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Comic Book / Beauty

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Beauty (French: Beauté) is a French comic book series made by artists named Hubert and Kerascoët. A Fairy Tale that offers grownups an engrossing take on the nature of beauty. Coddie is the most ugliest girl in her hometown and was bullied for being born ugly and smelling like fish. When the bullying becomes too much to bear, Coddie flees into the forest to cry and drops a tear on an ugly toad. The toad turn out to a fairy under a spell. As a reward, She grants Coddie her wish – to be beautiful. Well, sort of. Coddie is still ugly, but everybody will perceive her as beautiful. The village folk no longer see her as repulsive and stinking of fish—they now perceive her as magnetically beautiful—which does not help her in her village. A young local lord saves her, but it soon becomes apparent that Coddie's destiny may be far greater than anyone ever imagined.


Tropes found in Beauty

  • Adorably-Precocious Child: Coddie’s daughter, Marine, is much smarter and intelligent than her.
  • Ban on Magic: In the end Coddie, ascended to a throne representing the entire region, decides that all fairies are more trouble than their worth and decrees all ties to them be cut off.
  • Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Enforced; since Coddie's appearance is permanently hidden behind a glamour, no amount of damage to her face will stick, and age won't show no matter how old she gets. When some village women jealously attempt to scar her face the damage immediately vanishes before their eyes, causing them to call her a demon.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: Coddie was born ugly and wished to be beautiful. After saving Mab from her spell, Mab grants Coddie’s wish as reward for saving her. And that when things gone downhill...
    • Claudine, fittingly enough as Coddie's Foil, has her own moment. Worried that the Northern Princess is sabotaging the Southern Kingdom's military, she schemes to put Coddie in her place. Unfortunately, Coddie proves far more dangerous for the kingdom than her predecessor.
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  • Bewitched Amphibians: Coddie met Mab as a toad, cursed into that form until someone cried a tear of compassion for her.
  • Big Beautiful Woman: In the Epilogue, an Emperor from a Central Asian kingdom finally receives his awaited portrait of Coddie. Ironically, he's rather bored by Coddie's features— pale and skinny, following a Eurocentric model of beauty— and uses the portrait as proof that his voluptuous wives are the most beautiful women he's ever met.
  • Butter Face: Coddie actually had a very attractive and voluptuous body but her face isn’t very attractive.
  • Character Development: Coddie. She starts out as a sympathetic Cinderella-like heroine to a vain and selfish brat abusing her power but later become a strong and wise The High Queen after learning her mistakes and the consequences of her power.
  • Cliffhanger: after the Distant Finale, there is the surprise of a humoristic post-Epilogue. And now is the book finished? No. There is a silent page where a little girl, in modern clothes, in a cave, holds an open box from which Mab looks out. Although the scene appears serene, with a cute and simple drawing style, the previous story makes it... disquieting? However a Sequel Hook does not appear probable.
  • Driven to Madness: Coddie’s “gift” cause Men to slowly become delirious yanderes and only think of her. Otto managed to break free from the spell thanks to true love.
  • Driven to Suicide: An artist commissioned to draw Coddie's portrait is driven mad by his inability to capture her magically perfect beauty, and is found to have hung himself.
  • Eats Babies: The Fairies. Mab's offer to undo Coddie's wish is predicated on Coddie offering her daughter to be served at a Fairy Banquet (even noting they'd prefer her a bit younger so her flesh might have a "baby's delicacy"). Coddie is understandably horrified and refuses.
  • Evil All Along: Mab is actually an evil fairy and she tricked Coddie into thinking she was good and her sister, Mara, is evil.
  • The Fair Folk: of the not-Disneyfied version, although the look of Mab can be deceiving. Even when they are well intentioned, they can be disturbing. In the scene of the gifts to newborns, the Fairies do not appear physically; they speak through possessed mediums. Deconstructed in the end, because the cruelty of Mab alienated humans from giving the fae offerings, which drove them to dethrone her and instate her sister Mara in her place. Once Coddie ascends to the throne she decides that trapping just Mab isn't enough, as even the supposedly "good" fairies are basically selfish assholes who torment humanity and force people to appease them.
  • Foil: Coddie and Claudine. Both are unattractive women but with different personalities. Coddie is sympathetic and kind but is naive and gullible. Claudine is aloof and stubborn but is sharp-witted and intelligent. Coddie start off as a peasant working in the scullery before becoming a queen. Claudine start off as a princess before losing her kingdom and becoming a general of the army. Coddie seem to enjoy feminine activities like embroidery, trying out new dresses and being pampered while Claudine prefers politics, archery and hunting.
  • Glamour: Coddie receives by a fairy apparent and impossible beauty. Her appearance does not change, it changes the perception that everyone has of her.
  • Glamour Failure: Coddie's beauty is strictly a visual illusion, and only directly. People can still identify her by scent and when a cloth is draped over her face it conforms to her true appearance. She makes a mask molded to her face to try and convey how she truly looks.
  • Gods Need Prayer Badly: Ambiguously, fairies wanted altars and offerings of food from humans strongly enough that, when Mab's cruelty to them alienated them from doing so, led the fae to revolt against her and instate Mara to the throne. Coddie denies that they're like gods to the people, reasoning that the natural world ran without their interference and thus will continue to once ties are cut from them.
  • Incompatible Orientation: One of the Boar Kings councilors is completely immune to being infatuated by Coddie's glamour because he's gay and attracted to the Boar King. Sadly for him, the Boar King preferred women and isn’t attracted to men.
  • Jackass Genie: Mab.
  • Manchild: When Coddie received her beauty “gift”, She slowly begin to abused her newfound beauty selfishly like seducing men into giving her anything she wants and whined if she didn’t get what she wants. It takes Peter’s death, Claudine’s brief bitter "The Reason You Suck" Speech and seeing men killing each other to snap her out it and finally realised her beauty “gift” has dangerous consequences.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: after Coddie saw men killing each other for Coddie’s “beauty”, she finally realised she abused her “gift” too far.
  • Noodle People: Claudine had a very skinny build when wearing tight clothes and in one nude scene.
  • No-Sell: At least one man is remarkably unimpressed with Coddie's madness-inducing beauty. The narration notes it's because she lacks, among other things, "a handsome beard".
  • The Nose Knows: Coddie is visually unrecognizable to everyone who knew her before the glamour, but they know it's her by her scent. Later, a blindfolded man is confused by the feel of her features from what he "knows" she looks like, but also recognizes her by her scent.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Dagmar, the Boar King's wife. While initialy furious seeing her husband leave Coddie's chamber, she immadiately sympathizes with her the moment it becomes clear Coddie isn't being given much choice in the matter. She proceeds to more or less befriend Coddie, attempt to shield her from her husband's attention, and even educates her alongside her daughter. Ultimately she does try to have Coddie killed, but only when the safety of her kingdom is once more at stake.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Claudine give bitter brief one to Coddie and made her see men killing each other to give her a massive Jerkass Realization and realised her gift is more of a curse.
    Claudine: All is lost, so at least spare me you slather, stupid woman.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: Eventually Coddie tricks Mab into getting drunk and enchanting a box to allegedly imprison her sister Mara. Coddie actually uses it on Mab herself, leaving the box behind a sealed path to the fairy.
  • Tomboy Princess: The fairies gifted Claudine with keen intelligence, independent mind and sense of authority that are destined for boys so she come off as “strange” by society’s standards. After Losing her kingdom, she switched her dresses for trousers and armour.
  • World's Most Beautiful Woman: Coddie’s “gift” from Mab. In reality, Coddie stay the same and is still ugly but everyone perceived her as beautiful.