Entertainment

These Iconic Ugly Betty Moments Defined A Show That Defined Our Youth

Ugly Betty / ABC via Getty Images

It has been over 10 years since the Salma Hayek-produced hit “Ugly Betty” aired its final episode. And we miss the Suarez family and the extravagant personalities of the magazine industry. While the story of “Betty, La Fea” had been adapted (and continues to be adapted) in numerous countries and languages, the U.S. version represented a breakthrough moment for the representation of Latinos. It also gave actress America Ferrara the ideal platform to launch her career. 

Without “Ugly Betty” there would be no “Jane the Virgin,” no “Vida” (you gotta watch this one!) and no wider representation of Latino culture on television. The road is still long, but Betty and her poncho smashed the glass ceiling. 

Here are some of our favorite moments of the show.

When Betty chats about ponchos with a top model who is wearing a Dolce & Gabbana cape.

Credit: Ugly Betty / ABC

We adore Betty because she is clueless and doesn’t buy into the whole fashion industry. This is Betty at her cutest, comparing her famous poncho with a super expensive one. 

When she shows up to Mode’s headquarters for the first time, wearing her poncho, of course.

Credit: Ugly Betty / ABC

This tender moment took places in the pilot episode. We will never forget the bold yellow letters and our girl’s sunshine of a smile! This moment will be forever engrained in the history of television. 

When Wihelmina gets risky duck injections this is more like a cautionary tale.

Credit: Ugly Betty / ABC

Wihelmina is funny and tragic in equal measures. We love her telenovela-like obsession with youth, and seeing her like this gave us a sense of guilty pleasure, TBH.  Also: do not try this at home. 

When Betty goes to London during Fashion Week in Season 4.

Credit: Ugly Betty / ABC

Really, our chiquita needed a break from all that drama. It was great seeing her in the British capital enjoying some time with her beau (Freddy Rodriguez, we miss you!). Betty looks so relaxed and elegant here, we can’t get enough of her. 

When Amanda walks the halls of Mode naked and Betty gets freaked out.

Credit: Ugly Betty / ABC

This is such a Betty moment: the conservative Latina girl encounters the body positivity of the fashion industry. Ay, Dios

When Daniel silently realizes a hug from Betty feels like home.

Credit: Ugly Betty / ABC

Betty and Daniel have such an up and down relationship. But when it is just the two of them, the pretty boy understands that he feels safe and loved with Betty. Nothing like a hug to reveal what the heart truly wants. 

When Betty finally loses her braces and munches on a metallic bra to test her teeth.

Credit: Ugly Betty / ABC

Episode 17 of Season 4 was magical: our Betty finally shows her Million Dollar Smile! A new world of sensations awaits her as she enjoys a brace-free mouth for the first time in like forever. Oh, Betty, eres una chistosa

When Wihelmina gets married but is jealous of Victoria Beckham.

Credit: Ugly Betty / ABC

Yes, Wihelmina loves the spotlight so seeing her compete for everyone’s attention with her famous maid of honor is funny, funny, funny. Victoria shines as the attention-grabber that becomes Wihelmina’s worst nightmare. 

When Marc tells Betty she has it easy because she is Latina and there is affirmative action.

Credit: Ugly Betty / ABC

Betty gets picked up for a training program, YETI, and Marc doesn’t. He is obviously upset, him being him, and tells her that she got it because she is Latina. Such a relatable moment for all of us, eh! 

When Marc finally comes out of the closet with his mom.

Credit: Ugly Betty / ABC

We do not care much for Marc: he is egocentric and makes our girl’s life a living hell inside Mode. But he gave us this very tender moment when he couldn’t keep his sexual identity from his mother anymore and just spilled the beans. Good on him.

Speaking of coming out. When Alexis Meade revealed she was trans.

Credit: Ugly Betty / ABC

She did so right in the middle of a fashion show. She revealed her identity as Daniel’s former brother. A truly groundbreaking moment in television history when it comes to the representation of non-gender-conforming individuals. 

When cultures collide.

Credit: Ugly Betty / ABC

The show is very skillful in showing the tensions that exist when Anglo and Mexican-American cultures collide. Here we can see Marc visiting the Suarez family. An uncomfortable but very revealing moment that happens in the US every-single-pinche-day. 

When Wihelmina shows men who boss really is all of the time.

Credit: Ugly Betty / ABC

Wihelmina is a much more complex character than we give her credit for. After all, she is a powerful woman in a corporate environment. As much as we mistrust her, we admire her will, elegance and general badass attitude. Queen.

When Justin auditions in Broadway.

Credit: Ugly Betty / ABC

We love how sure of himself Betty’s brother, Justin, is. He doesn’t give an F about what anyone thinks. He is flamboyant and he owns it! In this audition, by the way, he bumps into the school’s bully, Randy, and they form an unexpected bond. They were auditioning for “Billy Elliot,” by the way, a musical about overcoming stereotypes and just being yourself. 

When Wihelmina performs onstage at a drag club.

Credit: Ugly Betty / ABC

After finding out that a drag queen has stolen her personality to stage a show, our villana takes matters into her own heels and goes on stage. It is “Ugly Betty” meets “RuPaul’s Drag Race.” Sabor! 

When Adele makes an appearance.

Credit: Ugly Betty / ABC

We just love the British diva, and so does Betty. When the singer shows up at a party and performs, Betty just can’t act like anything else but a fangirl! This episode helped Adele be more widely known in the coveted U.S. market. 

When Justin is named the Homecoming Queen as a joke, but he owns the moment.

Credit: Ugly Betty / ABC

He accepts the flowers, dedicates the win to his late mom and turns humiliation into glory! Hail Queen Justin! Years later, “Glee”would do something similar. 

When Justin experiences his first his… awww…

Credit: Ugly Betty / ABC

Another groundbreaking moment. Teen gay characters are often portrayed as conflicted and rejected. Not Justin, though, who shares his first kiss with pretty boy Austin. A tender, unforgettable moment. 

When Naomi Campbell herself played ball. 

Credit: Ugly Betty / ABC

“Ugly Betty”had its share of guest appearances, but one of the best was having the supermodel appear in season 2. She was playing in team Elleagainst team Mode: the rivalry spread from the glossy pages to the field. Just look at her.

When Betty met Shakira herself in the Bahamas.

Credit: Ugly Betty / ABC

Real women have curves, as we witnessed in this episode with two of the biggest Latina icons ever. Just seeing these two onscreen together gave us all the proud feels.

READ: These ‘Ugly Betty’ Facts Will Make You Love The Iconic TV Show Even More Than You Already Do

This Short Film Centers Around A Black Father Doing His Daughter’s Hair

Entertainment

This Short Film Centers Around A Black Father Doing His Daughter’s Hair

When it comes to grooming a daughter’s hair, Black fathers haven’t been shy about expressing the difficulties that come along with the morning ritual. And Afro-Latino fathers are no exception. In Latinx communities with large Afro-Latino populations, having “good hair” is a label we all have to contend with. Young girls have a lot of pressure put on them to look put-together so, by extension, our families look put together. 

We all have memories of our mothers making sure our baby-bangs were smoothed down and our outfits were washed and pressed to perfection. 

Being well-groomed is so important to Afro-Latinos who face societal pressure to look perfect in order to combat bias.

Kickstarter

So, when fathers occasionally have to groom their children when their mother is unavailable, the pressure, needless to say, is on. We’ve all seen the genre of viral videos where fathers struggle to part, brush, braid and secure their daughters’ hair–obviously not previously aware of all the labor that goes into daily hair upkeep. Even celebrities have gotten in on the trend with men like Alexis Ohanian, husband to Serena Williams, joining “Natural Hair” groups on Facebook to learn more about their children’s rizos

Writer/director Matthew Cherry wanted to explore the topic of Black fathers doing their daughters hair, so he decided to make an animated short about it.

Kickstarter

According to Cherry, the short, titled “Hair Love” is about a Black father (who has locs himself) who does his daughter’s hair for the first time. “You know how guys are, a lot of times we’re hard-headed and we think we can figure everything out by ourselves without asking for help,” said Cherry during an interview. “[The father in the short] thinks it’s going to be an easy task but he soon finds out her hair has a mind of its own”. 

The father isn’t the only one who learns a lesson in self-confidence in the course of the film, though. In the end, the young girl also “comes into a level of self-confidence in the process” of her father learning how to do her hair. So, in other words, the entire film is an ode to self-love, family, and the priceless experience of bonding.

To finance “Hair Love”, Cherry created a Kickstarter campaign with the initial goal of raising $75,000. The campaign quickly caught the internet’s attention and became a viral phenomenon thanks to celebrity champions like Issa Rae and Jordan Peele. The $75,000 goal was quickly surpassed. All in all, the campaign raked in a total of $280,000–smashing Kickstarter’s short-film financing records. 

Cherry recruited Black animators like “Proud Family”‘s Bruce W. Smith and “WALL-E”‘s Everett Downing Jr. to help him make his dreams a reality.

As for Cherry, he’s candid about the reason he decided to explore the topic of Black hair and Black fathers: because mainstream media’s representation has left much to be desired. According to Cherry, not only did he want to shine a light on the labor of love that doing Black hair requires, but he wanted to highlight the relationships between Black fathers and their daughters. 

“For me, I just think it was really important to shine a light on Black fathers doing domestic things with their kids because mainstream media would lead you to believe that Black fathers aren’t a part of their kids’ lives”, Cherry said. “And there have been a lot of recent surveys that actually show otherwise–that show that Black fathers are just as involved in their kids’ lives as any other racial group”.

Now, “Hair Love” will be played ahead of “The Angry Birds Movie 2” in theaters nationwide

Kickstarter

The nationwide release will provide a massive platform for an under-told story. Not to mention, it will provide Black children with their own images reflected back to them–something many of them haven’t seen before. Not to mention, the security of a theatrical release has made “Hair Love” officially eligible for an Academy Award nomination. 

As for Cherry, he’s over-the-moon about the opportunity for his project to be seen by millions of people. “To see this project go from a Kickstarter campaign to the big screen is truly a dream come true,” he said in a press statement. “I couldn’t be more excited for “Hair Love” to be playing with “The Angry Birds Movie 2” in front of a wide audience and for the world to see our touching story about a Black father trying to figure out how to do his daughter’s hair for the very first time.”

We’ll admit: we didn’t have plans to see “Angry Birds 2” in theaters before we knew about this. But now, you might just see us on opening night, standing in line for the movie right next to our fathers! Catch “Hair Love” before  “The Angry Birds Movie 2” in theaters on August 14th.

Video: This Is How People Reacted When They Heard A White Mom Tell Her Adopted Latina Daughter To Speak English

Culture

Video: This Is How People Reacted When They Heard A White Mom Tell Her Adopted Latina Daughter To Speak English

It seems like every other day there’s a new viral video of an old Trump supporter or a young white bro telling a Latinx person in the US to stop speaking Spanish. Recently, two elder women angrily ordered a Puerto Rican manager of a Central Florida Burger King to go back to Mexico when they overheard him speaking Spanish in a private conversation, while two Mexican-American women were detained by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection just for speaking Spanish at a Montana supermarket. The xenophobic and racist attacks, both verbal and physical, have made many feel like it’s dangerous to speak their own tongue or like an outcast for communicating to their parents or grandparents in the only language they know.

The English-only movement has further divided a country, with those ignited by the bigotry of the Trump administration unfoundedly threatened by just the sound of a person of color speaking another tongue and others who understand there is no official language in the US supporting the linguistic freedom and multiculturalism that allegedly makes the nation exceptional. 

On an episode of What Would You Do?, host John Quiñones confronts the schismatic topic. 

During the nearly 9-minute-long segment of the ABC series, a white mother tells her adopted Latina daughter to only speak Spanish and instructs her to order a hamburger instead of a traditional Latin American dish. Using hidden cameras to record the very common, but in this case staged, scenario, viewers get a peak of how ordinary people behave when they witness dilemmas that either compel them to intervene or mind their own business.

During the segment, Michele, the mother, and Isabella, the daughter, are grabbing a bite at a diner in Orangeburg, New York. The child asks the Latina waitress for arroz con leche, to which her mother responds, “Isabella, stop speaking Spanish. You’re American. That is not your language. What is wrong with you?” The first person to overhear, an elder white teacher, engages with the duo, telling Michele she doesn’t think she’s going about the situation “in the right way.” 

“She should be proud of her Spanish language, not to be made to feel like she’s doing something wrong,” she tells the mother. Later, she even advises the mom to learn Spanish and tells the young girl that Spanish is a beautiful language.

When Quiñones, himself a Texas-born Mexican-American, reveals his crew and asks why the woman intervened, she responded, “When it comes to children, I go from a mouse to a lion. I just don’t like anybody taking advantage of a child.”

In another scene, Isabela asks for arroz con pollo. Michele, visibly upset, scolds the girl. “Isabella, in English,” she demands. “I brought you here to give you a better life, and I want you to speak American.

This time, another teacher in a nearby table overhears and decides to offer Michele a quick lesson — in patience.

ABC

When Michele stresses that she just wants her daughter to speak English because they’re in the US, the teacher sympathizes with her. “I know. I’m a teacher, and I get it. But you’re not going to get anywhere demanding it, and you can’t get frustrated by it.”

She then turns to the girl and attempts to rationalize her mother’s actions. When Isabela asks the woman “do you think it’s wrong to speak Spanish,” she replies, “Not to mommy, because mommy doesn’t understand that. It’s good manners if you are with other people that don’t speak it, to speak English.”

When Quiñones pops out and confronts the patron, he asks her why she didn’t flat-out tell the mother she was wrong. The woman, who noted that Michele would have had better results honoring rather than attacking her daughter’s native tongue, said she was “getting very frustrated” and “was thinking maybe it was very bad,” but doesn’t know why she didn’t challenge Michele more on it.

In the next case, it’s a Puerto Rican diner who overhears the conversation. Not immediately making any comment, when Michele steps away, Isabela engages with the patron, who informs her she, too, speaks Spanish. “Yo hablo español,” she says, before asking if the young girl likes living in the US. “That’s good that somebody loving adopted you,” she says.

When Michele returned, she asks the woman if she agrees that her daughter should be speaking English instead of Spanish, to which she responds yes. At that moment, her partner, a white man, appears puzzled and chimes in: “You speak Spanish,” he tells his girlfriend. “I don’t make you speak English.” He then reacts to Michele, saying, “She [his girlfriend] speaks Spanish whenever she wants, and there’s nothing wrong with that.”

When Quiñones comes out, he asks why the couple reacted the way they did. The boyfriend didn’t agree with the mother, explaining, “that’s who she is. That’s part of her identity.” As for the girlfriend, who was more sympathetic to the mom, she disclosed the discrimination she and her family experienced as Latinas in their predominately white neighborhood speaking Spanish and hoped the girl wouldn’t share her same fate. “I was a little annoyed in a way,” she said, “… but I’ve dealt with that.” She continued: “my mother spoke no English, and I had many fights when I was a teenager, people who would make fun a lot of times.”

Finally, in the last performance, it’s a white woman who is married to a Greek immigrant who is shaken by the confrontation. Angry by the conversation she overhears, she checks in on Isabela the moment her mom steps away, asking the girl if she wants her to call someone for her own safety and soon after informing a manager of the situation and urging them to phone officials who could help the girl.

When the mother returns, the woman confronts her. 

ABC

“We’re foreigners, so I don’t really understand what you’re talking about.” After Michele responds, “I just want her to be more American,” the woman questions, “and just forget about where she came from?” She continued: “We’re from Greece. We would never forget where we come from.”

Michele suggests that it’s different because her daughter is from Mexico, to which the woman, furious, says, “so you guys don’t accept Mexicans in your family?”

She added: “This is a melting pot of thousands of different people. My husband is Greek and my kids will speak Greek.”

Quiñones, who appears in the midst of the argument, informs the patron that she is on a TV show. The woman, who says she’s glad it’s fake because she was about to punch Michele, reaffirms that the US is a country where everyone is supposed to be welcomed and could proudly speak with their language. 

Meeting the actress who played Isabela, the woman tells her, “You would have been coming home with me tonight, and you would have been speaking English, Spanish, and Greek.”

Watch the entire segment below! 

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  1. Lauralee Owens says:

    Okay, first of all; Justin was Betty’s NEPHEW, not her brother as he is referred to as here (or her son, as Marc always calls him). Also, Justin’s mother was not “late”. He did lose his father, but Hilda is very much alive. Check your facts, please!