11. Ugly Betty (Part 2)

October 11:
TV: Ugly Betty (“Sofia’s Choice“)
DISCUSSION: Alexis Ruiz & Brianna Martone

(for purchase)

Remember to refer to one specific quote from this week’s reading and connect it with the episode being discussed. Please cite appropriately so we can all refer back to page number. 

39 Responses to 11. Ugly Betty (Part 2)

  1. Alexis R. says:

    “Ethnicity and race are not the main raison d’être (reasons for existence) of the lead characters or the motivation behind the main story lines. Rather, it is the logic of the American dream, which assumes the hard-working Betty and her more wayward sister, Hilda, will eventually achieve persona, professional, and economic success regardless of their class or ethnic background.” Page 121 of “Ugly” Dreams the American Dream

    This quote in many ways relates specifically to Sofia’s Choice. The reason is because in this episode, I do not believe that race or ethnicity played a major role. You can see it a bit in the scene with the father and the immigration representative but that it more of the class inequality. Another time that it can possibly be involved was when Sofia was having dinner with Daniel’s family. You can definitely tell that Sofia did not fit the race mold but the father even appreciated that she had to work for everything that she hd gotten so again, I think that it was more a different in class than her race or ethnicity. The stereotypes that did play a major role besides class inequalities gender roles. Gender definitely played a factor in the episode because of this binary that we all innately think about. Was Sofia embarrassing Daniel on national television any better or worse than him breaking so many girls’ hearts? If so, does gender norms have anything to do with that?

    The ways in which the characters were striving to achieve the American dream was very individual for each character. Sofia found that no matter what she had to do to get it, she was going to do it because it would get her one step closer to her American dream. She struggled so much to get to where she was that it probably affects her lack of compassion for embarrassing Daniel because as he put it, “it was just business.” Betty on the other hand values her character so much that she wants to get it through her hard work and dedication, not through devious behavior which is why she doesn’t respect Sofia for what she did. Daniel achieving his American dream is somewhat easier since he was placed in that position since his father owns the company. He is kind of taking an easy ride to his American dream destination. I know that Betty is definitely the ideal when we think of the struggles and experiences that are associated with achieving the American dream.

    • Skylar Smith says:

      Your quote and post summarizes the episode beautifully. I completely agree how Betty and Sofia differ to such an extent. Sofia and Betty are both determined but Sofia does not seem to have those morals or values for the better of other people, other than herself. Betty on the other hand went through great struggles and was put through so much by Daniel but still has so much respect for him. She still talks with him and even says she was sorry for what just happened. Betty is achieving her dream with all the right reasons and approaching it at a completely different angle than Sofia.

    • rserreti says:

      I agree with this comment. When watching this episode, I felt that Sofia would do whatever she could do to achieve her goals. Instead of being hardworking like Betty was, Sofia achieved her goals in a very informal way. Like you said, Betty achieved her goals by hardwork. Betty did not take the easy way out like Sofia did. Although Sofia and Betty were Latina woman, they did things very differently to achieve their goals.

      • Lucia Parisi says:

        There is no question that Betty and Sofia have completely different values. However I feel like people judge Sofia too much for not being afraid to hurt others to fulfill her goals. Daniel also hurt others to get to what he wants. He played with girls’ emotions in order to satisfy his physical needs and no one judge him for it. People think of this behavior as being normal for a guy. But when a girl does this, it’s completely wrong and everyone feels bad for Daniel.

      • Alexis R. says:

        I mean its also worth considering that a least Sofia has reasons for what she did. She did what she had to do to get ahead. Let’s really think about Daniel and why he did the things he did. I definitely don’t think it was to achieve anything. He was already in a position of power when he consciously made the decisions to be promiscuous and what not. It didn’t benefit him in any way except for his own pleasure. So I feel like that’s why I do not look at Sofia with absolute contempt. Believe that I do not agree with what she did but I at least respect that it was not just for her own pleasure.

    • Mariah Monroe says:

      Though I don’t believe race or ethnicity played a major role either, I dislike that the article says Betty “embodies…wholesome ‘American’ values”(PG. 130). Why must Betty embody only American Values? Why does the media put the American dream on such a pedestal? The media has been playing the ‘minority reaching for the American Dream’ card for decades now. The American Dream is preferential. Everyone in this world wants something different and their idea of ‘the dream’ is unique to them.

      • Kelvin Li says:

        I certainly agree with that aspect. I think she has her own values that she was raised up on, whether from her dad or her sister or anybody she has direct conduct with. She knows the difference between right and wrong and what’s not nice to do. I think they mention her having “American values” because they stereotype that Latinas don’t work hard to get their success. Or they rarely get the chance to do so. Betty has the drive and passion to be successful and live an American life of freedom and success. More I look of it, it’s hard for her to reach that. Yes, she works at Mode but does that mean she’s successful yet? She is trapped in the little world of politics where she has no say whatsoever because it is a male dominated industry. The other thing that makes it was is because she’s Latina. The thing that makes her stand out is her values and she doesn’t have to resort to them as the other women on the show who do.

  2. rserreti says:

    When watching this episode, I felt that Sofia portrayed the typical “Latina” woman. Unlike Betty, Sofia had sex appeal and was very promiscuous. Because Sofia had these attributes, it made it very apparent that they were categorizing Sofia as a Latina woman. Sofia also was curvy and had the dark hair with a thick accent.

    Although Sofia does portay the Latina woman, she did what she could to better herself. She betrayed people but she did it to reach the American Dream. In the episode, Sofia said that she did what she did because she did not want to be sweeping floors like her mother was doing in Mexico. This shows how although Sofia did have characteristics of a Latina woman, she did want to have independence like Betty did. She did whatever she could to stray away from the stereotype of being a hardworking lowerclass Latina woman. Instead, Sofia became a successful business woman.

    Because of this, Betty and Sofia connect in their goals in life although they do not physically connect with one another. In this week’s reading, it says, “Ugly Betty clearly follows some elements of the Cosby formula. Betty’s ethnic identity is neither a central part of her character’s development nor the program’s central story line” (138). This shows that although Betty is a Latina woman, she is not being characterized by it. It shows that she became a powerful woman even though she was a Latina woman and how her race did not affect who she was as a character.

    • Lucia Parisi says:

      I agree with the quote and your opinion in your last paragraph. We don’t really see any Hispanic characteristics in Betty during the two episodes. The only time Betty showed her ethnicity is when she wore the “Guadalajara” poncho. Even then, she only wore it because she wanted to imitate the lady wearing a designer poncho. The only reason we know she’s Hispanic is because her home displays this culture through her family.

      • Kelvin Li says:

        Betty wasn’t looked at from her ethnic aspect in the first episode of the show. They were rather on how focus she looked. And in this, her ethnic background plays a bigger part. She is getting judge by her looks no matter what. It could be because of her skin or they way she looks but the way she gives off herself is always questioned. Her sense of style in the first episode, to the way she should use her Latina background to her advantage. It’s all tactics that they want her to use on the show. They don’t want her to work hard. They want her to succumb to these criticism and stereotypes. But Betty, through thick and thin does not. She keeps that drive and goal because of her values. Her family taught her how to act. Just because someone thinks a certain way about you, doesn’t mean you have to change. Even though, Betty is always being stereotyped in the show whether it’s her looks or her race, she is always able to keep her dignity and respect. The main theme of this show I feel that you can be yourself and work hard to be successful but it just takes a longer time to do so. Do you care about how fast you reach success or the quality of being successful???

    • Katie Blake says:

      I think your post highlights the fact that the writers of the episode wanted to pose a comparison between Betty and Sofia. They are both Latina women from low income families trying to achieve success in the business world. Yet they have many differences such as their appearances and their morals. Also, Sofia’s appearance fits in with the Latina stereotype more so than Betty, due to her strong accent, and long dark hair.

      • Alexis R. says:

        Betty is representing one end of the Latina spectrum that exists. She is not the typical Latina that you see on television, and for this reasons, Betty is the character that you can use to make many comparisons. She contrasted her sister as well as Sofia. Because both Sofia and Betty’s sister have the option of using their bodies to get ahead, I can’t help but think what will set her apart and give her that edge, or will it solely be her dedication to her work and work ethic that allows her to achieve greatness………..

  3. Lucia Parisi says:

    This episode focuses on the behavior of people when they want to achieve a certain goal. A quote from the reading that relates to this episode is “… It is about the trope of the “American dream,” a familiar story grounded in the ideological belief that free choice, individualism, equality, and hard work…”(page) There are different circumstances that people fall under. Some people are automatically placed in high end positions due to connections such Daniel, others aren’t afraid to hurt people to get what they want such as Sofia and then there’s a few people who stick to their morals to get to the top such as Betty.

    Sofia will do whatever it takes to reach her goals. From her unfortunate background, she realizes that good girls finish last. What she did to Daniel is extremely wrong, but would her magazine/article gotten this much publicity without this stunt? I don’t think so. Sofia is using her physical image to get what she wants. Some people feel bad for Daniel and think that Sofia’s actions can’t be justified, but Daniel has screwed people over in his past as well. This brings up the issue of equality. If Daniel can mess with people, why can’t Sofia?

    Daniel, like Sofia, also used his image to get what he wants, but in a different way. Instead of physical image, Daniel uses his image of power to get with his assistants. As soon as women find out that Daniel is the son of the boss, they fall for him. Some are genuine and some are not, but either way Daniel lies to them and uses them for their body. Another issues that this quote arises is that Daniel didn’t have to do anything to reach the “American Dream.” He was just born into it. Other people aren’t as lucky such as Sofia and Betty.

    Betty would have to work extremely hard if she wanted to get promoted. If it wasn’t because Daniel tends to sleep with his assistants and Betty is considered “unattractive,” she would have never been given the chance to work at Mode. Betty then had to work hard to prove that her “ugliness” doesn’t determine what kind of worker she is.

    • Yining He says:

      Your post brings up the idea of gender politics and how there is a double standard in society when it comes to the behavior of men and women. Women are held up to a standard of being faithful, devoted, loyal, submissive, and moral. As discussed in class, men tend to be forgiven more quickly and easily by society for their transgressions, but women are not. Especially vindicated are women who use their sexuality and sex for upward mobility. This is reinforced by the judgments by other women (who continue to be agents of such double standards) and the whole patriarchal system where women continue to be valued for their looks and sexuality.

  4. Adam Lang says:

    The article discussed Betty/America’s “realness”, and how that was a key selling point in the show. On pg. 130, it says that she “embodies genuine and wholesome ‘American’ values”, which makes it easier to appeal to a mass audience. When Sofia used Daniel to get on national television, Betty saw this as amoral and refused to look at it from Sofia’s point of view. A big value in the United States is “The American Dream”, which is the belief that by following the rules and trying your hardest, you can accomplish anything you want to. Betty still plays into this ideal and also perpetuates it, by quitting her job after finding out that Sofia did not follow the rules in order to get her big break. The show itself is also founded on the idea that Betty got where she was because she was smart and determined, not because of her looks or any other advantages she had over others.

    By Betty rejecting the idea that Sofia had to “break the rules” of what she was supposed to do in order to make her big debut, she is perpetuating this false idea to our society. To say that Sofia using Daniel to get her big break is any more immoral than Daniel being born into loads of money is a very narrow-minded way of viewing the situation. The average viewer will take this “lesson” that Betty learned about morality to heart, rather than looking deeper into it. Betty is the poster-child of the American dream, an idea that much of the public loves and still plays into.

    • stephaniegiannoutsos says:

      I agree with your post, especially the part about how to achieve the “American Dream.” It’s ironic how people, like viewers of this show, really do believe that if you play by the rules and work hard you can succeed; however in reality, people succeed by stepping on others and hurting others to reach the top. This was clearly shown when Sofia described that she had to do what she had to do to make her name in the business.
      It is true when you said the average viewer will take the lesson that Betty learned about morality to heart although they will be missing the bigger picture of it all.

      • Katie Blake says:

        I completely agree. I think that it’s easy to look down upon Sofia for her attitude about business, however if a male acted that way people would say he was a good businessperson. Why does society hold women to a higher moral standard? Why do women have to be morally ethical AND still somehow move up the corporate ladder? In reality, I think it is harder than people realize to move up in the world of business without stepping on others. It’s a sad truth and I wish this wasn’t the case, but there’s a reason why people say that business is competitive. While I can applaud Betty for holding herself to a higher moral standard, I think it’s unrealistic to think she would be able to get as far as Sofia without hurting someone along the way.

  5. In the episode of Sophie’s Choice, my classmates talked about how the morality of what Sophie did to Daniel and some of them said that Daniel kind of deserve what was coming to him of how Sophie treated Daniel because Daniel also didn’t care about the girls feelings when he broke their hearts. However, I want to say that every girl knows what kind of person Daniel is and still women would fall for him and ending up getting hurt because they made that choice. Sophie in the other hand knew what kind of person Daniel was and still making him fall for her and dumped him in front of cameras, Sophie only wanted to go forward with her career by using whatever means necessary even hurting a person’s heart in the process. In the world of business, there are always going to be people who will choose their jobs to succeed over their morality because they know that’s how the world is. She had a lot of problems when she was a child because her mother was poor and she doesn’t want to end up like her mother and she wants to succeed in life by giving up her principles, which in time she will have hard time getting someone in her life because of how she treats people.

    Like how she lied to Betty and making Daniel propose to her and she uses Betty’s weakness of helping people to her advantage, some people in class said that Betty since she is Latina, she wanted to help someone in distress and I guess its true but not like Sophie who is more erotic, strong of using her head to manipulate Daniel and Sophie to make her magazine. In the end of the episode, Betty said to Sophie, “No, I don’t see any resemblance in you. In Mode, they might be superficial but they know who they are, they don’t pretend to be someone else. I think I fit in there more than here.” This quote was a good way to make Sophie speechless, Betty’s words mean that in the place where she worked before, everyone didn’t lie about themselves and speak without shame, in a way Betty respects them of being honest with people but where Sophie works, they have to lie to themselves and others to complete a goal which Betty did not want to work for. Betty wasn’t ashamed of working with modes because she knows who she is but when she was working with Sophie, she saw that her workers where doing wrong things.

    • briannamartone12 says:

      Being the audience, I feel as if we are quick to judge Sophia’s character. But, I think that you really show and justify why Sophia felt the need to do what she did to Daniel. I don’t believe that it was acceptable of her to do what she did, but as the audience it is important that we understand her reasoning. I also liked how you explained how in the workforce in order to experience this upward mobility, sometimes you cannot be the most moral person. I think that to the extent that Sophia took this to was not needed and she should have refrained from doing what she did but either way women will be judged for their actions if it is stepped out from the norm. Women will always struggle with being accused of using their sexuality to get them places which is also important to realize.

  6. In the episode, when Betty was interviewing the people from Modes where she worked, Amanda told Betty that she didn’t have the looks to work here but she did have the talent to make the business go further. Also Sophie was starting to give up her believes in life and she was falling in love with the Texas guy and she started to change and make her live more exciting for her but when the guy didn’t want to lose his marriage, Sophie went back to her old self saying that sometimes change can be for the better or for the worse. People talk about how Latinas are pure and innocent, when Betty was in the Strip Club for guys, she was really innocent and she didn’t want to look at the guys of the strip club because it was really weird and too much skin to show.

    And Daniel thanked Betty for her collaborating with Daniel and by helping him be more responsible and self control of his routines of his life. It was very interesting when Sophie was working with a lot of women and no men. Probably Sophie wanted this because she wants to be the Alpha within the women and when she crushed Daniel, her people were cheering for her without judging of what she has done was cruel. Even though Betty receive praise of Sophie, she didn’t want to become like her or lose herself, that’s what defies the person and Betty knows that there are ways of succeeding without using cruel tactics on people.

    What do you guys think about the quote of “They might be superficial but they know who they are and they aren’t ashamed of it. They don’t pretend to be someone else. I think I like being with them.”

  7. Elizabeth Parsons says:

    In this second episode, I think we see a real change in Betty’s character. Not so much physically–she still possesses her own unique style and “look”–but in her attitude. Even though she can still be awkward socially, as we see when she is introduced to the staff at MYW, she has developed more of a professional backbone. I was impressed when Betty stood up to Sofia at the end of the episode; I don’t think the girl who we met in the pilot would have been able to do that. It’s clear to me that the professional success Betty has experienced in the intervening episodes have done a lot for her confidence and her attitude.

    Betty’s personal growth to me seems to typify the progress of the American dream. As she becomes more successful in her career, she also becomes more confident in herself. The beauty of this theme is that is does not rely on ethnicity to resonate with the audience. Women who watch the show will (hopefully) take away from it that it is possible to grow and become the person you want to be; as the article says, “Ethnicity and race are not the raison d’etre of the lead characters or the motivation behind the main story lines. Rather, it is the logic of the American dream, which assumes that the hard-working Betty…will eventually achieve personal, professional, and economic success regardless of [her] class or ethnic background” (121). I love that this show is able to transcend the issues of ethnicity and race (while still addressing them in some ways) and address issues that are relevant to women (and even men!) of all classes and backgrounds.

    • morgankamm says:

      We also see Betty’s personal growth when she was interviewing the people she used to work with at Mode about what they initially thought of her when she started working there. They were able to tell her the truth and she was able to accept it and smile back like she was thankful they were honest. She showed that she really didn’t care if they thought she was ugly or poorly dressed because she is who she is and she doesn’t need anyone to change her.

    • Yining He says:

      I agree with your post about how the show is able to transcend the issues of ethnicity and race while portraying the pursuit of the American dream. This is very promising because it offers an inclusive version of the American dream – that this dream of upward mobility and success is accessible to everyone regardless of their race, ethnicity, gender or class. Reality is not so rosy of course, but the fact that representations of minority groups achieving success (such as Betty) now exist in the media – and portrayed in such a real and relatable way – is a step in the right direction. This can inspire viewers who identify with Betty significantly.

  8. stephaniegiannoutsos says:

    The part of this episode I found interesting was about the father and his immigration status. I thought this part of the show strongly contrasts the ideas in the reading. The reading described on page 121 how this show’s main premise, “relies on the careful sublimation of an authentic ethnic Latina or Mexican identity into a globally consumable, symbolically colonizing assimilated panethnicity.” However, in this episode, one of the main topics was the idea that Betty’s father was an illegal Mexican immigrant that is being threatened of deportation.

    They went into such detail about the father’s illegal immigrant status, and how he needed to prove his date of entry into the country, etc. and this really emphasizes the idea that they are a Mexican immigrant family. I feel like this topic of the show contrasts with how the show otherwise overlooks Betty’s Latina-ness by focusing on other aspects of her identity.

    • briannamartone12 says:

      You bring up an interesting view that I think isn’t really focused on as much.Betty may not be really emphasized through her Latina identity. However, by being a Latina there are still issues with that identity that are relevant as far as through her family. I think that the show has to show some of the adversities that correlate to race. Just as much as we branch away from notions of race, it is important that we include it.

      • alexandriagarry says:

        I agree that Betty’s mexican heritage is usually downplayed in the show. This is why TV shows are such a cool vehicle for discussing social problems. With so many episodes you have a chance to gather a following, get people invested in the characters, and then we you bring up these topics people are more accepting of the issues. I think the way the show discussed their mexican heritage through the father rather than Betty allowed the connection to come across without being overpowering.

  9. violettaorlowski says:

    In this episode, I believe we got to see a lot more of Betty and learn about who she is as a person in comparison to the people she had to work with. The quote that I chose from the article is “the show’s central story pays little attention to Betty’s Mexican Identity, focusing instead around the family’s perseverance, moral rectitude, inevitable success, and inherent nobility.” This episode dived into many serious issues such as her father being an illegal immigrant, the difficulties that arise for Latina women to climb the business ladder and get to the top, and as well as staying true to your morals as a person. In regards to her family’s perseverance, they have had to overcome hardships such as her mothers death and her father having to take on multiple roles, and now they are dealing with immigration issues due to her father’s illegal citizenship. Stressors like this are helping Betty’s family remain close knit and strong and be there for one another. One of the biggest issues in this episode was Sofia’s plot to use Daniel in order to get her cover story for her magazine. She claims she had to do it because it was her only opportunity and according to the statistics, she shouldn’t even be in the position she has for her magazine. Betty, on the other hands, represents the moral side who believes that Sofia’s actions were wrong and she should not have gone to that level. She responded by saying that ““They might be superficial but they know who they are and they aren’t ashamed of it. They don’t pretend to be someone else. I think I like being with them.” This episode displayed the dog-eat-dog world of business and questioned if it is possible to climb the ladder of success without having to backstab and trick people, which Betty believes is the way to go.

    • morgankamm says:

      This episode definitely showed a different side to the business world. You used a good quote in explaining this. The difference between Betty and Sofia is that Betty did things the moral way to get where she is and Sofia did things very differently and almost cheated her way to the top. This episode showed that Latina women can achieve the American dream, but cheating to get there isn’t always the best way. Because Sofia did that, Betty realized that she would rather work with Daniel’s company where at least the people there know they are superficial and they don’t try to hide it.

      • Katie Blake says:

        Though both Betty and Sofia are strong Latina women, I’m not sure that their ethnicity had much to do with them achieving the American dream. I think that their mutual lower class upbringing is what they have in common.

  10. morgankamm says:

    The episode “Sofia’s Choice” was definitely a surprise ending. Since I have not seen other episodes of Ugly Betty besides what we have watched in class, these two episodes were very different but also had some similarities. I feel that Daniel’s attraction to Sofia had a lot to do with Betty’s influence on him. Sofia was an attractive woman and fit the globally familiar Latina stereotype with accented English, dark hair, dark eyes, and a curvy, sexy body. The scene when Daniel brought Sofia over to his house to meet his parents, she said how her family did not have money growing up and she couldn’t even afford a plastic spoon let alone a silver spoon. This reminded me of when Daniel showed up to Betty’s house in the first episode and Betty explained to him how she struggles everyday to take care of her family and how her life is so different from his. I think because of this, Daniel was more accepting of other people and was able to fall in love with a Latina from a poor family.

    However, Sofia’s motives were evil and kind of showed Daniel that he should never underestimate a woman’s ability to succeed. Since it is more difficult for a Latina woman to achieve the American dream, this episode showed how Sofia had to go above and beyond in the business world to get where she wanted to be. She had to lie and betray her co-workers as well as fake a romance in order to get the most eligible bachelor, Daniel, to fall in love with her in 60 days. Even though what she did was beyond wrong and selfish, it showed that sometimes people that are underrepresented, such as Latina women, have to do out of the ordinary things to get where they want to be. If Sofia didn’t do these things to get her magazine publicity, she would be back cleaning houses with her mother, like she said in the episode.

    • charliegrab says:

      As Morgan alludes to, it is interesting to note the negative connotations behind Sofia’s actions. Sofia’s publicity stunt works to show us another facet of what it may mean to be a Latina… Or a women for that matter. How does one bring themselves to the top? Can it be done without hurting others, or is someone bound to get harmed?

    • I definitely agree with what you say about Betty having an influence on Daniel’s attraction to Sofia. Daniel’s father was the one who hired betty because he didn’t want a typical Latina stereotype like Sofia to influence his behavior in the office. In the first episode we watched, Daniel shows up at Betty’s house and she tells him about how much of a struggle it was for her to get to where she is and how her life as a Latina is not easy. Daniel tells her that he also has struggles, but that his may not have been like hers but they were the ones that he had to go through. It made him realize that other people do have to struggle to get to where they are and it made him more sympathetic towards her feelings.

  11. Stacey Pecor says:

    The quote on page 143 of “Ugly” America Dreams the American Dream, states “I think there’s a bit of Betty in all of us. It doesn’t matter what you look like or how much money you have; everyone at some point in their life feels like they’re an outsider.” To go off of this, I thought it connected well to this episode “Sophia’s Choice.” I think Sophia would be able to relate to this quote. She had to work so hard to be the successful businesswoman she is today. She makes a comment in the episode how she did whatever she needed to because she did not want to be back in Mexico sweeping floors like her mother was. At some point in her life, she most likely felt like an outsider. In order to outbalance this she works hard to achieve her goals. Sophia and Betty resemble in this way. They share the characteristics of independence and intelligence despite their physical appearances. In contrast to Betty, Sophia is represented as a typical Latina woman with a thick accent, beautiful dark long wavy hair and sex appeal. She works hard and does whatever it takes to get in the position she is today. (Even if it includes betraying people and embarrassing them to better herself).

    • briannamartone12 says:

      That quote really does connect with the episode in the way that you described it. I never really looked at Sophia’s character as resembling an person considered to be the outsider and its important to see the reasons as why Betty is more drawn to the identity of an outsider than Sophia’s character. We also have to consider Sophia’s identity as both Latina as well as a women and how being in such a high position as she is, makes her an outsider. Also, considering her culture we can see how she isn’t really expected to get where she did with her career. It is important that we look at the female characters in this episode and really try to analyze what makes them an outsider. For Sophia, I would argue it is more her gender as well as her culture while as for Betty I would say her appearance is what does it. I wonder if it is because of her appearance not matching up with a Latina identity, is this why we focus on her more as being an outsider. Maybe because Sophia does match the Latina identity, her appearance isn’t a factor and we focus on her gender more. Its ironic how we choose as the audience which identities to apply to certain characters.

  12. Katie Blake says:

    “This episode, like many others during the first two seasons, significantly draws out Betty’s role as mother/nurturer through the established archetypes of panethnic Latina femininity without racializing the character.” (Page 9)

    I believe that this quote describes Betty’s attitude towards Daniel throughout the episode. Despite Betty’s knowledge of Daniel’s womanizing behavior throughout his life, and the way he treated her when she first started working for him, she still has sympathy for him when Sofia schemed against him to “teach him a lesson” for her article in her magazine. While both Betty and Sofia are driven Latina women with similar backgrounds both trying to achieve the American dream, their paths to success are completely different. Sofia believes that she has to do whatever it takes to achieve success and credits her professional success at her magazine to “doing whatever it takes” to get ahead, even if it means stepping on others on the way up the business ladder. In a business sense, a great business person is someone who is able to separate business from personal emotions. Thus, Sofia is a great businesswoman as she doesn’t let her personal feelings get in the way of her quest for success. However, a successful businessperson is not always someone with good morals, these are two very separate characteristics. Based upon her actions towards Daniel, I don’t believe that Sofia is a morally ethical person. Though I believe that Daniel needs to revise his behavior towards women. Sofia’s scheme was an excellent taste of his own medicine by allowing him to have empathy for the women he has caused heartbreak to, but I think that her reasons for doing so were just. If her sole purpose was to get Daniel to see the error of his ways, I think that her actions could be justified. However, I think that she planned this scheme in order to gain publicity for her magazine, and this is not morally ethical. Especially given the fact that she embarrassed him on TV for the world to see.

    On the other end of the scope, Betty has a more idealistic attitude about her approach to business. She does not believe in using others to gain success and finds Sofia’s actions morally reproachful. While there’s no doubt that she is a good person, in reality I do not think that she would be a successful businessperson as she may let her emotions play too big of a role in her career.

  13. Skylar Smith says:

    This episode focused on the American dream from a different perspective other than Betty’s. The quote on page 149, “This show is a testament to the American dream. And that the American dream is alive and well and within the reach of anyone in the world who wants it.” This quote accurately portrays the overall idea of this episode. Sofia takes charge right from the beginning in order to continue the pursuit of her American dream. She does not show everyone her cards. She is very mischievous throughout the episode and fakes her relationships with Betty and Daniel. Sofia led Daniel on and in fact made him fall in love with her to further her career. Most of the posts I have read on this episode talk about what kind of man Daniel is and how women fall for him even though he hurts them. This, to me, does not seem like a very well thought out understanding of Daniel.

    I am speaking on ONLY the two episodes we have seen and with that said, Daniel has a lot of good within him. He treats women with respect and has a love for women. A lot of people on this blog have been saying that he deserved what he got, etc. The fact is, that he did not. Daniel has a Ludus love style which basically entails, “playing the field,” having sex for fun, not ready to settle down, and avoiding commitment. He does not lead women on to the point where she is ready to marry him. He has his fun with women, not on an intimate level but on a passionate level without commitment. If women already know what he “does” to women, why do they still want him? The point I am trying to get across is that what Sofia did was completely uncalled for and on a different level than what Daniel does. Marriage is a very serious concept and for her to make him fall in love with her for a mere article is ridiculous. I understand she wants to pursue and further her American dream but what she did should not be part of the American dream. Betty is also pursuing that dream in a different way and sees Sofia as, who not to become.

  14. Caroline/a Nieto says:

    I really like the representaion of Betty in this episode. Not only is she represented as a strong women that makes choices for herself, she is also portrayed as strong human that understands the differences between right and wrong. I think this is used to offset the comment that is made on Salma Hayek’s character, whom ecompasses many of the latina quilities that we have discussed in class. Betty’s latiness isn’t really brought forth in this episode, or apparently not in much of the series, but instead what is focused more on is her representation of beauty as a latina, “Indeed, it is most often her panethnic albeit campy performance of beauty and class what is the main source in humor and conflict.” (_____ , 126). Like I’ve stated before, I think this is done to allow more people to relate to her as a character and allow for a larger audience. What I would actually like to focus on, which I think is really interesting, is the comment in the episode about Latino immigration.

    Betty’s father, Ignacio, in this episode is having issues with his citizenship, which is something that is touched in this weeks reading as well. “References to Betty and her family’s ethnic identity are rarely mentioned or significantly incorporated into the show’s publicity and story lines, with the exception of the story dealing with her father Ignacio’s citizenship status” (126). I think that it is interesting that they use the theme of citizenship as connection to latin culture. It is a touchy subject, which makes it a bold idea to make a statement on but it is also an arena that engulfs many people everyday. This episode is commenting on the idea of immigration and the large issue that people have with it everyday. Clearly, there are so many hispanic immigrants in this country that have made their lives in the United States, so when they see or hear about some citizenship issue on the media, it is only going to pull them in, because so many people have lived through this hardship. It is also a way to laugh at the elephant in the room. I thought it was a clever way to also connect with a big part of their audience base, and more connections can mean more watchers and with more watchers comes more money and higher ratings. It would be interesting to see the statistics as to how many more people started tuning into this season after the introduction of immigration issues. There are so many people in this country that go through issues like this everyday, and to be represented in the media in some way only allows for some sort of relief, through entertainment. I know this is a class more focused on the Latina, but it was just a thought that popped into my head when watching the episode. My parents are both immigrants, and I’m not going to deny it, but whilst watching the episode I started to zone in more when the citizenship issue was commented on.

  15. This episode of Ugly Betty was heavily themed around power struggle and the American Dream. It was interesting how Sofia was seen as both a hero and a villain in this episode. She acted heroically because she overcame adversity and proved that she was more then a potential trophy wife. She proved to be a go-getter, a Latina who was making strides for all women in a male dominated workplace. She then became a villain because she used traditionally male characteristics of aggression and “B*tch” tendencies of manipulation and deception. I thought this was an interesting dichotomy. Her actions were only seen a “foul play” because she was a woman. When in fact, to make it in the magazine industry, it all came with the territory. Why is that when a man decides to play dirty he is seen as innovative, goal driven, and just him taking advantage of the opportunities presented to him so that he may achieve the American Dream? Was Sofia wrong in taking the approach she did, could she had done something different and still had achieved the same results?

    At the end Sofia’s colleagues congratulated her and her commitment to get ahead in her field. She might have even paved the way for other women including Latinas. The only reason why I guess we all felt bad for Daniel is because his parents were involved, and that his humiliation was caught nationally on television. I also understand the frustration that he must’ve had to know that the one woman he had set his playboy lifestyle aside for… played him. Yet lets not forget what he did to assert his position in the company. He basically inherited his status from his father, and then publically humiliated Betty to get her to quit. He was seen as a “Winner” throughout all of this. It was his own remorse that made him change his ways. Where as with Sofia she understood what she did was wrong and had no apologies because she almost felt validated in her actions due to the amount of hoops she had to jump to get where she is.

  16. Kelvin Li says:

    In this episode, it plays off a lot on Latina stereotypes. Compared to the pilot episode, Betty is more looked at from a Latina standpoint rather than her looks. They still judge her and make her play off the fact that she’s Latina. Sofia, on the other hand is very sexualized and she is represented as a lustful, fiery Latina. She gets what she wants no matter what she has to do to get there. She’s more worried about her career rather than having a relationship. She was basically telling people, this is what you have to do to get a man. It was just her using her assets to get ahead which is a current theme of the show. Only this time, its focus is from a Latina perspective.

    They also go into full detail about Sofia’s background. Again, we see the talk about family come up many times. We talked about the struggle that most Latin families have to go through. They stereotyped Sofia as a made growing up. We went back to the article that talks about the “American Dream.” Sofia wants that too because everyone dreams of that success of making it. Unlike Betty, she resorts to these tactics to get what she wants. She works very hard to do so. She had to manipulate people to get it but couldn’t she just work hard to get the same effect? Just like Betty, she has the mentality and passion. She works very hard but she has to play the race card to get ahead. You don’t really need too with her being successful and getting this far. Being a Latina or any other ethnic background because most of the time you do get discriminated. It’s rarely you see someone get hired because of their talents and what to bring to the table. I also think being a women is hard as well, especially trying to find a job in a male dominated industry. It’s very hard and sometimes they have to resort to stereotypes to get ahead. We may not like it but it puts money on the table and gives us the chance to further our career.

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