Tuesday, October 03, 2006

THE UGLY BETTY TRUTH



By watching ABC's new series Ugly Betty, one would assume that the magazine industry was vapid, cold, heartless, and unethical.

The show, for the most part, is accurate.

This is my fifth year as a freelance journalist and while I've seen television characters come and go, I haven't felt more connected to any of them like I relate with Betty.

I wouldn't qualify myself as ugly (although, I am no hottie) and I do not have large metallic braces but I do understand the tribulations of wanting to work in publishing. It's thankless and demoralizing. I have swallowed more ego in the last half-decade than anything else (and that's including water, Slurpees, and daily coffee). I have questioned my own talent more often than I change my underwear (which is daily, mind you).

I feel bad for Betty because it's so obvious that she's talented and ambitious but also clueless. And as I watched the season premiere last Thursday, I somehow understood exactly what she was going through. Not the laughter and embarrassment but the frustrations that come along with proving oneself. Yes, the show is intentionally silly and ultimately, the ending felt trite and unrealistic but the ladder that Betty climbs, along with the ladder I climb, is wrought with obstacles.

A few years back, I interned at a weekly magazine I will call Mew Lork magazine. Before I started my internship, I could not have been any more excited. I respected Mew Lork immensely--I even had a subscription which I read cover-to-cover. The idea of witnessing their creative environment firsthand thrilled me. But then I started working there.

[To be continued]

1 Comments:

Anonymous beth said...

oh COME ON! what happened?!

6:33 PM  

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