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Bad Idea of the Week: "America the Ugly"

Bad Idea of the Week: "America the Ugly"

Here's an idea that just makes me sad: VH1 could be developing a reality show called "America the Ugly," following unattractive women who get thrown into the glamorous world of fashion and modeling. The show is said to be a real-world version of "Ugly Betty," starring Becky Southwick, the acerbic model manager from "The Agency."

Now, I actually enjoyed Becky's cutting comments on "The Agency" — when she was dealing with models, also known as people who are judged on their looks professionally. But I wouldn't want her giving me a head-to-toe assessment before I headed to work each day — and I certainly wouldn't want her to humiliate other relatively normal-looking young women who might not be too high in the self-esteem department in the first place.

I know we live in a judgmental, Hollywood-obsessed society, but when did it become outright OK to make fun of "ugly" people? I'm still reeling from these yogurt ads that reimagine classic movie scenes with chunkier women in the roles, and this show seems even more offensive. Other than proving that reality TV once again lacks original ideas, it also ignores the major lessons of "Ugly Betty" — that the supposed beautiful people are often nasty on the inside, that your mind and heart matter more than your looks, that the underdog can come out on top.

This especially bugs me because right now, male nerds — many of whom are far from being Hollywood lookers — are being not just accepted but celebrated in entertainment: "Flight of the Conchords," "The IT Crowd," "Chuck," Dwight Schrute. Why can't our brainy, beautiful (if not model-gorgeous) girls get their due, too?

Photo copyright 2007 ABC, Inc.

jocasta236 jocasta236 10 years
Funny. As a young chick, I *was* ugly. Still am! According to me. But my husband of 27 years and various men I've met and ignored as a young chick and after I met my husband in my youth seem to disagree. Begs the question of what 'ugly' really entails, huh? I was taught it was about how you acted, not how you looked. Yeah, you figured it out: I'm a bit of a raging bitch. (I'm the one who threw that steak that wasn't cooked properly at the chef back in '85. I'm not sorry...that was the second time it coulda been cooked right.) The thing that bothers me is how beauty, as such, has suddenly become 'defined.' Defined. By what?! Yes, I use makeup until I look good to me, but as a living, working, free human being...I gotta tell you I don't owe anyone a good looking woman. This is me...TAKE IT OR LEAVE IT. Ugly. What's ugly to me is base greed. And. Hollywood, these days, when it comes to reality shows. No, thank you, don't fix me. I'm beautiful to my husband when I'm wonky-eyed, groggy, sweaty, stinky, sans-makeup..and willing to go outside in the storm to roll up his car windows and grab his smokes at 2:38 am. To HIM, that's beauty. Silly man...wonder why we've been together for 27 years? JoC
nomerz nomerz 10 years
I always hated shows like "The Swan" and "Extreme Makeover" ... it basically sends the message that so-called ugly people are unacceptable in this society -- that everyone needs to be a size 0 with long, blonde hair, blue eyes, and a tan. It's ridiculous and really sickening.
nybella nybella 10 years
such a horrific idea. i mean... the women who sign up for this show are probably going to be trashy :(
mwmsjuly19 mwmsjuly19 10 years
What poor women would go on this thing in the first place? Sad. And Becky ain't really a prize herself.
Fashionsugar Fashionsugar 10 years about a terrible show..I don't even watch ugly betty because the concept is so stupid to me...I would never even think of watching this show!
Beth1122 Beth1122 10 years
I agree that it is a bad idea...but the women who sign up for it know what they are getting into, right?
Linda-McP Linda-McP 10 years
This may be one of the worst ideas of the week ever. The label "ugly" just makes me cringe. I love "Ugly" Betty, but honestly, the title makes me pause each time I hear it.
HistoryGeek913 HistoryGeek913 10 years
What an awful idea for a show! I hope they scrap this one.
Lovely_1 Lovely_1 10 years
That would be horrible.... I would feel bad for anyone who was in it.
beingtazim beingtazim 10 years
i totally agree with you! i don't even like the idea of the ugly betty show, nevermind a reality show.
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