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Attraction to Outliers

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"She's beautiful," he murmured.
"She's a metre across the hips, easily," said Julia.
"That is her style of beauty," said Winston.

In short, a situation where a character is attractive or sexualized for one of the following reasons:

  • They don't fully comply to gender ideals.
  • They are mysterious, weird, or dangerous.
  • Society shuns them or treats them as undesirables, outcasts, or criminals.

This trope describes the situation where one character bucks the social status, responsibility, and/or gender roles that their community expects or encourages and is thus desired by a select individual or group because of it. One reason for the attraction is simply that they're a refreshing change of pace from the norm. Another is that challenging cultural norms demonstrates a degree of power, confidence, or intellect. Yet another is an instinct to nurture those societal rejects and to thus feel needed. A fourth possibility is a belief they can be changed via The Power of Love.

Another word for this in some circles is "Sexual Tourism", or the desire to have sex with people with foreign or "exotic" origins, the same way that people collect postcards or souvenirs. To most people who use the term, considered a form of exploitation and objectification.

Compare Freaky Is Cool, and the Anti-Role Model. This might be the reason why a racially homogenous community is intrigued by a racial outsider or a a mixed-race character. Related to Appeal to Novelty.

Contrast the Proper Lady and World's Most Beautiful Woman, along with the Gentleman and a Scholar and World's Strongest Man, who both personify their respective gender roles. See also Proud Warrior Race Guy, Ridiculously Average Guy, and The Beautiful Elite for more contrast.

Many examples may also be an Escapist Character.


  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: When a man is sexy because he isn't a true gentleman.
  • Amazon Chaser: He cares more about a woman's toughness than her beauty (doesn't mean she can't be beautiful, though).
  • Amazonian Beauty: Her tougher body is attractive in all the right ways.
  • Attractive Bent-Gender: They more closely resemble the opposite sex, but for some people, that's just fine.
  • Aroused by Idiocy: Someone is considered desirable because of their lack of intelligence.
  • The Baroness: The Sexpot version is fully committed to evil, but is wickedly attractive for it.
  • Big Beautiful Man: A heavyset man who is considered attractive, either because of or in spite of this.
  • Big Beautiful Woman: A heavyset woman who is considered attractive, either because of or in spite of this.
  • Bigot with a Crush: They discriminate against the very person or group that they feel attracted to.
  • Blemished Beauty: Body deformities or handicaps (scars, missing body parts, etc.) seen as attractive.
  • Chubby Chaser: A character who is attracted to plus-sized people.
  • Dating Catwoman: Dating an enemy is a fetish in and of itself.
  • Dominatrix: A woman whose displayed power is emphasized and exaggerated for fetish.
  • Everybody Wants the Hermaphrodite: Intersex people are portrayed as inherently attractive due to their Ambiguous Gender.
  • Evil Is Sexy: Being a menace to society is sexually alluring.
  • Femme Fatale: The danger and risk associated with her is part of her allure.
  • Femme Fatale Spy: She is sexy and attractive and usually from a foreign country, but after she seduced you she'll give up your secrets to your enemies.
  • Fetishes Are Weird: Attraction to outliers (among other fetishes) is depicted as weird.
  • Fetishized Abuser: There's a certain kind of allure to someone who both desires you sexually and treats you like someone they can toy with for their amusement.
  • Foreign Fanservice: S/he is from an outside culture, and the weird foreign culture is played up for fetish.
  • Freakiness Shame: One character has a deformity, mutation, or other trait that makes them stand out, but another character finds it attractive.
  • Geeky Turn-On: A fetish for nerdy, dorky, or geeky things or people.
  • Hooker with a Heart of Gold: She's a prostitute and thus an "unchaste" woman, but she's a nice person. The archetype either makes her wiser because of her job, or Love Redeems and she is rescued from it by her Knight in Shining Armor.
  • I Can Change My Beloved: Part of the appeal of an outlier is the belief that you (and ONLY you) can turn them into something "better".
  • Kavorka Man: What this man lacks in conventional attractiveness he makes up for some other way, usually via wicked bedroom skills, the ability to treat women right, a deep pocketbook, a position of political power, or some combination of the above... though some can be complete douchebags and still master seductors. You wouldn't know it looking at him, but he practically has to fight the ladies off with a stick.
  • Military Maverick: The bad boy that usually seduces The General's Daughter.
  • My Girl Is a Slut: The promiscuity of the girl stands opposed to the notion that All Women Are Prudes and is a massive turn-on.
  • Nightmare Fetishist: What terrifies or disgusts most people is quirky, fascinating, and/or infatuating to this character.
  • Prefers the True Form: When A Form You Are Comfortable With doesn't cut it, and the person prefers their significant other to be loved with their true selves.
  • Race Fetish: A person has a fetish for a particular race, presumably because their own is more common.
  • Sensible Heroes, Skimpy Villains: Overt sexuality is shorthand for "villain" while sensible wear is code for "heroine". This has the double implication of assuming that someone who is overtly sexy is not socially acceptable and/or that they are sexy BECAUSE they are not socially acceptable.
  • Sexy Flaw: Various imperfections (physical deformities, speech impediments, etc.) serving as a sexual "turn-on".
  • Shameless Fanservice Girl: She ignores all nudity/sexuality taboos and is appealing to the characters and the audience for it.
  • Statuesque Stunner: A tall woman is considered attractive, either because of or in spite of this.
  • The Tease: Displaying his/her sexuality, but not committing to it, is what makes them frustratingly attractive.
  • Transgender Fetishization: Attractive despite (or because of) their gender-nonconformity.
  • Troubled, but Cute: Attractive despite (or often because of) their numerous issues.
  • Villainesses Want Heroes: Sometimes an inversion to this trope, and sometimes playing it straight; a "bad girl" wants a good guy for a variety of reasons.
  • Weakness Turns Her On: A woman who doesn't like tough men.

Please do not add examples to work pages, this merely defines the term.