Created By: peccantis on January 12, 2013 Last Edited By: peccantis on January 14, 2013

Elizabethan Beauty Ideal

Repurposing YKTTW entry WIP, disregard for now

Name Space:
Page Type:
Forgotten Trope. Old one. Do we have tropers familiar with works old enough to have enough examples?

Shakespeare, anyone?

Split from Grey Eyes.

The Beautiful Tropes

Blah blah Queen Elizabeth I. Ideals blah. Politics blah. Cliches, parody, satire blah. Blasons. Blah blah.

Breed standard:
  • fair skin -- there was variance as to were the cheeks allowed to be rosy or not, but pretty much any inch of skin was expected to be pale as the moon and ideally smooth. This was a time when ladies would gladly plaster lead cosmetics to hide their lead-poisoned skin's blemishes.
  • yellow or reddish "golden" hair -- and if Mother Nature had cursed you with
  • bright (grey or pale) eyes -- and belladonna eyedrops for you if you fancied to rather look pretty than be able to operate your eyes normally
  • long slender fingers -- remainder from Gothic times, seen as a sign of elegance and good breeding

Again as with all Personal Appearance Tropes, a pretty character "just fulfilling" this standard does not qualify for an example. They must be pretty because of these qualities. This must be discussed, invoked, exploited, lampshaded, parodied, or otherwise clearly mentioned in the work or by Word of God. The work must be of proper period or feature it.

Remember that this is a Forgotten Trope. If your example is from 19th century or later it most likely is not an example.

Zero Context examples will not be added.


  • William Shakespeare himself mocked the strict Elizabethan beauty standards, the tired cliches used in sonnets to describe it, and the centuries-old Petrarchian blason tradition, in his Sonnet130 by describing his lover as having dark hair and dusky skin but his love for her truer than other poet's for theirs.
  • The Fair Maid of Ribblesdale satirizes the beauty ideal and perhaps the tradition of courtly love poetry altogether by describing and exaggerating the requisite marks of beauty of the maiden. poem in Middle English analysis

Links on the matter (moved to discussion if/when launched):
Community Feedback Replies: 17
  • January 12, 2013
    Ugh, not another eye color trope. We have enough problems with the existing ones as it is.
  • January 12, 2013
    Sorry but eye colour tropes are as valid as any other ones.
  • January 12, 2013
    In The Lightning Thief Anabeth has grey eyes.
  • January 12, 2013
    ^ That book is nowhere old enough to have a legit example AFAIK.

    //edit: and the page quote on Grey Eyes confirms Annabeth is the inverse of this trope!
  • January 12, 2013
    The name, even though it's better than Grey Eyes, is still likely attract all sorts of examples of beautiful characters who happen to have grey eyes. I think a better name is in order if this trope is to have any hope.
  • January 12, 2013
    I bet a million spacebucks that any example of this will fit neatly into an existing article, such as Raven Hair Ivory Skin. It is redundant.
  • January 12, 2013
    ^ sorry for the lost bet but when this trope was relevant, the examples fit the formula of Silver Eyes Red Cheeks Golden Hair :3
  • January 12, 2013
    Huh? What examples? Can't lose a bet on an outcome that hasn't happened yet.

    Also, "Sorry but eye colour tropes are as valid as any other ones" in response to "We have enough problems with [eye color tropes]" is exactly saying "I don't care about the problems." Lame.
  • January 12, 2013
    I see this trope becoming a magnet for Zero Context Examples.
  • January 12, 2013
    As much as I like appearance tropes I have to ask how you can insist that something is a pattern when you have no examples, especially when you say you know that this goes with red cheeks and golden hair. Where do we find this?
  • January 13, 2013
    ^ Blasons, man, says so right there in the description. I'll check if the Net knows anything about them.

    ^^^^ Yeah, I don't care. It's a bummer those eye tropes are screwed up, but they were managed in an unacceptable way in the past and I refuse to think their misuse is only due to their being appearance tropes. If you have a problem with new appearance tropes you should propose a policy at the fora.
  • January 13, 2013
    "Where do we find this?" "Somewhere else."

    No, see, people come here to find out stuff like that.
  • January 13, 2013
    I am not sure this is tropable. I know JRR Tolkien had this in spades, but it was pure Author Appeal, since his wife was gray-eyed.
  • January 13, 2013
    ^ JRRT is WAY too modern for this trope. Unless there's analyses that argue that he was actually following the trope and not just giving pretty eyes grey eyes randomly.

    ^^ working on digging up examples right now.

    And boy is this thing ancient. Showing signs of becoming a Discredited in the Middle Ages.
  • January 13, 2013
    The name here is far too long and clumsy. Classical Grey Eyes? That specifies it's old, and "classic" means classic beauty as well.
  • January 13, 2013
    The thing about trying to launch a Forgotten Trope is that it's forgotten. There aren't any modern examples. Nobody's going to know works that use it and it's not going to attract any Wiki Magic. When you have to put all those disclaimers in the front, you know you have a problem.

    It's also intrinsically tied into the larger standards of beauty for the time period and culture. Such a trope would be better served if it were integrated into a broader article that incorporated other elements of beauty as well, not just eyes--that would be the dark hair and dusky skin and such. We don't need separate pages for all of these. Lump them together.

    And your Google Books link is in Finnish.
  • January 14, 2013
    ^ Hm, true. Reformatting as Elizabethan Beauty Ideal. And screw Google for overcomplicating their links :K