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So Beautiful It's A Curse, a quiet deconstruction:

 26 Taira Mai, Thu, 4th Oct '12 1:18:53 AM from El Paso Tx Relationship Status: One Is The Loneliest Number
rollin' on dubs
What if a character actually has talent. What if she the ace in some subject typically reserved for men(pilot, doctor, engineer)?

Would you trust a pilot with major moe points? Could you take a civil engineer seriously if she looked like Miyuki Takara from Lucky Star or if she looked like Katie Perry?
 27 The Handle, Thu, 4th Oct '12 2:32:45 AM from Location, Location, Loca
Katie Perry looks insane. I think Lindsey Stirling would be a better example.

edited 4th Oct '12 2:32:53 AM by TheHandle

I stayed up all night, 'cause I wanted to see where the sun went—and then it dawned on me.
 28 Taira Mai, Fri, 5th Oct '12 10:18:16 PM from El Paso Tx Relationship Status: One Is The Loneliest Number
rollin' on dubs
Still, a strikingly beautiful person has had trouble being taken seriously in the past. Ally Mc Beal aside, someone with model perfect looks would have to fight stereotypes if they want to be an airline pilot or a programmer.

Heh, there was a Drill Sergeant Nasty everyone called "J-Lo". She was a dead ringer for Jennifer Lopez, until you made the mistake of making eye contact with her...*shudder*

A stare that could curdle milk at fifty paces... None of the male soldiers would call her anything but Drill Sergeant to her face.
Element of love
[up][up]I love her music
I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else. C. S. Lewis
 30 The Handle, Mon, 8th Oct '12 7:33:44 AM from Location, Location, Loca
Whose?
I stayed up all night, 'cause I wanted to see where the sun went—and then it dawned on me.
Element of love
Lindsey Stirling smile
I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else. C. S. Lewis
 32 The Handle, Mon, 8th Oct '12 10:53:03 AM from Location, Location, Loca
waiiwaiiwaiiwaiiwaii
I stayed up all night, 'cause I wanted to see where the sun went—and then it dawned on me.
Make the Love Interest a blind man who falls in love with her because he appreciates her internal beauty. Have a Jerk Jock antagonist who thinks she ought to be with him, á la Gaston in Beauty and the Beast. Also include several girls who dislike her because they want the Jerk Jock for themselves.

I don't think working with blind people is such a bad idea. If she feels oppressed by her beauty, this kind of work would allow her to feel free for a limited number of hours per day. It also shows off her personality, since that's obviously the reason the blind people like her. And she could meet the Love Interest there.
The dumber people think you are, the more surprised they're going to be when you kill them.
 34 Handsome Rob, Fri, 2nd Nov '12 4:13:21 PM from The lair of the Majestic 12
Wonderful to the GODDAMN future!!!
How about the fact that she can't complain about it to anyone, because they would consider it shallow, and whiny(especially if they would kill to have her looks) thereby garnering even more resentment from people.

To say nothing of the tendency of people to assume she's a Brainless Beauty due to her looks.
 35 The Handle, Fri, 2nd Nov '12 4:30:28 PM from Location, Location, Loca
[up]I myself made that mistake once. I made the mistake of telling the girl that I had realized I had made that mistake and apologizing for it. By then, I hadn't learned that she didn't need to know that I had thought that at any point.

And yes, So Beautiful, It's a Curse being dismissed out of hand as whiny and unjustified is part of the package.
I stayed up all night, 'cause I wanted to see where the sun went—and then it dawned on me.
 36 tsstevens, Fri, 15th Feb '13 8:33:49 AM from Internet, Tasmania Relationship Status: She's holding a very large knife
Researcher
At Taira Mais suggestion I thought I would the main character up for a look at this trope. Well I've spent most of the day really examining this because it truly is an interesting concept particularly given the character it was brought up for, so really wanted to go into detail about it (massive Wall of Text upcoming.)

To be honest I'd never thought about it. For one Jessie's looks are not going to help catch Paul's killers. Jessie's personality isn't going to help find his killers. Might they have a role in whether or not she can talk these youths around? It's an interesting idea, I don't imagine she would do so consciously but that doesn't mean her seeming to charm criminals couldn't count as a contentious issue. And two, sure the issue of whether or not a beautiful woman has slept her way to the top does happen, but I don't think it is something as common as, for example, the police terminating a high speed pursuit because the suspect is going too fast (that stuff you see in Need for Speed? Fiction.) On the other hand a murdered transsexual prostitute. Jessie borrowing a stolen top so she can get a good look at stolen goods. They're not exactly common occurrences.

I'm certainly looking over what you said and thinking if they do apply to my character or can apply to my character. One thing I didn't think of to say before is Jessie doesn't like her hair being messed with. She thinks the pigtails (which she has pinned up on the job) soften her appearance. She thinks a different hairstyle would make her look too butch. Jessie also spends considerable time making herself look good, I'm thinking it's less vanity and more a case she wants to look like she cares.

Another thing that might be worth trying is Jessie can be headstrong, and she also has this wicked, terrible sense of humour and way of speaking. Certainly she exercises judgment in when to say these things but there’s a bit late in the book where after something she does she says to the Inspector she feels like she crapped a pineapple. It might be fun to have more of that, say Jessie and Dave are watching something on the Pope. Now I don’t have a problem with the Pope and the church, well I do but I don’t just attack them or anything like that, but they might joke about it, viciously. Now that certainly is inappropriate, Dave and Jessie are atheist and they have problems with the church like the child sex scandal but they’re not a Jerk Ass about it, but Jessie might think of something that would be an incredibly funny thing to say even if only for who hears it to say, What the Hell, Hero? Dude, Not Funny! while they are trying not to laugh.

In terms of whether Jessie would be criticized based on her looks or considered she gets a pass on her looks, I've always figured people would Ignore the Fanservice: sure she's pretty and she's fit but she doesn't have big boobs jiggling about or anything. Her personality on the other hand, for one some do feel put off on how idealist she is. For another if you looked at Good Is Not Soft she can overstep her actions, and it's something she does get called on.

Jessie's inner beauty, and commitment to outer beauty, can be attributed to how she was raised. In fact that's something I'm looking at writing in my book, how these young criminals are from broken homes, one might think it's their time to carry on the family tradition and get prison time (a youth criminal counselor I spoke to last year brought out how some say, "Mum's been to prison, dad's been to prison, it's my turn." Tragic.) So how might someone who was raised to be beautiful inside and out be afflicted by So Beautiful, It's a Curse? Let's find out.

As far as ethics is concerned Jessie is a very ethical person. One idea I had was a younger Constable killing a pedophile, quite possibly in cold blood. Whether or not she covers for him after he maybe or maybe not kills a pedophile, that would be a difficult moral dilemma. On the one hand they are an Acceptable Target and Jessie feels such targets deserve what they get, so there's one chink in her armor. On the other hand Cage had probably murdered someone, someone no one would miss but he did so just the same. So there's a bit of conflict there. In the current story Jessie does want to help but the youths she tries to help don't want it. Especially after she arrests Bruce for example they are ropeable and may or may not want to avoid being held accountable (see above about the idea of wanting prison) and they scream victimization and abuse and threats and Jessie can't help them or might choose not to, and that is a ethical issue for her. Is it ethical for her to give up on them or to have someone who is out of control locked up? That is certainly something I think could be examined a bit further in the novel.

How does Jessie choose her trajectory in life? Well she thought being a police officer would be better than being a cheerleader and she wants to help people, and people said how she was aboriginal and a woman so she is committed to being the best police officer she can be. Is it a profession that would be good for someone beautiful? Well in Jessie's case I think her looks would be irrelevant, but to be a police officer of course you have to be very fit which Jessie most certainly is. There's a security fence and gate that is meant to keep people out and with her partner's help she is able to scale and climb over it. I make a point that none of the other officers in Geelong would be able to do it so she is physically gifted, however she can't solve the case by being physical. She, or Sergeant Glenn Packer, or Detective Senior Constable Gary Locke, Senior Constables Robert Medcraft and Peter Marstars or Constable Enrica Goss, needs to try and track down who Paul might have associated with, who might have reason to kill him, why a transsexual was targeted, the murder weapon, that sort of thing. None of them can do that by climbing over a fence. Would she have been good as a cheerleader? At the time being a police officer was brought up the idea was she might look at being one for the Geelong team that plays in the big league outside of the AFL Premiership, so like Division 1 or 2 or A League. This was based on her looks, how tip top condition she kept herself in. But Jessie thought she would do more good as a police officer. Is there a job Jessie could do or would do where she could be financially successful without her looks coming into play? Maybe there are, but being a cop is what she feels she wants to be. That is where she has invested her time and energy. And from the job she has learned there are certainly ways, crooked ways she could become financially successful both based on and off her looks. But that would require stepping over a line that she wouldn't.

Jessie doesn't feel she needs to avoid using her looks to get ahead, she doesn't feel that it's been a factor. If she had been a cheerleader it would most likely have been a different story. But thus far she hasn't felt she had used her looks to get ahead or had needed to. No one had called her out on doing do. That might change...if the idea of her using her charms to get criminals or maybe even judges or magistrates to do what she wants comes to fruition. She's far more likely to come unstuck because not having a criminal sent to prison because she wants to try and stop them destroying their lives through a life of crime than any methods she may consciously or subconsciously have used in the first place.

With romance Jessie hadn't really pursued the idea of romance or had others try and pursue a romance with her. Might that be due to the idea that's raised in the thread you brought up about potential love interests being intimidated by her? She is more into the job, fitness, watching cooking shows, how much Truth in Television there is in the Tracey Seymour witness protection storyline of Underbelly, that sort of thing. That's not to say she doesn't have romantic needs or sexual needs but it's something I've never covered as I wanted to concentrate more on the job than her personal life that will certainly be looked at in detail, but it is a good question, how does she satisfy those needs? She gets along well with Dave, might that be a potential love interest or Friends with Benefits idea? Would Jessie go for the latter? The thinking given might be no, italiced, bolded, with multiple exclamation points behind it, but might this be perhaps some type of Hidden Depths perhaps or hidden flaw that she does partake in things that you would think she would find unethical so she can keep up the idea of having this high moral standard?

Dave hasn't acted on any ideas he might have of wanting to be with Jessie, the potential idea of Friends with Benefits aside, because he does think he isn't good enough for her. This is based on my own way of thinking in being good enough for a love interest, in having this old school thinking of having the world before giving it to someone special so I can look after them, without that I would place them on a golden pedestal that I couldn't afford. Dave has that line of thinking, and like me he calmly accepts it. With him he does has something of a cynical idea in that if the idea comes up at starting a family and having kids, why bring kids into such a harsh world?

Jessie's physical prowess are most definitely earned. She wanted to be a cop, she wanted to be a good cop, and to her that means a diet and fitness program that is incredible. That's why she does it, so she can be a good cop. Not Training from Hell by any stretch of the imagination, if you did what she does you could be Jessica Evan or Bruce Wayne if that more floats your boat, but it does require a high level of discipline, and since this idea was brought up might this make her perhaps uptight because she is so dedicated to her body and looking good? I have always thought she would not be but how realistic would that be? One idea perhaps, I'll certainly cover it if it's brought up is if people go through all that because they are not confident. Well that is the case with Jessie but it's not a case of being not confident in her looks but a case of if she doesn't do the physical training at least then she wouldn't have the confidence that she could be a good police officer. She thinks how can she if she feels bloated, eating doughnuts and drinking coffee, smoking, and doesn't have the high standards she sets herself to be able to do the job.

In regards to feeling guilt over using her looks or corrupting her high ethical standards, she's not the type to think about using her looks to get ahead in the first place. I doubt she would even think to do so herself, she would certainly know others do and she would think they were just catty, stuck up (insert rude word here.) Jessie would try and get by on effort and merit. Maybe her looks would play a part in it, maybe they won't. We'll certainly look at that idea below.

Part of the story is indeed Jessie trying to maintain optimism and faith in humanity, to do good. Is it a struggle for her? Yes it most certainly is going to be a fight and without going into what her outside beauty might be her inside beauty is going to be tested and maybe even tarnished. In what ways? I can't go into detail about some of this as it would reveal details about the book I'm writing that I would like the reader to see for themselves, but the young criminals she brings in for example, they are certainly going to test her and I'm going to go into that in more detail in the book. Her getting one of these criminals released only for them to do worse, that's going to be an issue especially in regards of her being too soft and if she needs to be harsher. With her aboriginality and the high percentage of aboriginal criminals that she is trying to bring down, where does the draw the line and make a stand in saying they need to stop concentrating on how criminals are treated based on their race even though that will not be popular? These are things that with you bringing these ideas up I'm certainly going to look at how it affects her personally more, so thank you.

What if Jessie was framed? Well first she would know that running would make her look guilty, and this is the Victoria Police, not the NSA, so it's not like they'd just execute her. Going back to Underbelly which is a true story after Mick Gatto shot Benji he stayed to be interviewed by the police, he claimed self defense, allowed himself to be arrested, answered questions over whether he set up Benji, and after eighteen months he was acquitted. So Jessie would see helping her colleagues as the best way to be found innocent. Outside of that? I guess that would largely depend on how much stock she takes in Three Days Of The Condor, Minority Report, Enemy of the State, The One, The Boure Conspiracy, if she is even familiar with them. She would have watched Three Days Of The Condor and The One with a friend and Enemy of the State because of Will Smith, and she would try and be Genre Savvy enough to see where these guys got themselves into trouble and try and avoid that. The thing with the Victoria Justice system is it is very different to the way it was portrayed in Red Corner, they won't execute her for saying not guilty. Now if it was drug smuggling in Indonesia the that would be a very different story. Here she would have a justifiably cynical view of their justice system, she would see them as not interested in a fair trial or trying to find who really is the criminal, so here I think you would get the classic innocent woman on the run story with Jessie trying to clear her name. How difficult would that be for someone who looks like Cammy...er, Black, had Elena's height and built like she could take on Chun Li or Zangief in a fight? I think it would be very difficult.

One thing Jessie might try in such a scenario would be to go to the Australian journalists in Bali and try and get them to run a story on what happened in the hopes of getting the Indonesian authorities to treat the case properly. Would they take advantage of her? I would like to think they wouldn't but I do think they would use her to whip up a media storm, a young, beautiful (Jessie doesn't have the face of a brick but she would be made out to be more than perhaps she is) innocent woman framed, they might make her out to be a hero cop even if she did not solve who killed Paul, or find who supplied the weapon to do so, because that is the nature of the beast. If the idea of whether it would be wrong to do so entered Jessie's head then I think she would see no other option or it would be best to have it all played up despite her ideals because it would be better off to have her case watched closely so the courts do play by the rules or at least their rules and not be seen to ignore evidence that would suggest they got it wrong.

Something I might bring up in that thread when I've recovered from this massive amount of writing is people taking advantage of a character. I know when I was working I would try and help people and try and help people and try and help people and there was the idea that I would be taken advantage of. I'm not going to sit here and say I'm good looking or bad looking but the point is Jessie is like that, she tries to help people and tries to help people and tries to help people and it hasn't been something I thought of yet but would people take advantage of her for that and how much of that might be because of her looks?

I do think a lot of the ideas you are thinking of are related to how the character or the author sees their beauty. As far as Jessie is concerned of course she tries to look good, she wants to look like she cares, but she is a lot more interested in her physical well being than how she looks. As far as I go I have used Jessie in many Character Customization works, I even uploaded her in WWE 13 because I think I got really close to nailing the police uniform, logo and all, and if I can pull off how she is then I think she does look gorgeous. But as an author I don't spend much time on that because that heads into Mary Sue territory.

One of the challenges I find is to make Jessie's outer beauty be nothing compared to her inner beauty, and her inner beauty I try to make so good that her outer beauty is as close as I can without making her a Mary Sue or her outer appearance becoming an issue remarkable. I tried to capture her in WWE 13 as that comes really close to capturing the character, but in taking screenshots the image bleeds badly. Certainly I could have another crack at it if you would like to see for yourself, but I think maybe you get what I'm trying to say, perhaps, hopefully.

Might Jessie have trust issues based on her looks? Earlier in the story she comes across a youth who had bought stolen clothing and he is quite attracted to her. Later on it turns out he knows the people who are causing grief in Geelong so there might be the issue of trust there but I had never thought of trust being an issue based on looks. If I were to go with such an idea I think it would be more along the lines of whether it can be trusted the youths Jessie is trying to keep from a life of crime or those she talks to so they don't get a criminal record are based on her looks and or personality. Would trust come into her personal relationships? Well Jessie isn't thinking about that at the moment, so it's more a case of crossing that bridge when I come to it.

I only watched That '70s Show when Alyson Hannigan was in it but if I get the character right then that might be a valid concern with Jessie in making her a Purity Sue. The challenge then is how to make her not be that without compromising how idealistic she is meant to be.

Might Dave as an example change the way he is in the hope of being Jessie's boyfriend? With Dave he is uncompromising, in that he is a realist, maybe a bit cynical, Jessie doesn't see the world entirely through rose tinted glasses but she is perhaps too idealistic, enough so that Dave does need to bring her back down to Earth. However Jessie's inner beauty might be considered exceptional, but if that's the case then is it making it appear too good to be real?

I skimmed a few posts because I wasn't sure if they would apply, but the idea of Jessie sleeping her way to the top. Glenn would say, "Are you daft? Jessie highlights the standard we try and live up to, I'd like to think none of us would compromise our ideals to sleep with someone to get ahead, or accept such an offer." Glenn being Glenn in story that would be the end of it, but let's go back to Jessie. For her she wouldn't do that. No way. She gets by on effort and merit or she doesn't get by. Might other characters think she slept her way to the top? If she was an Inspector and she didn't rattle the skeletons in the closets of those she worked with and for then that would be a serious matter. However she's a Constable, she hasn't even got her hooks yet (becoming Senior Constable which is two bars to the Sergeant's three is basically an automatic promotion after four years.) Would it be reasonable to think she slept her way to becoming a police officer, maybe at the Academy? When she was able to perform at the standard to become one? Related to that post is does Jessie have all the answers? Nope, in the first third of the story the girlfriend of someone who is targeted by this youth gang approaches her and asks what the police can do to stop them, what the community can do to help fight the problem. Dsve is more help than Jessie is, outside of what she can say as a police officer. Plus she doesn't make the connection of stolen clothing being sold, a witness and victim of crime gives that evidence. She doesn't know why Paul was murdered. So I'm trying to make her be the Mary Sue.

Reading that post I came across Suetiful All Along. Let's have a look at it in Jessie's case. What would happen were she not in the story? Well Peter would take whichever Constable would be in Jessie's place or maybe Glenn to the crime scene where Paul was murdered, Dave would be staying with someone else, Enrica and maybe Robert would look into the brothel, and the young criminals would not get the pass they might had Jessie become a cheerleader instead. I am very much trying not to make her the whole story, it's more an Ensemble Cast. Gary and Robert conduct the initial investigation, Gary and Peter find Paul's hotel room when he was Gloria, Robert and Enrica look into the youth crimes before Peter and Jessie do and Enrica attends the coroner where Paul is examined.

What might happen when Jessie gets older? Detective? Special police? Special Operations Group SWAT team? Seriously, would her looks degrade? I imagine with how much she tries to look after her body they wouldn't degrade, it seems like the older characters, the Sam Fishers, the Old Snakes, Big Boss, they look after themselves and they largely maintain their looks. Then you have something like The Dark Knight Returns where Selina is an utter mess in ten years and it looks like she'd really let herself go. Same with Lana. Though Bruce and Oliver look to have taken care of themselves and are in good shape. Would Jessie be the same in her forties? Fifties? I think if she keeps up what she's doing and there's no reason why she wouldn't then she'd do alright. Older, greyer, she wouldn't be climbing over security gates at that age but she's not the type to let herself slide. Would it stress her out that she does get older? Perhaps. But I don't think it would reach the flanderized state it might with some characters.

Would Jessie become incompetent if she made Sergeant or Detective? First she would need to show that she can perform those roles, it's not just an automatic promotion the way Senior Constable is, there's exams she would need to do that given the character she would take very seriously. She wouldn't sleep with someone for the job and would report someone who tried that to Ethical Standards. So no, if such a story were to occur then that would mean she was right and getting by on her merits and efforts has reaped the rewards. There's no being Kicked Upstairs in the police. It's not Pizza Hut where some seventeen year old Jerk Ass becomes manager. That's not to say it doesn't happen, but in Jessie's case if she does pass the exams, if she is promoted, it will be because she earned it. She fought, she struggled, she might have failed several times over, but if she does succeed it will be because she earned it.

Dating horror stories? That is a novel idea, one I may or may not play around with in story. As background information though Played for Laughs it might be good. Might there be a story involving a jilted ex coming back to try and destroy Jessie's career? I dunno, that story had been told before and in a real world setting how often does that happen?

Might characters debase themselves for Jessie's attention? There's a slim chance Dave might, and there's also Heath who is singled out and targeted by a youth gang who is something like that, but he has a girlfriend. If he didn't might it happen with Jessie? There may be a play on Rescue Romance but at the time I'm thinking more about the case. Some attraction on Heath's behalf might be there but...well, let's just say something Jessie does puts a stop to that.

Jessie's heart is certainly in the right place. The question is would people become hurt by her through no fault of her own? This does happen: someone is hurt by her through her actions and it ends tragically. I'll give you s hint as well since it's two thirds into the book: it's through the job and the victim feels afterwards they have nothing left to lose.

Is Jessie the flavor of the week in her story? I had first made her up six or seven years ago and had been writing this novel for three or more, and while other projects I put on hold this one I keep coming back to. In story Jessie is not the character, she is simply a character the story centers on. Would she or other characters want real friendship after a role in the hay? Certainly she would, unless she does go out for fun, she has or is Friends with Benefits, that sort of thing, and even then she would have to like the person and want to know them after the fact before she gives up the goods. She would really be hurt if she was treated as just a toy. Stage Mom? No, but Louise Magda, Jessie's mum, she was like that in terms of Indigenous politics. She wanted her to be all about equal rights, which were just that. Equal.

Will Jessie meet someone in the future? She might if she hasn't already in Dave. What if that someone makes her realize her faults in the terms we are thinking here? Were that to happen then it would be up to her in finding what she would need to change with betraying who she is or seeming like she is just living to please others.

Is Jessie The Ace? I don’t think so, she isn’t the detective Gary would be, she wouldn’t run the station like Glenn, and she wouldn’t pick up on things like Robert, and she wouldn’t push like Peter or Enrica. What she does in terms of what she is physically capable of she does very well, and she is well equipped in dealing with who the police deals with whether they be witnesses, victims or suspects. Enrica, Peter and Robert are not as fit as she is, and Robert is right up there with Jessie in dealing with people but she is slightly better. Given her looks and her personality should she be trusted in some fields of police work? Can she pull the trigger if she needed to? Does she have the hardness for the job? That’s part of the story, whether she can have that hardness or perform the difficult parts of the job. Would others trust her in those areas? Well that’s why Glenn has her deliver the death notice to Paul’s family so she can be tested and develop that hardness. She certainly wouldn’t be working SOG, she might in fifteen or so years and they allow women.

Personally speaking, if I had a Drill Sergeant Nasty who looked like Alyson Hannigan I think I would listen more. That might be just me, but it might be easier than someone who looked like the back of a bus. (Imagines Distaff Counterpart of Robert Patrick and her face was destroyed and reconstructed.)

edited 15th Feb '13 8:39:58 AM by tsstevens

The mark of a good story means not feeling like The Angry Video Game Nerd hearing it.
 37 The Handle, Thu, 21st Mar '13 2:50:08 PM from Location, Location, Loca
I've just watched Fate/Zero. It's been done! By some celtic guy with an unpronounceable name.

He's adorable.

I stayed up all night, 'cause I wanted to see where the sun went—and then it dawned on me.
The system doesn't know you right now, so no post button for you.
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