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Indifferent Beauty

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"She was eighteen. She was the most beautiful woman in a hundred years. She didn't seem to care."
The Narrator, regarding Buttercup, The Princess Bride

A character who is attractive, aware of their effect on other people, but doesn't care or at least doesn't value their physical attractiveness over their other traits.

Often, this character is a consummate professional who is well aware of the fact that they could use their "assets" to get what they want by other means, but feels that it would be unprofessional or beneath their dignity, and is instead focused on proving that they can compete purely on skill, often to the exclusion of romantic opportunities. While such characters are not averse to dressing in sexy outfits, they don't plan on relying on or even exploiting their sex appeal - but the camera will often do that for them.

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Other characters' indifference is not due to regarding relying on appearance to be beneath their dignity, but rather that they consider it to be unimportant. Typical examples might be a shapeshifter who considers their beauty to be a momentary state and thus unimportant, or a character with a highly nontraditional outlook, such a Troubled, but Cute character or a Cloudcuckoolander who is socially functional enough to realize their own attractiveness, but does not care enough to take advantage of it or feel embarrassed.

Contrast Proud Beauty, who is also aware of their appearance, but will value and take advantage of it. Compare and contrast Obliviously Beautiful, who's totally unaware of how beautiful they are.


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Examples:

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    Anime and Manga 
  • Haruka from Basquash! is considered incredibly attractive because of her large breasts but she doesn't particularly care about her figure since she's more interested in feet.
  • Kagari from Witch Craft Works is considered the most beautiful person in her school, she even has her own fan club. However, due to her aloof personality and her devotion to the male protagonist, Takamiya, she's apathetic towards admiration she gets.
  • Kija from Yona of the Dawn is extremely beautiful, to the point that it's widely lauded by his grandmother, the protagonist, his village, and any number of random women and men he meets. It drives the plot on some points by catching the attention of an antagonist. However, he tends to either ignore this or be annoyed by all the harassment that ensues, rather than bragging about it.
    • There is also Hak, who's so handsome that he manages to accidentally draw a huge—and overwhelmingly female—crowd of customers to Yun's medicine stall. That being said, he's no flirt with anyone who isn't Yona, and typically ignores or flat-out rejects the attention he gets for his looks.
  • Motoko Kusanagi from Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex is completely indifferent about her looks. Despite her personal issues about retaining her individuality in a society that has become so integrated with technology that people's souls are digital data, she has no objections about how her body and face itself is a mass-produced model that was rather popular from a few years back. She also wears a leotard that accentuates her breasts as her normal attire. When the subject about her appearance is brought up by coworkers and her roommates, she just tells them that she prefers the model she uses. All in all though, she'll flaunt it if she wants (needs) to, but otherwise just doesn't care.
  • When the subject of boobs was brought up in an episode of Sky Girls by the resident flat-chested girl Otoha, Eika (who got mentioned as having the most "ideal" size) chides her thusly:
    Eika: If you have time to worry about breast size, you should worry more about your training.
  • Rina and Elga from Inumimi are well-endowed and don't see what the big deal is. At first they didn't understand because they used to be dogs. After it's explained to them why all the guys stare, they get it but still don't care. Neither do they consider Emina's smaller cup size to be any big deal. (Although Emina certainly doesn't see it that way.)
  • Reinforce Eins of Lyrical Nanoha. As she mentioned when Hayate practically squees over her huge breasts in A's Sound Stage 2, she won't get embarrassed about them unlike Signum, and even tells Hayate that she could touch them as much as she wants.
  • In My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU, Yukino Yukinoshita makes it clear while criticizing Hachiman Hikigaya's argument for his own self worth(LN).
    • Yukino: "Simply put, deriving self-confidence from the superficial, such as your grades or your looks, isn't flattering at all."
  • In Shakugan no Shana, Shana is noted by several characters, even her opponents, to be very beautiful. She never reacts to them, as she is only focused on her mission to battle Crimson Denizens.
  • In Puella Magi Madoka Magica, many of Homura's classmates compliments her beauty. She ignores them for two reasons- 1, because they treated her badly in a previous timeline (when she was not attractive) and 2, because she's deeply in love with Madoka. Everyone else is either a pawn or a waste of her time.
  • Osaragi from Kaguya-sama: Love Is War is considered to be one of the most beautiful girls in the entire school despite doing nothing to emphasize her looks (it's even [jokingly?] stated that she's the World's Most Beautiful Woman in an omake), but the strongest reaction she ever gives when complimented on her looks is minor annoyance regarding all the boys who fawn over her.

    Comic Books 
  • Before joining the Red Lantern Corps, Bleez from Green Lantern was a princess considered to be the most beautiful woman in seven systems. She had countless suitors but rejected them all since they were only interested in her beauty and she felt she was more than that.

    Film — Animated 
  • Odette from The Swan Princess initially rejects Derek when he can't come up with any reason to love her other than she's beautiful.
  • Hello Nurse from Wakko's Wish wants to use the wishing star to make it so that people start seeing her for her genius intellect and not just her looks.
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    Film — Live Action 
  • In It's a Wonderful Life, Violet subverts this trope, because while she claims to be indifferent, it's just an act.
    Violet: Good afternoon, Mr. Bailey.
    George: Hello, Violet. Hey, you look good, that's some dress you got on there.
    Violet: This old thing? Why, I only wear it when I don't care how I look.
  • Sarleena from Men in Black II is a plant-like alien who shape-shifts into a lingerie model. She doesn't care about her appearance though, she only took that form because she stumbled upon a discarded magazine with a Victoria's Secret ad, and she's unimpressed with just how much stock humans place in physical appearance.

    Literature 
  • Jane Austen's Emma: Emma is very beautiful, but she really doesn't care about it. She takes pride in being clever, intelligent and capable. Mr Knightley, an old family friend, praises this particular quality when discussing her character with Mrs Weston. Mrs Weston, who was Emma's governess and raised her after the death of her mother, raves about how beautiful the young woman is; Mr Knightley agrees with her, and also adds that as beautiful as she is, she doesn't seem to pay much attention to it.
    Mr Knightley: I have not a fault to find with her personnote . I think her all you describe. I love to look at her; and I will add this praise, that I do not think her personally vain. Considering how very handsome she is, she appears to be little occupied with it; her vanity lies another way.
  • The Princess Bride has Buttercup, who becomes the World's Most Beautiful Woman after her love interest apparently dies. She doesn't particularly care.
  • Bevier in The Elenium knows he is extremely attractive but, being the most pious of the entire cast, ignores his physical attractiveness at all times.
  • Thomas Theisman from Honor Harrington considers Eloise Pritchart the most beautiful woman he's ever seen, as does pretty much everyone else who meets her. She doesn't particularly care about her appearance, being a bit more preoccupied with staying alive under a Reign of Terror, hiding a love affairnote  that if discovered would get both her and the man she loves summarily executed at best, and overthrowing a brutal and corrupt regime. And then she gets elected President, which means she has even less time to care about how beautiful she is. Note that this does not stop the narration from commenting on it extensively whenever given the opportunity.
  • Eponymous character of Dora Wilk Series is succubus-like "fertility witch" and thus very beautiful, but she usually doesn't care, preferring Boring, but Practical look (her job is first policewoman, then magical investigator in world where Asskicking Equals Authority) which doesn't allow for much of beauty displaying.
  • Wives and Daughters: Cynthia's very beautiful and she's very well aware of it, but she's so lovely that she doesn't really need to care about it.
    Cynthia was very beautiful, and was so well aware of this fact that she had forgotten to care about it; no one with such loveliness ever appeared so little conscious of it.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Angel from Buffy the Vampire Slayer is often touted for his hunkiness, but doesn't respond to the attention (mainly due to his inability to get intimate and desire not to give in to his vampiric urges). He shrugs off an offer from an acclaimed talent agent and often rejects the advances of women. However, his villainous alter ego will use his looks and charm to gain his victim's trust.
  • Dr. Cameron from House is insulted when House reveals that he hired her because of her good looks, despite her graduating med school at the top of her class. He quickly elaborates on this: with her looks, Cameron didn't have to work as hard as she did to get where she was, but she did anyway, and that was why he hired her.
  • In the The Office Charles Miner, after Angela and Kelly start flirting with him, notes on the Confession Cam that he's aware that women tend to find him attractive but he doesn't make an opinion on the matter.
  • Downton Abbey: Although Lady Sybil is probably the most beautiful female in the series, she never uses her looks to get her own way or manipulate people — her kindness, intelligence, and passion do the talking.
  • Anne in Anne with an E is often envious of Diana's "divine beauty", but Diana herself says that while compliments about her beauty are nice, she would rather be appreciated for being smart instead.

    Theatre 
  • Angelica Schyler in Hamilton is considered the most attractive of the three sisters. However, when she's naming the reasons Alexander wants her in "Satisfied," she deliberately describes herself as the oldest and the wittiest, rather than the expected "prettiest." She values her intelligence much more than her looks.

    Video Games 
  • Yue Ying from Dynasty Warriors is exceptionally beautiful but spreads rumors that she's ugly so she could find a husband who would want her for her wisdom and not just her beauty.
  • Dragon Age:
    • Dragon Age: Origins has Queen Anora, who is valued (both by herself and others) far more for her intelligence and political acumen than her looks. People who knew her when she was a child refer to her batting her big blue eyes to get her way; but when we meet her as an adult, her attitude toward political alliances (even though said alliance can include marriage between herself and Alistair or a human noble male player character) is more of the Consummate Professional than The Vamp.
    • Dragon Age II has a subtle example in Bethany, the player character's sister, whom several characters remark is exceptionally pretty. She herself never comments on it or shows any concern about it whatsoever, and is more invested in hiding her apostate mage status from the nearby Templars, and in supporting her elder sibling's efforts to provide for their mother and win back the family fortune. Depending on her situation in the later acts, her motivations are somewhat different, but she still doesn't seem to take any notice of her attractiveness or try to use it in any way.
    • Dragon Age: Inquisition gives this role to Cullen, who is a workaholic focused on his duties as commander of the Inquisition's military. He's a blond, stubbled, muscular hunk, and as a result is subjected to a vast deal of admiration from men and women alike. He finds it thoroughly annoying. Josephine and Leliana may tease him about styling his hair, especially if he's romancing the Inquisitor, but this is the only time he makes any acknowledgment of wanting to look good. He's much more concerned with the success of the mission and the well-being of the troops.

    Web Comics 
  • In Max Overacts, Becky gets angry at Klaus for saying he likes her because she's pretty instead mentioning her intellect.

    Western Animation 
  • Lance from SymBionicTitan gets fangirls from his first day of high school due to his handsomeness and moody demeanor. He finds all the attention annoying, since he wants to keep a low profile; but no matter what he does to distance himself from the rest of the students, he finds himself becoming more popular.
  • In My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, Twilight Sparkle is implied to be very attractive by pony standards, but she's much more concerned with books and studying and only occasionally gives thought to her appearance.
  • Gravity Falls has Wendy, a very outgoing and popular teenage girl who's clearly considered rather attractive In-Universe. She's pined after and fought over by two male characters, and has an assortment of former boyfriends. She's also very much a Nice Girl who's down-to-earth, protective over her friends, and quite humble about her appearance. She never uses her looks to her advantage.

 
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Aloy

Being dead-set on her life's goal of becoming a brave and learning who she is, Aloy has zero interest in whether or not she is attractive to anybody.

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