20 moments that prove Ugly Betty was ahead of its time

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Betty and Zachary Boule

The concept of Ugly Betty mainly revolved around the fact that Betty was unattractive and wildly different than her Mode colleagues. But Betty’s eclectic style never stopped her from landing some major hotties, because she had that go-getter spirit and a charming, metallic smile that won over the hearts of many men.

It isn’t until Betty starts a secret fling with playwright Zachary Boule that her looks were ever really an issue for one of her relationships. She interviews him for the magazine, and there’s an immediate spark between them, which leads to the two of them sharing a kiss. Betty doesn’t want to seem unprofessional, but she can’t help her attraction to the handsome writer. The two start seeing each other, but when Betty suggests going to the premiere of his new play together, he insists he’s bringing his mother, which Betty finds adorable.

Betty decides to surprise him at the premiere with flowers, and sees him there not with his mother, but with a beautiful model instead. She storms out as soon as she can. He chases after her, explaining that it’s all a part of the “brand” he built, and that he has a reputation to uphold just to get publicity to fill seats in the theatre. Betty finds it pretentious that he felt the need to change his name, look, and persona just to get recognition, and when he tells her to be impulsive and do whatever she wants, she listens… and punches him in the face.

She’s left heartbroken, and worries that she’ll always just be the ugly girl with the braces, even when her braces come off. Hilda, always the supportive big sister, has a speech lined up to make sure Betty knows her worth.

"Somehow you got it in your head that this is your story, but you gotta let that go. You’re starting to come up with a whole new story for yourself. You are who you are, and the sooner you’re okay with that, the sooner you see what I see, the happier you’re going to be."

That message of self-love and confidence is what Ugly Betty fought for since the beginning. We couldn’t have been happier that she stood up for herself with Zachary Boule and didn’t agree to be hidden away because she wasn’t some model that got him publicity.