A Tale of Three Bettys: Hofstadt, Draper and Francis

While it is generally assumed that Don Draper is the master of reinvention on Mad Men, in truth, it is Betty Hofstadt/Betty Draper/Betty Francis. Starting out as a lowly retail model for the fur store Don works at, Betty then transcends from Betty Hofstadt to Betty Draper in order to become the perfect Ossining housewife.

Betty in glam mode
Betty in glam mode
Upon our first, somewhat shocking introduction to Betty after we assume that Don (as indicated by his behavior throughout the entire pilot episode) is a bachelor, she seems self-effacing and accommodating–your typical housewife of the 50s and early 60s. But as the season goes on and we learn more about her complex nature, it’s easy to see that Betty has her own agendas. Demanding the material comforts Don provides for her and yet still not finding satisfaction, least of all through her children, Betty contents herself with letting her histrionic side run wild when she’s not shooting at birds or having a masturbatory romp in the laundry room.
With Don
With Don
As Betty Draper, Betty was arguably at her best physically. But upon becoming Betty Francis after marrying politician Henry Francis, Betty transformed into her most psychologically well-adjusted incarnation yet. Although starting out the latest version of herself with a weight problem and momentarily dying her hair black, Betty ends up coming out on top by not only shedding her pounds and going back to blonde, but also having a vindicating instance of triumph by engaging in a meaningless fuck with Don, now married to Megan.
With Henry
With Henry
Yes, Betty Hofstadt/Draper/Francis is a true emotional (and physical) chameleon–changing personas at the drop of a porkpie hat depending on how it suits her own specific needs. What those needs are, even she couldn’t quite tell you, hence the constant desire to metamorphose.