Elizabethan Beauty Ideal YKTTW Discussion

Elizabethan Beauty Ideal
Repurposing YKTTW entry WIP, disregard for now
Motion To Discard Tropeworthy? Needs Examples Needs Examples Needs Examples Better Name Tropeworthy? Motion To Discard
(permanent link) added: 2013-01-12 10:37:42 sponsor: peccantis (last reply: 2013-01-14 01:03:50)

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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):
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