Equate physical beauty with virtue


Dash Gallant stood over the cowering traitor, his dark eyes twinkling with disappointment. He ran a muscular hand through his thick, luscious hair.
‘I never thought it could happen,’ he said. ‘A double agent for the Mhal-Evol’Unt high command in my own engineering team. I trusted you, Sleezely.’
‘You don’t understand,’ mumbled Sleezely, spit dribbling from his cleft lip. ‘I didn’t know...’
‘You didn’t know what?’ snapped Dash, his perfectly chiseled jaw suddenly taut with anger. ‘You didn’t know you were broadcasting my shield frequency matrix? You didn’t know you were leaking classified information? Seems there’s a lot you don’t know.’
Sleezely wiped the sweat from his pimply brow and tugged at his lank moustache with one malformed hand. He was squirming with discomfort, his withered leg shaking uncontrollably beneath him. Dash shook his perfectly-proportioned head in pity.
‘I should have known never to trust someone so ugly,’ he said, placing one slender yet powerful finger on the airlock release switch.
‘No, pl– pl– please!’ stuttered the lopsided midget pathetically.
‘I’m sorry,’ said Dash, with a compassion that shone through in his rueful, heart-melting smile. As the hatch slammed shut and the airlock spat its physically repulsive contents into the emptiness of space, the moderately attractive engineers who had gathered to witness the confrontation breathed sighs of relief.

23 comments:

  1. The early Harry Potter books did this all the time.

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  2. Can't wait to see the Mhal'Evol'Unt high command described in detail!

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  3. I am having trouble imagining eyes sparkling with disappointment... is he crying or sumfin?

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  4. Wow, the over-the-topness of this one really points up a common problem...

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  5. Heh. I've always wondered why the Rohirrim didn't stab Wormtongue as soon as he showed up.

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  6. First thing I thought of was Atlas Shrugged.

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  7. Ditto what a lot of others said. This seems to be WAY too common. Porbably because people *want* this to be true. (Well, maybe not ugly people...)

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  8. The scariest thing about this one to me is that people not only seem to want it to be true, they believe it to be true. After all, Warren Harding was pretty much voted into the presidency on his looks - and any time you need more illustration, just have a "beautiful" person say the same thing as an "ugly" person, and see who people believe.

    Oh, and as a point of curiosity - can anyone think of any character in any medium who is both:
    Happy
    and
    Facially Scarred?

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  9. @ Wallis:
    Depends on if he has to be virtuous or not. Evil people are scarred and happy (i.e. The Joker)

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  10. It's certainly quite common for the !Dark Lord" to actually be very beautiful (albeit maybe scarred in some way) and there's often a lot of "an evil sneer twisted his perfect face" sort of thing.

    I suspect that that derives from the long-standing tradition that Lucifer/Satan was the most beautiful of the angels?

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  11. I think the beautiful devil trope is a little older than Lucifer. Trickster characters in various cultures get by on their looks – curse that faery glamour!

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  12. http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/BeautyEqualsGoodness

    There are many examples of this phenomenon here.

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  13. @Anon,
    Interesting point, but I meant normal-happy, rather than crazy happy. They don't have to be "good" necessarily, just un-evil - aka, I'm fine with this being a supporting character who does nothing actually good. Joker doesn't really count because first, we don't know whether his happiness is just an act and second, Heath Ledger killed himself. (Too soon?)

    P.S. Humorously, this (good guy pretty) was brought up in today's Zero Punctuation video as well.

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  14. Ha, films are based on this tactic. We have people's faces down to an art of loaded semiotic meaning.

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  15. Can I use the vampires in Buffy the Vampire Slayer? They were definately scarred and unquestionably evil.

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  16. And in that instance, didn't the morally ambiguous vampire characters literally "turn ugly" when they were enraged?

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  17. @ Wallis:

    Theoretically, Mr. Rochester at the end of Jane Eyre (the very very end, after they marry). Not necessarily virtuous, but not evil either, and he's scarred and half-blind.

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  18. @Wallis
    There is a character in one of Philip Pullman's Sally Lockhart books who has a birthmark that covers one side of her face. I don't know whether she would be "happy" per se (the other people in her culture assume she is a witch), but I seem to recall her being a "good" character.

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  19. Of course, the exact opposite is just as bad, where the hero is a plain and unattractive nobody who unmasks the evil high-profile genius that dazzles the whole world by his unnerving good looks (in addition to his overt philanthropy, etc.).

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  20. @Wallis:

    Hatake Kakashi. Naruto. He's one of the main protagonists. Though that's not literature by any stretch of the imagination.
    ...And, it's just a cute little scar over his eye. ._.

    And of course as Bekah said, Mr. Rochester.

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  21. Ok, this is half a year to late and no one is ever gonna see it. But anyway, in the way of the shadow by Brent Weeks on of the characters gets beaten up and horrible scarred(knife-scars), but she is still a nice girl and everything works out for here (unntil she dies)

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  22. Yeah, I'm probably the only person lurking on these old posts. Thanks for contributing, though!

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  23. @Wallis:
    Harry James Potter.

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