Favorite America Ferrera role: Carmen or Betty? | The Tylt
America Ferrara entered our hearts in the early 2000s as someone we wished to death was our friend. We knew, just knew that having her as a comrade-in-arms meant having someone that would give us a hefty dose of tough love. This comes out in both of her most iconic characters: Carmen from “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants”—the pure but underappreciated member of the group—and Betty from “Ugly Betty,” struggling fashion underdog. Who’s your favorite?
Favorite America Ferrera role: Carmen or Betty?
“The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants” was based on a series of bestselling YA books that threw millions of teenage girls into a tizzy. You had one character that at least closely represented you: Tibby (Amber Tamblyn), the smart aleck “edgy” one; Lena (Alexis Bledel) the shy artiste; Bridget (Blake Lively), the sporty one; and our girl, America, who played the group’s foundation friend, Carmen.
Why was she the “foundation” of the group, you may ask? Because everyone else—parents and pending stepfamily including—would always dump their nonsense on her without asking if she was okay. Or, actually, paying her feelings much mind in general.
Like remember that scene in the first movie when she’s trying on a bridesmaid dress for her soon-to-be stepmom’s wedding? And the stepmom and her snotty daughter and the even snottier shop employee were making comments about how it wasn’t fitting her because she was a “different body type,” a.k.a., not a walking stick figure? Remember how you felt for her in that scene, and how you practically cheered when she stood up for herself and finally made her feelings known to her dad à la the ol’ rock-through-a-window trick? Hell yeah, Carmen.
That’s the thing about Carmen: she’s the friend you need, but not necessarily the one you deserve (you better work for her, damnit). The way America Ferrara brings her to life has solidified her as one of the most relatable characters of all times. She did everything every frustrated teenager wanted to do—let loose and finally get appreciated. Carmen was not only the friend we wished we had, but the outspoken person we wanted to be. Who else was cheering when she ended up with that hottie in the last film?
Yeah, Carmen’s great and all, but come on, “Ugly Betty” was a goddess. Real-name Betty Suarez, the character has braces in her twenties and somehow maintains her affable personality while working in the fashion industry. In comparison to her coworkers, Betty sticks out like a sore thumb, and we love her for it.
Who hasn’t felt like a fish out of water at least once in their life? Who hasn’t taken a look at the people around them and suddenly realized they had nothing in common with them or, worse, that they didn’t even like them even a teensy bit? No one.
Although innocent up to the point of naÏveté, Betty remains admirable throughout the series. She always sticks to her guns, and doesn’t change because, hey, at the end of the day, she’s completely happy with who she is.
Whichever character you liked better, we collectively thank America Ferrara for portraying roles that were the realest of the real. Señora Ferrara, we salute you.