Created By: Xzenu on December 22, 2010 Last Edited By: Xzenu on January 5, 2011
Troped

Masquerade Maintenance

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Page Type:
Trope
Rolling Updates * Needs More Examples


Alice is trying to fit in. But she have some kind of physical feature that makes it clear that she is not a human, or at least not a normal human. And thus, quite often, she removes this feature.

This particular masquerading comes in two flavors. It might simply be about The Masquerade, or it may be about her self-image. In the first case, the Maintenance can be nothing worse then a practical nuisance. In the second case, it's usually a part of a deeper pattern of self-hatred. Of course, these twop flavors are often mixed with each other, and one might lead to the other.

This does not include social norms for what is proper or maintenance done for purely practical reasons: Only when it's done to pass for normal or human.


Examples

Anime and Manga
  • Reki and Rakka from Haibane Renmei use a special dye to hide (and possibly slow) the fact that their wings' charcoal grey feathers are turning black. This is more than cosmetic, since it indicates that they are becoming sin-bound.

Comic Books
  • Hellboy keeps sawing off his devil horns.
  • In Fables, Rapunzel goes to the barber all the time, so she can pass as a muggle mundy. Unlike other examples here, she is happy about being what she is (a supernatural Fable creature), it's just that The Masquerade has to be maintained.

Film
  • X-Men: The Last Stand starts with a little angel who tries to cut off his own wings in his desperation to be normal. Considering that he *did* cut them off then, but still have them later in the movie, they must have kept growing back.
  • In Human Nature, the protagonist have fur. She hate herself for it. Shaves her entire body (except the head, of course) every morning, and punish herself by chosing a man who is utterly disgusted by female bodily hair.
  • In the live action How The Grinch Stole Christmas the young Grinch is teased for his green furry appearance. He tries shaving it off but it only makes things worse.
  • Scott Calvin in The Santa Clause kept shaving and dying his hair (he didn't want to look like Santa), only to have the beard grow back immediately, and the hair to go back to white.

Literature
  • The protagonist of Terminal World by Alastair Reynolds belongs to a posthuman race of "angels", complete with wings. To go among normal humans, he underwent extensive surgical modification including removing the wings, but he has to keep having them amputated with increasing frequency, as they always grow back.
  • Cory Doctorow's Someone Comes to Town, Someone Leaves Town. Mimi has wings, but they keep growing back. Attempting to be 'normal', she has her boyfriend cut them off every time.

Web Comics
  • In The Dragon Doctors webcomic, Kili and Greg, both werewolves, have abnormally fast hair growth and unless they want to be swamped by Rapunzel Hair they need to cut it off twice a day.
Community Feedback Replies: 18
  • December 22, 2010
    Darthcaliber
    In the live action How The Grinch Stole Christmas the young Grinch is teased for his green furry appearance. He tries shaving it off but it only makes things worse.
  • December 22, 2010
    Speedball
    In The Dragon Doctors webcomic, Kili and Greg, both werewolves, have abnormally fast hair growth and unless they want to be swamped by Rapunzel Hair they need to cut it off twice a day.
  • December 22, 2010
    Unknown Troper
    It Keeps Growing Back? Hide(ing)The Antennae? Being Normalis Hard? Hornless=Human? Less Super, More Natural? Looking The Part? Self-Loathing Supernatural? The Form Doesn't Fit?
  • December 23, 2010
    Discar
    • Reaper has some of the demons take power sanders to their horns. Most just wear a hat. Note that this is a subversion, since demons are several kinds of Immortal, and the horns grow back in a day or two.
  • December 23, 2010
    halfmillennium
    Don't know what country you're in, but men having beards is perfectly accepted in mine.

    Anyway, I'm not sure what we could name this which isn't overly lengthy. Is it specifically about 'animal' features?
  • December 23, 2010
    Taeraresh
    Cory Doctorow's Someone Comes to Town, Someone Leaves Town. Mimi has wings, but they keep growing back. Attempting to be 'normal', she has her boyfriend cut them off every time.
  • December 23, 2010
    ParadiscaCorbasi
    • A tweaked example. Lestat's mother in The Vampire Lestat was wigged out that her hair, once cut, would grow every night back to the length it was when she was turned into a vampire.
  • December 24, 2010
    Micah
    • The protagonist of Terminal World by Alastair Reynolds belongs to a posthuman race of "angels", complete with wings. To go among normal humans, he underwent extensive surgical modification including removing the wings, but he has to keep having them amputated with increasing frequency, as they always grow back.
  • December 25, 2010
    troacctid
    File Them Off Every Morning isn't the worst title, but I do feel like we could do better.

    Angel from X-Men: The Last Stand with his wings cut off might be a good page image.
  • December 25, 2010
    Karalora
  • December 27, 2010
    EricDVH
    • Reki and Rakka from Haibane Renmei use a special dye to hide (and possibly slow) the fact that their wings' charcoal grey feathers are turning black. This is more than cosmetic, since it indicates that they are becoming sin-bound.
  • December 29, 2010
    Xzenu
    Masquerade Maintenance is a cool name, but doesn't fit the trope exactly. Hmm, I'll think about it.
  • January 3, 2011
    Xzenu
    Changed the description to fit the new name. :-)
  • January 3, 2011
    Prophet
    File Them Off Every Morning would still make a good redirect. Hellboy filing his horns in the film would be the best page image imo.
  • January 3, 2011
    TooBah
    Scott Calvin in The Santa Clause kept shaving and dying his hair (he didn't want to look like Santa), only to have the beard grow back immediately, and the hair to go back to white.
  • January 3, 2011
    Xzenu
    The Hellboy scene sound good. Anyone got a picture of it?
  • January 3, 2011
    troacctid
    The new description makes it sound like it doesn't include I Just Want To Be Normal.
  • January 5, 2011
    Xzenu
    It does. Adding a pothole for clarity. Launching.
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