Although Betty from Ugly Betty had grown tremendously over the course of the show, it took until the fourth season for the character to get a proper makeover.
Betty Suarez, the lead character from ABC’s Ugly Betty, was never known for fitting in in the world of high fashion.
But this was all set to change in the fourth and final season of the series. The “Million Dollar Smile” episode got rid of Betty’s braces, but the character underwent many more changes before the series finale episode aired.
About Ugly Betty
When ABC’s dramady Ugly Betty first premiered all the way back in 2006, the show became an instant hit, amassing more than 16 million viewers with its very first episode.
And, over the course of the following four seasons, fans continued to tune in to watch the protagonist, Betty Suarez, adjust to her new life working for the prestigious fashion magazine, Mode.
Betty managed to land the job of personal assistant to the editor-in-chief of Mode, Daniel Meade, in the first episode of the show.
However, it was always quite evident that Betty’s quirky and naïve nature sticks out like a sore thumb in the high-fashion world of Manhattan.
Here’s when Ugly Betty finally got a makeover
By the time that the final season of Ugly Betty rolled around, Betty had been through a lot, and so had the fans of the show.
The fourth season had not only been split into two parts, but it also moved timeslots and had been syndicated by TV Guide before it even reached its halfway point.
Fortunately, whilst things may have been changing rapidly for Ugly Betty (the series) behind the scenes, Betty’ character arc for this season was already well-established.
Although fans had seen a few Betty makeovers throughout the first few seasons, including Hilda’s botched “Queens for a Day” makeover in the first season, the fourth season was really the first instance where ABC committed to transforming Betty’s signature eclectic style into something more fashion-forward.
Episode 17 of the fourth season, titled, “Million Dollar Smile” is the beginning of Betty’s makeover, as actress, America Ferrera, who plays this iconic character put it at the time – “The Bettitor” makeover starts here.
In this episode, Betty finally gets her braces removed by Dr. Frankel, but not before she enters a dream-sequence in which she imagines what her life could have been like if she never needed her braces to begin with.
Of course, now-prefect teeth are not the only change made to her appearance. Betty’s new look, which evolves as the rest of season plays out, also loses the chunky bangs and clunky glasses that she wore in the past in favor of a new, more tailored look, which even includes a stylish pantsuit.
Betty did retain some of her signature style after the makeover
Ferrera, who portrayed played Betty since the very beginning of the series, explained prior to the character’s big transformation in 2009, that they would only change Betty’s style, not get rid of it.
This is why, even though Betty’s horn-rimmed glasses were swapped out, the new, more elegant frames still had their the old bright-red coloring.
Betty also held on to her statement “B” necklace for the remainder of the show and continued to mix and match her outfits with colorful and playful accessories.
Betty’s makeover coincided with changes elsewhere in her life
Betty’s incredible on-screen transformation was something that many of the show’s fans had been waiting for since its first season. But at the end of the day, this transformation came at just the right moment for the character.
Betty’s makeover followed shortly after she had been promoted to associate features editor at Mode and it made sense that she would want to change her style to reflect this more senior role.
But this makeover also happened just in time to give Betty the confidence that she needed to venture out on her own and accept her new job in London.
Where to watch Ugly Betty
Whether you just want to relive the magic and watch the “Million Dollar Smile” episode (and the rest of the show’s fourth season) to get a glimpse of what Betty’s new made-over look entails, or whether reading about this transformation has inspired you to re-watch the entire series, it may be helpful to know where to find Ugly Betty after the show’s cancellation in 2010.
All four seasons of this multi-award-winning show are still available on a variety of online platforms.