Goodbye, Betty

Well she was an American girl
Raised on promises…

I met Ugly Betty in 2006. When the show first aired, I saw America Ferrera transform herself into a girl with a bulky poncho, a bright smile, and a notebook full of dreams. Like me, she had recently graduated college, and was ready to change the world through her writing. Betty Suarez was a girl from Queens. She took the train every morning and buzzed herself into New York City’s publishing world. Every week I tuned in for a therapy session, as it so honestly paralleled the first years of my career.

For five seasons, director Salma Hayek took the campy telenovela, La Betty La Fea, and transformed it into a bright, funny, and colorful every girl’s story. The series ends its run tonight. I’ll miss running home to watch Betty’s trials and tribulations.

In season 5, I watched Betty slowly shed the layers: She grew out her bangs, had her braces removed, and traded the poncho for more stylish threads. She got her first apartment, and started her own blog. She even became an editor at Mode, and in the last episodes, finds herself contemplating a bigger job in London.

But for every new venture or fashion breakthrough, she walks into a door, spills coffee on her shirt, or decorates her office with puppies. As I shed my own layers, I’ll always be just a little silly and shy, a bit of a bookworm and always an idealist.

There’s a little piece of me that will always be the bright eyed writer who thinks she can change the world through words. Ugly Betty is like a timestamp for my own journey that I can always return to and smile.


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