Betty Suarez, the protagonist, of ABC’s drama Ugly Betty, is known for her frizzy hair,
caterpillar-like eyebrows, signature braces, colorful wardrobe, and her social ineptness. Despite her uncanny resemblance to a 90s sixth-grader, Betty is intelligent and is a successful assistant at a fashion magazine. While she cannot walk in heels and she is the laughingstock of the office, she has helped me accept my awkwardness by reminding me that awkwardness is only one trait, and that I can still be successful and a valuable friend.
Like Betty, I tend to trip over my own two feet, accidentally smudge my makeup in
public, have wardrobe malfunctions, and stick out in the crowd. For one, I stutter and tend to snort when I laugh. I also blush easily, and speak my mind at the wrong time (out of impulse) and stay quiet when I should speak up (because of fear). These have always seemed like glaring defects to me, but I am learning to laugh at them a little more each day.
Ugly Betty reminds me that for every ounce of my awkwardness, I have
For instance, Betty is a savvy businesswoman. She has unique ideas, like unretouched cover photos, which challenge the norms of high fashion by reminding people that beauty is not one-size-fits-all.
While I am not an expert in business and I do not work at a magazine, writing is my strength. Blogging is one of the most effective ways for me to communicate to people around the world. This year, my blog has been viewed in more than 80 countries, and thousands of people have read my arguments for disability acceptance, an end to the stigma attached to mental illness, and the importance of body positivity.
Besides being intelligent and challenging norms, Betty is a supportive friend . For instance, when her boss gets rejected, she gives him relationship advice, as well as always reassuring him that he is a good person when he doubts himself. I try to support my friends and give them advice whenever I can. As trivial as it sounds, I never leave a text unanswered. I never want anyone to feel ignored or unwanted, since I have had this experience as a result of my awkwardness.
Betty may be awkward, but she is persistent and kind; she continues to work towards
her goals despite the ridicule of coworkers, and she helps everyone see their value. She has taught me that my awkwardness is just another trait, and that it does not have to define my worth. I would rather be awkward like Betty than judgmental like her coworkers because at the end of the day, her friends value her for her character, not her appearance.