Bye Bye Ugly Betty

Did you hear that ABC is canceling Ugly Betty?

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To be honest I was never a big fan of the show. I watched part of this first season but I quickly lost interest when the plots focused more on romance and intrigue.

Still it's sad to see one of the handful of TV shows that has a leading Latina character go off the air.

What drew me at first to the show was the lovely and curvy actress America Ferrera?

But sadly she too fell under the pressures of Hollywood and grew skinnier with each season.

She stood out in the film "Real Women Have Curves," based on the play and screenplay written by Josefina Lopez (actually a graduate of Columbia College Chicago.)

Lopez actually spoke to some of my students at Columbia last year about her new book and how Latina women are often portrayed as sexpots in the media. And there's incredible pressure for all women in Hollywood to be thin.

That is why at first Ugly Betty appealed to me. She didn't fit any of those stereotypes.

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America Ferrera, the actress who plays Ugly Betty, is actually very beautiful.

Betty, which you may know is based on the Colombian soap opera Betty La Fea, is an "ugly duckling." She isn't a fiery sexy Latina bombshell like the one Eva Longoria Parker plays on Desperate Housewives.

Betty is quiet, super smart, homely and kinda geeky. And she has curves.

That's why I loved Betty at first.

I appreciate that the show tried to bring in plots involving immigration. Turns out Betty's father was undocumented. And the show had a multicultural cast.

I also have to give credit to Salma Hayek for being an executive producer on the show.

But in the end I think Betty failed in its fourth season because we know the idea of an ugly girl with glasses and braces who wears ponchos is just a gimmick. The cuteness factor wore off.

I'm still waiting to see more normal Latinas - not an Ugly Betty or a sexy mama - in a leading role on television.

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