I was watching a repeat of Ugly Betty the other day – It was the one where she was supposed to get her braces off, but she ends up being attacked by a security guard, bangs her head on the floor, and wakes up in an alternate reality where she never had braces in the first place.
At first she loves it. But the she realises that because she is now the ‘pretty sister’ her sister is ugly, and her nephew never existed. Her dad turns out to be some kind of dodgy gangster, and Wilhelmina (the baddy of the series in case you didn’t know) is her best friend.
Betty realises that she really preferred her old life, and inevitably bangs her head again, bringing her back. Then she gets her braces taken off anyway after an unfortunate incident with a diamond bra.
(Owwie! People wonder why I want those invisible braces)
There are so many different versions of this kind of story. But they all have one thing in common – the people in the story always end up preferring their old life. Is this because it’s better, or they just crave the familiarity?
I wonder if these people had the other life in the first place, would they want the opposite? I know the moral is supposed to be something about the grass not being greener on the other side. But sometimes it has to be, right?
If you banged your head and woke up to the perfect life, would you appreciate it?
It must take a lot of magic for these fairy godmother types to reshape lives (just saying). But no one in these films seem to be grateful at all.
I wouldn’t mind giving it a go. Maybe I’m a princess in an alternate reality, or a ninja spy. Hopefully I’m something less dangerous like a famous writer who lives in a castle (hint hint fairy godmother if you’re out there).
But it brings up a new dilemma for Ugly Betty. If she did love her new world, she’d forever be trying to avoid accidental knocks on the head (easier said than done for clumsy people like us). That’s quite an annoying way to live your life.