). But nowhere is the parallel drawn more closely than with Betty herself, an outsider at Mode, where her quirky sensibility and appearance (larger than a size 2, and she wears braces) don't fit in with the beautiful people around her.

'The sadness in the story lies in the people who can't see beyond it,' says Ferrera when comparing Betty's situation with people who are intolerant of gays. She's walking back to her trailer after finishing a scene in front of her family's brownstone in which she says so long to Walter, Betty's longtime boyfriend. It's jarring to see her home surrounded by nothing but green screen'the effects team will add in the surrounding houses and the city later. Outside the soundstage, Ferrera's quirky
character is replaced with a thoughtful young woman. 'They miss out on the truly beautiful people because they can't see through the stereotypes they live their lives by. Betty really proves that; if you don't love Betty, you're the asshole.'

Judith Light, who plays deliciously broken matriarch Claire Meade, wife of Mode's owner, and is a longtime gay rights activist, takes it one step further. 'Betty is considered the unattractive one, the outsider, the other'much like the gay community has felt for so long,' she says. 'And yet, she is the beauty. It's about Betty saying, 'You may not think I look like the right stuff, but I know I'm great.' '