The Inhumanly Beautiful Race is a fictional non-human species that is always, nearly without fail, incredibly good looking. Not only are they good looking, but they tend to be described as better looking than the vast majority of humans could ever hope to be. When describing their beauty, authors tend to use terms like "inhuman", "otherworldly" and "ethereal". Depending on the author, such a species may inspire either simple chaste appreciation, or immediate and profound arousal. In extreme cases, their looks are so incredible as to act as almost a form of glamour
, instantly become the center of attention (and desire) everywhere they go.
While this concept can be found in all forms of media, it usually this works best in a non-visual medium. With a novel, the reader can imagine their own ideal of beauty. In a live action work, it may become a case of a subjective judgement of Informed Attractiveness
almost invariably fall under this trope, and The Fair Folk
are often included. Physical Gods can easily do so
. In recent years, Vampires have also increasingly been portrayed
as having inhuman hotness and allure
, in contrast to older versions where they looked more like walking corpses. And it goes without saying for succubi
. Not incubi
, though, as they're usually depicted as a kind of rapist gargoyle-creature.
Compare The Beautiful Elite
, which is this in terms of a social class rather than a race, though not necessarily to the point of seeming inhuman. Mary Sue
s frequently belong to one of these.
In order to make this not-subjective, examples should only be of cases where the race is described as being this In-Universe
, either in the narration or by other characters.
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- In the world of ElfQuest, most humans tend to feel this way about the elves (See image, above.) It sometimes provokes humans to extreme behavior, for good or evil.
- Fan works set in Middle-earth may downplay or exaggerate the beauty of the elves. The Games of the Gods downplays it: when Rachel covers her Pointy Ears, humans accept her as an uncommonly beautiful human. Home with the Fairies exaggerates it: when Maddie first sees an elf, its "unnatural" and "inhuman" appearance overwhelms Maddie, who faints, perhaps because she is a transplant from a world that has no elves.
- In Star Wars, the Diathim from the moons of Iego are known as "angels" and Anakin describes them as "the most beautiful creatures in the universe" (relaying stories he'd heard from spacers).
Religion and Mythology
- Almost all the gods of Classical Mythology were inhumanly good looking, with the notable exception of Hephaestus.
- The Fae in Middle English mythology were known for their beauty, and unsurprisingly they were the inspiration behind Tolkien's elves.
- As were the elfs (álfar) of Norse mythology that also served as inspiration for Tolkien's elves. According to Heimskringla, the inhabitants of Álfheim were "fairer than any other folk". It's interesting to note that the Swedes, who often top the lists of the most beautiful peoples in the world, are (according to Ynglingatal) descended from Yngvi-Freyr (another name for the vanir Freyr, who is thought to have been cognate with the beautiful aesir Baldr), king of the Light Elves. The area now consisting of the Swedish province of Bohuslän and the eastern half of the Norwegian province of Østfold were once known as Álfheim.
Live Action TV
- Doctor Who:
- The Thals are described as this in the first Monster of the Week serial, "The Daleks". While both races mutated heavily due to radiation, the Daleks, who favoured environment suits, became hideous beings, while the Thals, who favoured a combination of gradual adaptation and anti-radiation drugs, became a race of beautiful, blond-haired people. It seems that the Thal men are especially beautiful, as Susan is shocked by the beauty of the first Thal she meets, calling him 'perfect', and Barbara has something of an off-screen romance with a known Thal beauty. Of course, this relies on heavy amounts of Informed Attractiveness - they are all very good looking, but certainly not to unusual levels, and their taste in fashion is hilariously stupid.
- The Drahvin from "Galaxy 4", a race of beautiful blond female warriors, to contrast with the Rills (kind and noble creatures who look abhorrent to humans).
- Nymphs in Dungeons & Dragons are described as being so beautiful that they can make characters go blind just from seeing them.
- Elves, of course, tend to be very attractive. Even the drow (dark elves), making them prime examples of Evil Is Sexy.
- The elves from Magic: The Gathering's Lorwyn set. Their caste system runs on how beautiful they are and they will often hunt other species that they deem uglier than they.
- In New World of Darkness:
- The whole Daeva clan from Vampire: The Requiem. In their Clan Book it is stated that they're "stronger, faster and sexier than you". Even before the embrace they are already attractive humans; after it they become inhumanly beautiful, partly because of their discipline, Majesty, that allows them to bedazzle people with their presence. The clan book does make a point of the fact that anyone who knows enough about the Daeva (including the Daeva themselves) tends to find something off about them because their beauty is artificial and they are incapable of love. One of the illustrators noted that the Daeva are essentially sex objects rather than people.
- Galateids in Promethean: The Created are, to the last, made from the bodies of the young and beautiful who were unmarred by the process of death. This makes all social interactions a breeze, at least, until the Disquiet kicks in. The main reason they undertake the Pilgrimage is that it's no use being inhumanly beautiful and alluring if everyone's going to turn on you in the end.
- Then there are the Fairest from Changeling: The Lost. Remade as lovers and playthings to the Gentry, they are beautiful to the last (though not all of them in the most conventional sense), extremely skilled at social interaction, and have a buy-in with the Contracts of Vainglory, which ramp up their beauty and influence to superhuman levels.
- The Old World of Darkness gameline Changeling The Dreaming has the sidhe. At character creation, the sidhe automatically apply two dots to their Appearance score. As Appearance automatically starts at 1 and normally is capped at 5, this means every sidhe ranges from Appearance 3 ("Hey, he's kinda cute.") to Appearance 7 ("I worship at your feet, my lady!").
- Exalted has its version of The Fair Folk - Humanoid Abominations from outside reality that can imitate humanity better than actual humans can. Fair Folk Nobles start with a minimum of three in all their stats (on a scale where 2 is average), so it's literally impossible for them to have below-average looks. Their stats also naturally cap at 7, in a setting where 4 is the natural limit for normal people and 5 for demigodsnote . And they also have access to various charms to enhance their beauty and persuasiveness up with glamour.
- This trope can also readily apply to any magical being of sufficient power. Any Exalt who raises her permanent Essence score above 5 (which generally requires being at least a century old) also raises the cap for her other stats, including Appearance, to the same level. Special mention goes to the Abyssal Exalted, who are required when they raise their Essence to either let their Appearance decay until they look like monstrous undead or raise their Appearance to superhuman levels.
- Warhammer's Elves are described as an Inhumanly Beautiful Race, especially when compared to the generally dishevelled and ugly-looking humans who inhabit most of the world. Some Vampire bloodlines also qualify (chiefly the Lahmians), though some most definitely don't (the Necrarchs).
- Eldar in Warhammer 40,000 are said to look like beautiful humans, but also that they're so graceful it's creepy.
- Uncorrupt Horus Heresy and Great Crusade era Space Marines who have not suffered great disfigurement are generally described as being beautiful to an obviously inhuman standard. This being 40k however, the idea's twisted just a little; the sheer visual difference of a Space Marine also further marks him as posthuman, and can easily veer into the Uncanny Valley. Start combining this with Chaos and things can get even weirder.
- See also Pretty Boy, which applies to the Blood Angels and pre-heresy Emperor's Children, particulary their Primarchs.
- The Eberron Campaign Setting gives us Kalashtar, a near-human psionic race—and, of course, elves. The Inspired- Evil Counterparts of the kalashtar, are in the same vein.
- In Strike Legion, the Serrans, Lamerians, and even the "baseline" humans were genetically engineered to be this way.
- Nobilis: Angels (who personify and promote beauty), and Excrucians (who are a race of Affably Evil Humanoid Abominations who desire to Ret Gone reality and return it to the Primordial Chaos they came from) are both embodiments of beauty for differing reasons-Angels are like this because Beauty is what they are and desire from others (to the exclusion of everything else), while Excrucians embody the primal majesty and unfettered elegance of alien stars.
- The Asari in Mass Effect are a feminine-seeming but technically genderless race of aliens with natural psychic and telepathic powers, that mates by close telepathic contact and can do that with every known humanoid species in the galaxy, as the genetic material is mostly taken from the mother. Despite almost universally considering each other ugly, all the other species consider Asari very attractive and as looking similar to them. It even works on Salarians, who reproduce as hives in which the vast majority of individuals are males that never have sex in their entire life, and also somehow seems to affect people who only see pictures or recordings of Asari without being near one.
- The Quarians seemed to have developed into this too, with various races finding them attractive (and a popular feature in 'Fornax'). Even Javik notes that primitive Quarians were considered attractive 50,000 years ago by his people.
- Faeling in Lusternia tend towards this. Even - especially - the Drow-esque shadow faeling, despite their ashy complexion and crimson eyes.
- The Syreen from the Star Control series are a race of Blue Skinned Space Babes, and are all inhumanly hot; they also dress very skimpily.
- Æon Flux: The Seraph-Trevs in one episode are a race of Winged Humanoids that are inhumanly beautiful and treated inhumanly.