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Delicate Is Beautiful

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Such a sweet and innocent princess.

Along with the common stereotype is that Women Are Delicate, beauty is associated with delicacy. There's an assumption that something powerful or tough enough to take care of itself or destroy things must also be physically scary or intimidating to boot.

However, like all identity labels, this one is not absolute.

While it's usually delicate females who are beautiful, males who are delicate (rare as they are) can be beautiful as well.

No Examples, Please. This is meant to only be a collection of subtropes.

List of associated tropes.

Played Straight

  • Beautiful Slave Girl: She's beautiful, but forced into servitude to invoke the audiences' (and The Hero's) sympathy.
  • Bishōnen: Literally means "beautiful boy", a male character in Asian media who has delicate features in order to accentuate his beauty.
  • Brawn Hilda: Enforces and downplays this trope by portraying tougher/larger women as either unattractive and muskly or very attractive and beautiful.
  • Coy, Girlish Flirt Pose: A more delicate and graceful pose to attract a romantic interest.
  • Damsel in Distress: Women are often kidnapped in fiction to provide a power fantasy for men and a danger fantasy for women.
  • Elegant Classical Musician: The delicate touches of classical music are considered more elegant or "beautiful", and the musician's look complements it.
  • English Rose: The English archetypical beauty; usually a fair-haired, fair-skinned woman with a regal nature, delicate nature, and posh sophistication.
  • Go-Go Enslavement: Pushes the above even further by having the kidnapper sexualize the kidnap victim. (Can be gender inverted, though.)
  • The High Queen: When the Princess Classic ascends.
  • I Broke a Nail: Used either to show that the speaker isn't an Action Hero or that being an Action Hero has aesthetic consequences.
  • Innocent Flower Girl: A delicate girl is associated with the beautiful and equally-delicate flower.
  • Love Goddess: Most mythic pantheons have at least one. Also, the wife of the Top God is usually connected to matrimony or family in some way.
  • Masculine Lines, Feminine Curves: Curves are more delicate to draw and more "beautiful", so they're associated with women.
  • Men Are Strong, Women Are Pretty
  • Moe: Moe is this trope distilled into an art form. The entire point of it is to instill feelings of protectiveness and sympathy for the adorable character.
  • No Guy Wants an Amazon: The direct subtrope to this.
  • Pretty Boy
  • Princess Classic: The beautiful princess as the epitome of grace, poise, delicacy and beauty.
  • Proper Lady
  • Southern Belle: The American South archetypical beauty; usually motherly, delicate, kind, and fiercely devoted to family and tradition.
  • Suicide by Pills: Women are overrepresented in the depictions of this trope likely because it is less gory than other forms of Choosing Death and because it preserves the beauty of the victim, making this both Women Are Delicate and Delicate Is Beautiful.
  • Vanity Is Feminine: This trope creates the perception that those who overly care about their appearance are feminine.
  • Victorian Novel Disease: Why a disease that made you more delicate was considered attractive.
  • Water Is Womanly: Women are associated with water because it is a symbol of beauty, fluidity, and tranquility.
  • Yamato Nadeshiko: The archetypical Japanese beauty; usually expected to be demure, modest, and well-mannered and fiercely devoted to family and tradition.


  • Amazon Chaser: Sometimes, a woman defies delicacy in preference for violence and this character still considers her attractive, or even prefers her that way.
  • Amazonian Beauty: A strong and powerful-looking woman can be beautiful or attractive.
  • Bishōnen Line: Involves a character becoming stronger (and uglier) with successive transformations, but ultimately subverting this trope by assuming a most powerful form which is more beautiful and delicate-looking than the ones before.
  • Hunk: A strong and powerful-looking man can be beautiful or attractive.
  • Statuesque Stunner: Since height is generally not considered a sign of delicacy, a woman who is tall and attractive usually doesn't fit into this trope — or at least not as well as she otherwise might.

Zigzagged (not quite straight examples or aversion)

  • Dainty Combat
    A softer and more delicate style of combat—usually considered "beautiful".
  • Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Seems to be a subversion since the focus of the trope is likely an Action Girl. However, through improbable measures, she still manages to maintain a delicate beauty.
  • Cute Clumsy Girl: She subverts the perception of women as graceful, but this only serves to make her more endearing because she appears more vulnerable than usual.
  • Dance Battler: When something beautiful and ginger (like ballet) is used as an offensive weapon.
  • Girly Bruiser: An interplay of delicate femininity and pure destructive badassery.
  • Kicking Ass in All Her Finery
  • Lady of Adventure: While not necessarily physically adept herself, she doesn't shy away from danger or risk, but still strives to be beautiful and ladylike. Whether it averts or enforces this trope depends on the example.
  • Lady of War: More physically potent than her Adventure counterpart, but attempts to be no less ladylike.
  • Lady Looks Like a Dude: Tends to depend on how "dude like" she is and how attractive she's considered. A Bifauxnen is still feminine and delicate like a Bishōnen would be, but the stereotypical tomboy eschews any feminine traits which take time, effort and care to maintain because it isn't practical.
  • She-Fu: Usually involves flourishes and beautiful acrobatics.
  • Silk Hiding Steel: She uses her beauty and guise of delicacy as a smokescreen to conceal that she's a physical threat.
  • Swashbuckler: Used in romantic fiction because of its aesthetic value.
  • Vasquez Always Dies: Involves a cast possessing one Tomboy and one more delicate and feminine character and the Tomboy always being the one killed. Hollywood usually enforces this because their leading ladies are beautiful, relatable and a better selling point than the secondary character and make the danger feel more potent.
  • Waif-Fu: Played straight in physical beauty, but subverted in physical toughness. The point to this trope is the irony of a delicate flower perform acts of aggression that seem improbable given her size.

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