Ugly blokes, more like

American Ferrera as Ugly Betty

The Herald’s beauty bloggumist Lisa Bjorksten tells us how odd it made her feel that America Ferrera (that’s her on the right) won the best comedy actress Golden Globe award for her role in Ugly Betty. I mean, for starters her character is called “Ugly Betty”, which is a signal to United States viewers that she is, in fact, ugly; being from the US, US viewers might otherwise not be able to work this out for themselves. Also, like, omigod, she’s not anorexic or toned or facelifted or waxed or botoxed or anything. Like, huh?

The thing is, America Ferrera is only 22 years old, so she probably doesn’t need botox or a facelift just yet. She’s also not at all ugly (see photo to the left).

But as in all fashion reporting, you don’t need more than one instance of anything to write an article speculating about a new trend. “Is it the start of things to come?” Bjorksten ponders. “Will actresses like America Ferrara [sic] help stop our obession [sic] with way-too-skinny, Botoxed stars?”

America Ferrera as a non-ugly character in Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants

Uh . . . no?

More terrifying than all this are the comments from Herald readers. Unlike Lisa B, I usually look for a few instances of something before declaring a trend. It doesn’t take too long to recognise the common theme among people responding to this column. A bloke called ‘cretin’, and there are plenty more along the same lines, writes:

This girl has naturally beautiful features,.. a beautifully curvaceous figure and just the right amount of body fat to achieve that truly “feminine” look that make men weak at the knees while drooling over their sandwich!!
Give me a gorgeous ‘girl next door’ like that over a perfectly sculpted blonde/brunette bombshell anyday!!

I love how cretin and his cohorts manage to be all modern and sensitive in subverting societal stereotypes – rejecting the sculpted Hollywood startlet look – while at the same time being total sexist creeps. Rather than objectifying women for being thin and fake, let’s objectify them for being ‘curvaceous’ and ‘real’.

It’s been a while since I read The Beauty Myth, but I’m 99% sure this is not the result Naomi Wolf was aiming for.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Josh says:

    I was originally going to say ‘American viewers’ instead of ‘United States viewers’ but technically anyone looking at a woman named America would be an American viewer. Boom, tish.

  2. Josh says:

    Anyway, doesn’t Hollywood have a history of rewarding actresses for uglifying themselves temporarily? I mean, for fucksake, how else do you explain Nicole Kidman and Tom Hanks both having Oscars for acting?!

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