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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

Here Are The Most Fabulous And Bizarre Costumes From FX's "Pose"

Entertainment

Here Are The Most Fabulous And Bizarre Costumes From FX’s “Pose”

Pose / FX

FX’s hit drama series “Pose” is making history in too many ways to count. The production team has assembled the largest transgender cast ever for a scripted series. There is one, white cisgender male supporting star and it shows. The show also boasts the first ever trans woman of color scriptwriter writer. Beyond all these firsts, we get an inside look at what the LGBT staple culture of the late ’80s looked like for Black and Latino queer people, and it’s fabulous.

Balls were the one place LGBTQ people could congregate and truly be themselves, or whoever they wanted to be. Contestants often belonged to ‘houses’ with head ‘mothers’ and competed for prizes. Often the ‘category’ of a walk would be “weather girl” or “working man”, with the goal to “pass” as cisgender and be accepted in society. More often, the categories were just purely bizarre and fun.

The Category is Royal Family

Credit: Pose / FX

The opening scene of the entire series shows us the esteemed House of Abundance as they prepare to rob a museum of its Victorian-era regalia worn by actual royalty. Rumors in the ballroom community are that this actually happened, and everyone got away with it because the museum was too homophobic to press charges and get ‘negative’ press.

The Category is Best Mother

Credit: Pose / FX

Meet Elektra Abundance, played by Dominique Jackson, and Mother of the House of Abundance. She wins this title year after year with no competition, literally. In the community, she’s revered for being able to completely pass as cisgender.

Meet the competition, Ms. Blanca Evangelista

Credit: Pose / FX

Boricua Blanca leaves Elektra’s house to start her own after she discovers she’s HIV positive. Her ‘children’ begged her not to compete against Elektra. Her response? “I’ve felt the wind at my face all my life; I know when it’s at my back.” Never question your mother.

Pray Tell is our eloquent emcee.

Credit: Pose / FX

Let the record show that this show is set in 1987-88, and his character designs all his own clothes. But because of homophobia, he wouldn’t have made it as a fashion designer. Instead, he’s revered in the community and leader of all balls.

The Category Is Best Dressed, High Class, In A Fur Coat

 Credit: Pose / FX

He’s serving us Billy Dean, “mascul-tint-ity” and “butch queen realness.” This look earned him a spot at the House of Evangelista, baby.

The Category is Snow Ball

Credit: Pose / FX

Angel walks out at every ball looking like she fell from heaven. She’s a Snow Belle.

The Category is Butch Queen

Credit: Pose / FX

He didn’t even bother putting on a costume, and he won. The satire of this entire show is that the costumes people are putting on are the ones that the hetero world made. Everyone is in costume, trying to pass.

The Category is Weather Girl

Credit: Pose / FX

When Puerto Rican beauty, Angel Evangelista, played by Indya Moore, stepped out into this category, the emcee changed the name of the game. “This category is realness. Bring it like a weather girl. Who will show up? Whether it be rain or shine, who is real enough to be on channel 9? Oh, Ms. Angel, this category used to be for the juicy girls, but not tonight.”

9. The Category is Labels

Credit: Pose / FX

No knock-offs allowed in here, just pure realness. This is all our favorite look of Elektra’s. She just received her gender affirming surgery and is looking fresh and happy as hell.

The Category is Intergalactic Best-Dressed

Credit: Pose / FX

“Quarter grapefruit, quarter gingerbread man and totally out of his miiind.” He’s from the depths of the sea. Is he here for business or pleasure? We don’t want to find out, darlings.

Meet The “All-Seeing, All-Knowing Twizzler Licorice Realness”

Credit: Pose / FX

“I don’t know what she’s invoking, but I’m totally spellbound,” says Pray Tell.

She’s a “Dipsy Doodle Big B**ch Tag”

Credit: Pose / FX

Okay, I don’t know what this means but even Pray Tell admits, “That’s a bold move, and we love you for it, b**ch.”

Madeline Meets Mime

Credit: Pose / FX

Moving past how terrifying it would be to meet an alien that was this creepy, can we acknowledge the beauty in the details? We’re waiting to meet the costume designer when she gets her Nobel Peace Prize.

The Category is Face

Credit: Pose / FX

You can’t buy this category. You’re born into it. Angel wins this category every single time, because, well, that face is flawless. You’ve been blessed, Indya Moore.

The Category is ‘You About to Get Reamed By Elektra’

Credit: Pose / FX

After Elektra gets her vaginoplasty, her sugar daddy becomes disgusted with her and abandons her. Her value as a sex object plummets and she’s forced to find another way to make a living. As viewers, it was tragic to see Elektra return to stripping, and glorious when we saw Blanca take her in.

Elektra returns to the balls and gives all the ‘children’ who abandoned her a run for their money.

The Category is Mother-Daughter Realness

Credit: Pose / FX

Each mother had to introduce her daughter at a Debutante Ball, and they better be wearing spring colors. Ms. Angel is pure Peppermint Patty Perfection.

Elektra almost always relies on her physical beauty and style to win.

Credit: Pose / FX

At different points, the judges will take a magnifying glass to look at contestants skin. How soft are they? How ‘real’ are they?

Others earn points for vogueing.

Credit: Pose / FX

Check it: only the lining touches the ground. That’s a move.

The Category is Working Girl

Credit: Pose / FX

The beauty of this category is that FX’s Pose truly is giving the LGBTQ community working jobs to be exactly who they are, representing their community accurately. We’re here for that.

We rate Pose 10 out of 10.

Credit: Pose / FX

The execution, the message, the costumes, the representation, todo de todo. Check it out on FX, Google Play or the Apple Store the first chance you get. It’s all the LGBT Latinx realness we need.

READ: FX’s ‘Pose’ Is Giving Trans People Of Color The Representation They Have Never Seen Before

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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!