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The Beautiful Elite

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"How does it feel to be one of the beautiful people?
Now that you know who you are, what do you want to be?"
The Beatles, "Baby, You're a Rich Man"

The Beautiful Elite aren't just beautiful looking. In addition to being healthy and fit, with beautiful skin and hair, their whole life is beautiful. They are more fashionable than anyone else, more sophisticated and charming than anyone else, and are usually both rich and socially powerful. Their clothes are all way too expensive for you to ever own. They live in an elegantly furnished Big Fancy House that is so clean and well organized they look like they are Living in a Furniture Store.

Most of the time they simply fell into this status. In many cases, they are of royal descent, of divine descent, or at least belonging to some sort of lesser nobility. If they weren't born to the upper crust, they have managed to become a part of it by becoming a celebrity or business leader. More likely than not, they were educated in top private schools and universities, which gave them huge networks with other elites.

The Beautiful Elite rarely have to work hard at anything, as they are sheltered in wealthy families that give them a luxurious lifestyle. In many cases, they don't have to work at all, but if they do have a job, it will be a high-profile, leadership or media role that is just as glamorous as the rest of their lives.

And to make all of this worse, those who don't rub it in are so gracious about it that one has to wonder whether their unparalleled humility isn't just one more way they're better than you.

Don't always count on Beauty Equals Goodness. Sometimes Beauty Is Bad, and they spend their time plotting to exploit the poor, decent normal folk like (maybe) you and me. This type of character is the Trope Maker for Screw the Rules, I'm Beautiful!, and often benefits from Screw the Rules, I Have Money! as well.

To a certain degree, this is Truth in Television. In most societies, wealth and attractiveness are highly correlated; the wealthy have much greater access to resources for improving their own appearance, through fitness classes, plastic surgery, healthy food, hairstyling, wardrobe, etc. Moreover, attractive people often have better access to social, financial, and material success, whether through marriage or professional opportunities. And even beyond all that, the very standards of beauty itself, especially feminine beauty, are usually centered around a demonstration of wealth. Hey, Life Isn't Fair.

Expected in Bishoujo Series, as well as Bishōnen. The Fair Folk are this when they are an Inhumanly Beautiful Race.

Compare Beauty Is Never Tarnished, Model Couple. Often overlaps with The Proud Elite. When everyone in the show is like this, it is probably a Cast Full of Rich People.

Contrast Hollywood Homely, Unkempt Beauty.

Not to be confused with Elites Are More Glamorous, which is for a different sort of elite.

This item is available in the Trope Co. catalog.


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Too Good to Be True

    Anime & Manga 
  • 7 Seeds has several characters who have the looks for it. But only Team Summer A really makes up this trope, with their exceptionally good looks (including Ban), fast thinking abilities and observation skills, other survival skills and even speech. Sure, their social skills could take a few lessons, but overall, they are amazing. Justified, they are Designer Babies.
  • Lampshaded in Black Butler with the Phantomhive family. In fact, chapter 32 (which was entirely about the backstory of the Phantomhive family) is titled "Beautiful People." To quote Baron Kelvin:
    White porcelain skin like a bisque doll, beautiful hair, big eyes like diamonds, a youthful body. I will become something else. It doesn't matter if my ugly wife leaves me. I will be beautiful with a beautiful life. I will be suitable for him.
    • Every person in the series is beautiful, save for some of the males like Baron Kelvin, Georg von Siemens, Jumbo, Lord Arthur Randall, Azzurro Vanel, Fred Aberline, Damian, and Doctor.
  • As typical of a Jun Mochizuki work a lot of the characters in The Case Study of Vanitas are gorgeous beyond compare.
  • The mangaka Chi-Ran never draws anyone in any other manner than a) very beautiful and b) very feminine, whether they're male or female, major or minor; they live in pretty surroundings too, whether mansions or nightclubs.
  • Crest of the Stars: Abh are both this and Inhumanly Beautiful Race due to being ruling aristocracy and genetically engineered superhumans at the same time. While they are shown to be benevolent and just rulers, their militarism and imperialism makes them somewhat morally ambiguous.
  • Virtually every named character in Croisée in a Foreign Labyrinth, especially when the story involves Alice. It fits classical Japanese notion that everything in the Gay Paree is beautiful.
  • The DearS of the series of the same name are a race of beautiful alien slaves who are practically perfect in every way.
  • The Sakamoto family of Family Complex is regarded by their neighbours as the "perfect family" due to every member of the household (except one) looking like models.
  • Most of the cast of Fruits Basket. Mostly applicable to the Sohma family however, who are all incredibly good-looking, rich, and mysterious (to the point at which one person asks if their good looks are a genetic trait). On the other hand, the good looks aren't always a good thing, as proven by Yuki (who is constantly either mistaken for a girl or forced into dressing like one for his lovesick fans). It's justified with the Sohmas, since most of the Sohmas in the main cast are supernatural. Apparently being possessed by a Zodiac spirit makes you better-looking.
  • Gokujou Drops: Komari lampshades it all the time, usually something along the lines of "it's different for beautiful girls". Except Sai, who is a slob.
  • The vast majority of the significant cast in Hanasakeru Seishounen. They're all so regal that even when the situation is funny they stay in bishounen/bishojo mode! And then you have the occasional normal looking character (Gonk by comparison).
  • Infinite Stratos: All IS pilots have snazzy school uniforms, 5-star-hotel-grade dormitories, pimping mecha suits, and look very good.
  • Maken-ki!: Applies to the all-girl Venus Unit as a whole, as they're all portrayed as being stunningly beautiful - with particular emphasis being given to Demitra and Yan-Min in official art for the anime. Also lampshaded by the 7th episode's title: "The Goddesses who Came Down to Tenbi".
  • Maria Watches Over Us: This is largely the point of the novel, with Yumi as audience surrogate. Even the author states that it's like a fairy tale set in modern time.
  • Anyone in Ouran High School Host Club, which pokes great fun in the snooty, upper-crust societies in high schools.
  • Pet Shop of Horrors's Count D, as well as his whole family (given that they all look almost exactly like each other), and what a lot of the pets look like (at least to their owners and to Chris).
  • Pretty Cure:
  • Everyone in Princess Princess, especially the titular "princesses" are very beautiful, enough to be made to crossdress as girls to be worshiped by the rest of the students at the all male school they attend.
  • The Rose of Versailles is about French aristocrats living the high life right before The French Revolution. Invoked and endlessly lampshaded with Gardes du Corps, the senior cavalry regiment of the French Army and the main unit of the royal guard: they're an elite regiment largely composed of aristocrats, the members are chosen not just for their skills but also for their beauty, and people are so open on their good looks that everyone who learns Oscar's regiment replies with a variant of "Of course he's so beautiful!" and Girodelle (another officer of that regiment) flat-out admits that he has to be beautiful if he was accepted in the Gardes du Corps.
  • Sailor Moon: For all its Generic Cuteness, Costume Porn and Princesses, the manga and anime mostly avert this. No truly beautiful character is shown without serious flaws that spoil the image of elitist perfection, whether they're the good guys or the bad guys.
  • Sakura Gari, with Souma being the most standout case. However, it's obvious that his gorgeous looks are the cause of most of the problems in his life.
  • The Secret Garden: Mr. and Mrs. Lennox are rich Englishfolk who often hold parties to socialize with their fellow elites. They often wear frilly clothes and Gorgeous Period Dresses, while also living in a Big Fancy House.
  • Special A: Not only is the cast beautiful, but Special A is the most elite class in the already prestigious academy. Lampshaded in episode 13, when someone comments, "Amazing. Which modeling group are they from?"
  • Exemplified in Star Driver. Every single character, not just the main characters, is beyond beautiful (even, nay, especially the men). There's a reason why the main character of the series is called the "Galactic Pretty Boy".
  • Trinity Blood. Being in Perpetual Poverty has never looked so good, and it must feel great being a Church Militant wearing such elaborate and sexy garments - though Abel's robe gets torn off all the time, Tres is a bullet wall and Esther isn't immune to wounds either. The vampires are of course uncannily beautiful, being vampires and all, but so are almost all the human characters (see more in the evil part of the trope). Caterina has the complete dashing beauty + regal paraphernalia in addition to Regal Ringlets.
  • Vampire Knight: The vampires. Later, possible deconstructed with characters that, despite everything, still suffer and hide their pain under this.
  • World's End Harem deals with billions of men dying, leaving women to stand for themselves to recreate a society that has collapsed as a result, you could make a joke that the virus didn’t wipe out only the men on earth, but any woman that didn’t fit within a strict standard of beauty as well, all women in the series have the looks of super top models, wearing fetishistic clothing as casual wear to boot.
  • Subverted in Yamada Taro Monogatari, in which the eponymous Yamada Tarou is so amazingly beautiful that everyone in his school believes that he has to also be rich, noble, and a candidate for princehood. Tarou, who has more practical concerns, uses Valentine's Day chocolate as 'emergency rations' for his six hungry siblings.
  • Yui Kamio Lets Loose: The Life Lovers is a group of fabulously wealthy and privileged students whose life is a game on easy mode.

    Comic Books 
  • Batman: Most of the founding families of Gotham.
    • The Wayne family has this reputation among Gotham's citizens. There's extremely handsome and charismatic playboy Bruce Wayne. Aside from that we have his sons and daughter (adopted and not): Dick Grayson, Jason Todd, Tim Drake, Cassandra Cain and adorably precocious Damian Wayne. All of them, Dick in particular, are portrayed as exceedingly good-looking.
    • The Kane family has Martha Wayne née Kane. There's also Kate Kane, a beautiful socialite, and her cousin Bette Kane.
    • The Elliots were much the same way... To a point. After a car accident killed the drunken, abusive patriarch, the surviving wife became horribly scarred. Fortunately their son Tommy was a beautiful and charming adonis on-par with Bruce Wayne.... until his face was terribly scared in the act of becoming Hush. Then swings back into insanity when Tommy gets plastic surgery to make his own face identical to Bruce's.
    • Averted with the Cobblepots. It's even shown that The Penguin's ancestor looked just like him, so being chubby, short and having a sharp nose run in the family.
  • Wonder Woman: Diana of Themiscyra is the princess of the Amazons and is considered to be as beautiful as Aphrodite. Despite this, she is one of the kindest and sweetest people you'll ever meet in the DC universe.
  • X-Men:
    • Warren Worthington III is a handsome, blonde-haired man of Old Money origins with wings making him a literal Angelic Beauty.
    • Betsy Braddock aka Psylocke is the daughter of a British lord and had a modeling career for a time.
    • This is one of the complaints that the Morlocks - a community of sewer-dwelling mutants - and especially their leader Callisto and flesh-shaper Masque had about the X-Men. The X-Men - self-appointed ambassadors of the mutant community - are almost all powerful and attractive (even the inhuman-looking ones wouldn't have much trouble getting a date) and live in a mansion (or they did when the Morlocks were around), while the Morlocks were all freakish (some due to the afore-mentioned flesh-shaper) outcasts who lived in a sewer, relatively few of which had impressive powers. They accuse the X-Men of being elitist snobs who have a "but not TOO mutant" policy toward new recruits.

    Comic Strips 
  • The Comics Curmudgeon website refers to the Judge Parker cast as "The Pretty People Posse" who, in spite of doing virtually nothing (even by realistic serial-strip standards), routinely get huge sums of money dropped into their lap.

    Fan Works 
  • Forum of Thrones:
    • Argella Durrandon embodies this trope. She is famously beautiful, always well-dressed, has received flawless education and she is also the heiress to the Kingdom of the Stormlands.
    • Queen Rhaenys Targaryen is another straight example. Like Argella, she is a very beautiful woman, even if their physical features couldn't be different. She is cultured, well-read and behaved and loves the courtly life.
  • In The Stalking Zuko Series the Southern Water Tribe warriors apparently seem to be this to Fire Nation girls as they are made up of mostly good-looking men. Mai jokes that the Water Tribes banish the ugly children at birth. A strange example, as the Water Tribes are stereotypically barbaric in comparison to the Fire Nation.

    Films — Animation 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In Attack of the Clones Padme can be seen having an intellectual discussion, using proper grammar, while sitting in a green field against a waterfall and dressed in a golden summer gown.
  • Death on the Nile (2022): Heiress Lynette Doyle (née Ridgeway) fits this trope.
  • In the dystopian sci-fi film In Time, the rich people from New Greenwich, due to their being able to afford the time and luxury to live refined lives, embody this trope.
  • Last Year at Marienbad takes place in a gorgeous chateau filled with loads of rich people in really, really ridiculously good-looking suits.
  • In Pain & Gain Daniel arranges for the gym to have a lot of attractive people (including deals for strippers to join) to increase the clientele. This contrasts with women who are shown to be really unattractive, but with hints of Daniel being an Unreliable Narrator at these points.
  • The Tourist features two of the best-looking people currently making movies ( ie; Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie), and a series of really nice hotel rooms.
  • The Twilight film series introduces us to the gorgeous Cullens, who are an altogether different breed. As the "saga" progresses so does our view of just how very well off the family is. Their designer clothing, collection of imported/armoured automobiles, a patriarch with centuries of medical experience, their beautiful home, the magazine worthy dream wedding, and private island honeymoon clue us in to just how beautiful and elite life as a vampire can be.
  • In Starry Eyes, literally everyone who works for Astraeus Pictures is beautiful and successful, though by the end it's not clear if they're technically human anymore.
  • Whit Stillman's films (including Metropolitan and The Last Days of Disco) are all about this type.
  • X-Men Film Series: Professor X was born beautiful and lives in an old-fashioned Big Fancy House on a magnificent estate. Every stick of furniture and decorative item inside of his residence are Simple, yet Opulent. Ditto for his impressive collection of vintage cars and the inside of his personal plane. Xavier is enamoured with classic three-piece suits which cost a pretty penny, and he was quite the peacock when he was younger. X-Men: First Class and X-Men: Apocalypse accentuate his delicate facial features, his vanity and the splendour of his lifestyle. While he is generous to those he cares about, and he's the most altruistic character of the film series, it's made crystal clear that he ain't no Buddha—Charles derives great pleasure from basking in the luxury that his incredible wealth provides.
  • Both the dueling biopics Yves Saint Laurent and Saint Laurent portray the fashion designer's jet setting life of wealth, fame, lavish parties, beautiful muses, handsome lovers and gorgeously appointed homes. Saint Laurent himself was handsome, as are the actors portraying him.

  • The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian: Penelope. Not really "evil" like they usually are, just seriously messed up.
  • The ruling class of Elites of Ai no Kusabi are elite in every way because they are designed to be. Especially the highest of them all, Iason Mink.
  • Anne Rice. All of her vampires, but especially Louis, Armand and, of course, Lestat are gorgeous and rich. Of course most of the above were chosen as vampires mainly for their looks, and they had money because they stole it; Lestat turned Louis at least partially because he had good stable wealth, and needed a nice place to care for his elderly human father.
  • The good guys in Ayn Rand novels. Example: John Galt from Atlas Shrugged is a brilliant enough scientist to rewrite the laws of physics, a brilliant enough engineer to build a perpetual motion device using his discoveries, a brilliant enough philosopher and orator to Author Filibuster on Objectivism for HOURS, and a brilliant enough leader to get every industrialist on Earth to join a utopian society of his own creation. Also, he's incorruptible. And torture proof. And every word of his physical description is dripping with swooning adoration.
  • The books of Danielle Steel. All are set in glamorous locales—New York, Paris, London, San Francisco, Los Angeles. And all of her protagonists are very successful. The "poorest" that any of her characters has been is upper middle class. That said, the vast majority of these people have worked very hard and honestly to achieve this wealth (except for her villains of course, who were either born into it or got it through unscrupulous methods) and have maintained their down-to-earth demeanor (again, excepting her villains, who either are corrupt or become so).
  • Death on the Nile: Heiress Lynette Doyle (née Ridgeway) fits this trope.
  • F. Scott Fitzgerald was fond of this trope.
    • Dick and Nicole Diver appear to be Beautiful Elite at the beginning of Tender Is the Night.
    • Deconstructed in The Great Gatsby, a classic novel that starts off by showing all the glamor of the rich, then revealing the ugly truths behind why some of them are this way.
    • The Beautiful and Damned starts out with this in play until the main couple's awful life choices start catching up with them.
  • Elves in J. R. R. Tolkien's works. Their beauty is unearthly, their communities (Lothlorien and Rivendell especially) are described in terms of exquisite beauty, comfort, and sustenance, and they've each had centuries (sometimes millennia) to perfect their wisdom and hone their poetry/fighting/jewelry-making skills — they are why you Can't Argue with Elves. But Tolkien balanced out their greater power with greater consequences for harm when they do make mistakes. To err is human, but to really screw things up requires an Elf.
    • The human equivalent are the Númenóreans, said (in Tolkien's letters) to be almost indistinguishable from Elves in appearance.
  • Kyle from Beastly. As Lindy says, "Ten out of ten shallow high school girls surveyed would agree you're perfect." He's also fabulously wealthy thanks to his father being a huge media reporter and can date any girl in his school. Deconstructed, however, as even before the witch Kendra tells Kyle that he's ugly on the inside where it matters most and curses him to become ugly on the outside too, it's implied that he's not really happy because his "perfect" life is a shallow one and his father doesn't give him any real attention or love.
  • A Brother's Price: All of the five princesses who are of age range from pretty to gorgeous.The younger ones' looks are not described, but they're probably quite pretty, too. The noble family Porter is also quite handsome. Nobleman Cullen Moorland is not exceptionally beautiful in his everyday clothes, but when prettied up for a ball, he looks stunningly beautiful. And then there is Jerin, the protagonist, whose good looks are at least in part due to his grandfather having been Prince Alannon, a very handsome man.
  • The Cavaliers from The Cavaliers Series could probably just change the name of their society to this. They are rich, stunningly attractive aristocratic vampires who combine running the country with throwing great parties and intermittently studying at Oxford University.
  • The Clique. The Pretty Committee, the titular Clique, are described with lavish prose down to their accessories and the brand names of their cell phones—and, mind you, these are seventh graders.
  • The Koryon [Korean] royal court in Bones of the Hill is described in such a manner - the Koreans are all incredibly good-looking and exotic, the gardens are gorgeous, and the wall hangings and decorations are spectacular. Of course, that scene is told from Chagatai's Point of View; since this is probably the first time Chagatai has been in a building other than a tent or fort, it's only natural for him to be awed.
  • The Clackers and assorted fashionistas in The Devil Wears Prada. Of course, this comes at the cost of being shallow and obsessed with fashion and dieting to the point of neurosis.
  • The author of The Doll deconstructs the hell out of this trope with some unusual malice through the character of Izabela. She's beautiful, she's fearless, she's rich, she's above normal people, she's an angel from heavens come to earth... Nope. She's Jerk with a Heart of Jerk who led a sheltered life, Ice Queen refusing to melt and a bankrupt in all but name. The contempt Prus has for her must be seen to be believed.
  • In the Eldraeverse, the Imperials have been turning their whole population into this over centuries of Transhuman hacking on their bodies, brains, and society alike. You can't argue with Space Elves, either.
  • In Girls Kingdom, all the young ladies on the high school's Societal Arts track, basically the daughters of the school's wealthy donors, are beautiful, refined ladies, and most of them are very sweet and well behaved towards each other and the maids (the students on the Domestic Arts track).
  • Inverted in the Australian school comedy Hating Alison Ashley by Robin Klein (later made into a play and film), where the beautiful and talented Alison is a genuinely nice person, but the 'ordinary' protagonist persists in believing she's a snob who's constantly showing off her superiority.
  • In The House of Night, vampyres are all gorgeous and talented — it's mentioned that most important historical figures like Shakespeare are vampyres, and so are most movie stars and pop singers.
  • The citizens of the Capitol from The Hunger Games. While the rest of the Panem districts are on the brink of starvation, the Capitol expends its wealth on extravagant parties consuming as much food as possible, and even drinking emetic beverages to induce vomiting so they can continue eating. Many Capitol citizens avert this, however, by indulging in plastic surgery so over-the-top that they become grotesque.
  • In Death: Some of the characters, particularly the rich ones like Roarke, end up in this trope. Then there are characters who are average-looking, or just ugly-looking.
  • In God Clads the elites of New Vultan all look like out of this world beautiful because of gene and bosy modification made to them from the moment they were born. They are also bar none some of the most messed up people in the story.
  • Camille from The Infernal Devices is a vampire, so naturally this would come into play.
  • In The Mortal Instruments, all the Nephilim are somehow good-looking (with the possible exception of Hodge and The REAL Sebastian Verlac). The vampires, too.
  • In Dan Abnett's Warhammer 40,000 Gaunt's Ghosts novel Necropolis, the mere outside of the noble level in Vervunhive stuns the troopers escorting Gaunt. (Gaunt, fortunately, is made of sterner stuff; then, he's a Blue Blood himself.)
  • A Series of Unfortunate Events: Both the Baudelaires and the Quagmires used to be this, but their house burned down in a terrible fire, killing their parents and leaving the children to have to fend for themselves amidst their evil relative trying to steal their fortune. They're still quite good looking though.
  • Song at Dawn: Inverted. Alienor's high class ladies-in-waiting are more or less parasites in too much make up while Dragonetz' lower class soldiers are all described as handsome and gallant.
  • George R. R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire makes heavy use of this trope; an unrealistically-high proportion of the Great Houses of Westeros seems to consist of glamorous, insanely gorgeous men and women. Some particular examples are:
    • House Targaryen, once-ruling family of the Seven Kingdoms is famous for its sons and daughters possessing a striking, almost inhuman beauty, including silver hair and violet eyes coming from their Valyrian ancestry.
    • House Lannister is the richest and most glamorous of the Great Houses. They are tall, beautiful and golden-haired. Jamie and Cersei Lannister are regarded as some of the most dashing and beautiful members of the nobility. The expected physical perfection of the Lannisters is part of why Tyrion Lannister, a deformed dwarf, is so reviled by much of his own family.
    • The Tyrells, the High Lords of the Reach, are all very beautiful. The youngest generation, most especially Loras and Margaery, are considered exceptionally attractive. Even the older generation, including Olenna and Mace, who are now old and fat, respectively, were once very attractive.
    • Young Robert Baratheon was said to have been "every inch a king" and "muscled like a maiden's fantasy" before he took the throne and let himself go; Renly is just as striking, if in a rather less martial way (although he makes up for it in charm and pizazz). Heck, even Stannis with his perpetually grim expression and receding hairline is not exactly hard on the eyes. Tall, Dark, and Handsome, built like brick houses and with Innocent Blue Eyes are all Durrandon/Baratheon traits, and have been for centuries. Spotting various of Robert's bastards, who are all dotted about the Seven Kingdoms, isn't exactly hard. For some reason. This turns out to be a problem for them, care of Cersei.
  • In Tairen Soul, the Fae species is more-or-less ideal even as it's dying out. Every Fae is beautiful, wise, magically empowered, and varying shades of benevolent. In the cosmic scheme of things, they are literally warriors and embodiments of good whose role it is to keep the world's embodiments of evil at bay. (If not for plot reasons, 'gray' species like humans would barely interact with Fae at all.) This trope justifies the Fae monarchs going on plot-relevant adventures, instead of doing boring stuff like actually ruling- in a kingdom full of Beautiful Elite, there simply isn't much need to.
  • In the Tantei Team KZ Jiken Note franchise, The KZ soccer team are definitively considered as the "elite" in Shumei Seminar. While they occasionally have gonk members like Onozuka, most of the current or former members in the cast are quite handsome, to the point that Kozuka, the only non-member male in the cast, looks a lot plainer than the rest.
  • Saraiyu Balitang of the Trickster's Duet in the Tortall Universe. She's royalty by her raka mother and her luarin father, making her The Chosen One of The Prophecy to reclaim the Copper Isles from the luarin conquerors. She's an elegant Spirited Young Lady, a belle at the palace, and so gorgeous that people credit her with her sister Dove's ideas. It's deconstructed—beauty alone attracts lots of attention, but it does not a good queen make, and she elopes to Carthak which leaves Dove to take her place.
  • Most of the vampires in the The Twilight Saga series follow this trope, but especially the Cullens. All the Cullens are described as being impossibly beautiful with Edward being metaphorically referred to as a god. All of them have at least one Cool Car and several college degrees. They also possess extreme wealth from years of compound interest and knowing someone able to predict stock market trends. Ordinary High-School Student Bella often despairs because she can't find anything that Edward is bad at. It's implicit that this is almost a side effect- when you finally meet an ordinary looking vampire, it's because in life, he was really, incredibly ugly.
  • The Moroi from Vampire Academy, who all share the characteristic of looking like supermodels. Ironically, because being tall and slender is normal to them, they consider curvy girls and buff guys to be the ideal, which most dhampirs are.
  • In the Vorkosigan Saga, the 'haut' caste of the Cetagandan Empire fulfill this trope in every detail. They have been experimenting with human genetics for centuries.
  • During the first few chapters of War and Peace, there are various beautiful ladies hanging around a beautiful people party, where all the other beautiful people notice them being beautiful even in relation to their beautiful-to-begin-with-selves, and in fact whatever they do must be accompanied by a beautiful description of how beautifully beautiful they are, and their beautiful dresses, and the beautiful way they do their graceful beautiful beauty walk, and overall their beautifully beautiful beauty, lest you for a second forget what these ladies' apparent defining characteristic is. And also, you're drunk.
  • Subverted in While the Clock Chimes, the invisibles possess such a dazzling beauty that it can blind others if seen. Hence their use of invisibility caps to protect everyone around them. However, their appropriately luxurious lifestyle takes its toll on the kingdom's treasury and their cruelty causes them to have a 0% Approval Rating. Finally, when they lose the invisibility caps, it is revealed they are really hideous.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Almost Human has Chromes, people who were lucky and wealthy enough to have been genetically enhanced at a young age, meaning that they're almost universally beautiful, intelligent, extremely healthy, and possess a great deal of sociopolitical clout.
  • The Assassination of Gianni Versace: The fashion designer's life epitomizes this trope, and Andrew wants in. When he is shut out, Andrew goes on a killing spree.
  • The BBC comedy series Beautiful People both supports and subverts this trope.
  • In the Black Mirror episode "Nosedive", this applies to those with rankings above 4.5- 'high fours.' They're universally gorgeous, rich, and Instagram-perfect.
  • The Witches and Warlocks In Chilling Adventures of Sabrina are all Beautiful Glamorous, Elegant and Sophisticated Zelda Spellman for example looks like a classic hollywood star. And the students of the Academy of Unseen Arts, are also very sexy attractive and seductive.
  • In The Cosby Show, everyone's in brand-new clothing, their hair is always perfect, they live in a large, beautiful house, and the parents are highly educated professionals with excellent jobs and never a shortage on cash. Cosby was criticized for making the main characters such perfect elite, as it was thought that this was not representative of the African-American experience, but he insisted on providing role models for black viewers.
  • In The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance, Vapra clan members are the most fashionable and beautiful of the Gelflings, as well as the race's scholars and seemingly the main providers of All-Maudras.
  • A staple of the shows produced by executive producer/creator Darren Star:
    • Beverly Hills, 90210: A mid-Western family moves to Los Angeles, and promptly runs into massive amounts of culture shock when the two point-of-view characters (Brandon and Brenda Walsh) meet the students and cultural elite at a preppy L.A. high school.
    • Melrose Place: A Spin-Off of the aforementioned 90210, which followed the lives and careers of a group of twentysomethings living in an apartment complex in the prestigious Melrose neighbourhood.
    • Models Inc., a Spin-Off of Melrose, focusing on the mother of one of the Melrose characters, who runs a modeling agency in Los Angeles and gets wrapped up in the drama of her models.
    • Central Park West: A newspaper publisher and her husband move to New York, where they meet the staff of a fashion-oriented magazine and become immersed in the city's high-society culture.
    • The $treet: Several stock brokers in NYC climb the social ladder, with plenty of sexual escapades along the way.
    • Sex and the City: A group of thirtysomething single women document their challenges and successes in the dating scene in New York.
    • Kitchen Confidential: A disgraced chef is given the opportunity to run a prestigious New York restaurant and make a career comeback.
    • Cashmere Mafia: Four childhood friends decide to make a pact and support each other's careers in the pursuit of fame and fortune in New York.
    • Younger: A middle-aged divorcee pretends to be a much-younger employee to join a prestigious publishing firm, and gets wrapped up in the machinations of several powerful individuals.
    • Emily in Paris: The Fish out of Water main character moves to Paris to take a job with a French marketing firm, and is drawn into a world of decadence
  • Gilmore Girls Lorelai says of her family's lifestyle that "These people live in a universe where they feel entitled to get what they want, when they want it, and they don't care who's in their way..." They'll dress in gown and tux whenever they get the chance or talk about their boarding school experiences.
  • Gossip Girl (both the tv show and book series) practically revolves around this trope.
  • Many, many, many sitcoms on Nickelodeon and Disney Channel take place in a world where everyone is Living in a Furniture Store, everyone looks pretty except for (we're told) the resident Hollywood Homely, and everything is decorated in bold, gaudy primary colors. Examples include Drake & Josh, iCarly, and (probably the worst offender) Zoey 101.
  • Schitt's Creek: The Roses used to be this, and through most of the series, the goal is to regain their status. We get glimpses of their former life throughout, such as the flashback to one of their famous Christmas Parties and visits from David's famous photographer ex Sebastien and later Alexis's socialite pal Klair.
  • In Spartacus: Blood and Sand, the Roman upper class is heavily stacked with beautiful people, who insist on only the finest of everything, ideally handed to them by slaves while they recline in comfort. That said, the slaves are usually pretty beautiful as well.
  • Jackson from Teen Wolf seems at first glance to be a jerk version of this - his adoptive family are incredibly wealthy, he drives a Porche, is captain of the school lacrosse team, has a gorgeous girlfriend, etc, however, it is later revealed that he suffers from crippling insecurity issues due to being adopted, and has to be the best or he risks a breakdown. And this is before the supernatural gets involved...

    Pro Wrestling 

    Tabletop Games 
  • In Rocket Age the Martian royal caste, the Silthuri, fall into this, although the vast majority form the bureaucracy and not the ruling sub-caste. Their wealth is splendid, their lives are truly decadent and they are inhumanly beautiful due to millennia of genetic tampering and eugenics. Unfortunately they are also prone to arrogance and incredibly unchanging, putting them in danger of being overthrown by Earthling armies.

    Visual Novels 
  • In addition to living in a palace and dressing the part, Amy and her mom from Double Homework are both good-looking.
  • Rosé Mulan from Spirit Hunter: NG comes from wealth and it's treated her well, as she's a gorgeous woman with an air of class and sophistication. That said, beneath her charm is someone who's skilled in lockpicking and enjoys breaking society's rules.

    Web Comics 
  • Princess Voluptua in The Inexplicable Adventures of Bob!. Lampshaded by the fact her appearance is an illusion, and she actually isn't humanoid at all.
  • All main characters in Noblesse - especially the nonhuman characters who live with Rai. It gets very funny when one of the characters (a young, spoiled idol) visits school bringing her famous "handsome" boyfriend, only for a bunch of her friends to dismiss him as "average" and "not so good looking." She's pissed off, until she gets a glimpse of the people they've been hanging out with - M21 and especially Rai.
  • Tower of God has the Princesses of Jahad, a select group of strong and beautiful girls from diverse backgrounds who are bestowed with the power of King Jahad. They are considered the ultimate species of the Tower, are worshipped by the citizens of the Tower, and serve as the Praetorian Guard of Jahad. Among the group, high ranking princesses who have climbed the tower are gifted with one of the weapons of the 13 Month Series. Horribly deconstructed when these princesses are forced to kill each other for the possession of all the 13 weapons, and Jahad rigged the competition to ensure that no one ever wins it. The princesses are banned from having relationships with men. The infighting is so bad that it is not unusual for a princess Driven to Madness. While the princesses are prohibited from mutiny, some of them bend the rules and secretly help insurgent factions or simply desert the group and go into hiding. Endorsi Jahad likens the princesses to designer shoes, only meant to be admired from far, but never worn.
  • In unTouchable, modern vampires have learned to absorb Life Energy simply by touching humans. To facilitate this, they are genetically predisposed to good looks and charisma, and are not shy about using this to their advantage. They're Friendly Neighborhood Vampires on the whole, but do maintain an air of smug superiority.

    Web Original 
  • Whateley Universe:
    • The Goodkinds, particularly Phase's big sister Heather Goodkind, who chose not to go into the family business and instead has 'worked' as a supermodel and a Hollywood actress. Apparently, Phase's mother Helen Hilton-Goodkind counts as well.
    • Due to the high prevalence the Exemplar trait (about 20% of all mutants), a lot of mutants are not only exceptionally pretty but also talented and (sometimes) intelligent. Since it also seems to affect a disproportionate number of the ultra-wealthy, Whateley cliques such as the Alphas, the Golden Kids, and Venus. Inc., are generally filled with gorgeous snobs with trust funds.

    Western Animation 
  • The Beverly Hills Teens cast are all insanely rich, good looking and nice to everyone. The only exception is Bianca who is total self centered snob.
  • In Winx Club all six girls are gorgeous, half of them are royalty, and they all have cool powers to fight evil, and sometimes use them to make fine dresses for themselves.

Dream Worlds

  • The Zeerust World of Tomorrow from the 1930s-1950s, (Up to the early-60s The Jetsons) with shiny new Crystal Spires and Togas and not a speck of dirt anywhere — in some cases, not even on the ground (which is artificial). Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure jokes with this, where in the future, everything—"even the dirt"—is clean.
  • Just look at any illustrated advertisement from The '50s. Good God, we should be so lucky! Those ads had you believe that women wore the most glamourous makeup all the time, and that men had impeccable hair, dimples, and teeth - and, of course, everyone was always in a really good mood. Compare those with actual photographs from the 1950s, and you'll see the tremendous toll that an era when plastic surgery and physical fitness were still at a premium took on the appearance of certain people.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Beverly Hills Teens was a half spoof, half straight version of this.
  • Dawson's Creek is a different sort of dream world: an absurdly picturesque town by the shining crystal lake. Everyone is not only too beautiful, but more romantic than anyone living, and everyone talks in a language that sounds more beautiful than standard English, but doesn't really count as English. Combined with the soundtrack, it really does feel like a televised dream. The better class of dream, obviously, not the kind with the scissor man chasing you or the bottomless moebius pits.
  • House: When Dr. House is in a coma hallucinating his team, they're all dressed in absurdly stylish clothing throughout the hallucination.
  • The Countess in Schmigadoon! (a parody of Elsa Von Schrader from The Sound of Music) is a wealthy, beautiful, clever, and fashionable socialite who lives in a world straight out of a Golden Age musical. However, her paramours all inevitably kick her to the curb to shack up with the help.
  • Sex and the City takes place in a fantasy version of upper-class Manhattan that appeals to the materialism in everyone. The main characters have absurdly easy but nonetheless well-paying jobs that give them time to be glamorous, have wild love lives, and own more shoes than Imelda Marcos.
  • Zoey 101 may be the pinnacle of this trope. It takes place in a preppy boarding school that...actually, preppy doesn't begin to describe it. The indoor scenes are more like "rainbow technicolor fairy land." Multi-colored glass, rainbow knick-knacks, Rube Goldberg gadgets that run on nonsensoleum...and that's just the backgrounds. The characters all look perfect, including the pair of Hollywood Homely girls, even when they brush their teeth without a mirror (as demonstrated in one episode). Everything is so bright that wearing dark clothes on this show is a notable personality trait.

    Myths & Religion 
  • Mount Olympus, with its inhumanly-beautiful, behaviorally-chaotic inhabitants is one of the prototypes for this trope, which makes it Older Than Feudalism. There were some exceptions among the Olympians, however, such as Hephaestus, who was scorned for his ugliness.

Evil Versions

    Anime & Manga 
  • Griffith of Berserk is a textbook example of the evil version. He's an excellent commander, a masterful swordsman, graceful, elegant, beautiful and charismatic. He's also got serious problems, mostly involving his greatest warrior Guts. When Guts leaves the Hawks, it starts a downward spiral for Griffith that would culminate in the betrayal of all the Hawks in order to become Femto during the Eclipse. He retains his beautiful looks after becoming Femto, lipstick included, and is prone to looking down upon and even scorning his former subordinates, Guts included.
  • Everyone in Betrayal Knows My Name is impossibly good looking with some sort of Dark and Troubled Past.
  • Just about every character in Gankutsuou is beautiful and either endured some trauma in their past or will in their present life.
  • Revolutionary Girl Utena may be the peak of the evil version. Utena's school is literally a palace, complete with royal gardens, and the marble walls are draped in roses and ivy. Everyone is beautiful and has their closet packed with skeletons. It is, deliberately, a more extreme version of almost any portrayal of royal courts on television.
  • Sailor Moon: The villains of the second season, the Black Moon clan, are all rather beautiful and lead very dignified lifestyles. Special mention goes to Esmeraude, who is repeatedly seen in fancy clothes. The only one who does not abide by this lifestyle is the Big Bad. It is, however, heavily implied that this is posturing. They still live on a planet made for prisoners (even flowers are a rarity). Furthermore, for all her apparent luxury, Esmeraude has never seen or tasted anything sweet before, leading to her wolfing down an entire tray at the local bakery's All You Can Eat opening special.
  • Seraph of the End: The cast is made up of pretty boys and pretty girls wearing fashionable military wear. They all have skeleton's in their closets and good looks seem to be amplified when you become a vampire or demon. Special mention goes to Mika who does not have an easy life and to Ferid who is stated by Word of God to be "the prettiest person in the series". It's too bad he's such a Jerkass. Also, those who possess the Mikaela factor (Crowley, Ferid, and Mika) are known to have high quality skills, intelligence, and looks.
  • Tokyo Ghoul:
    • Shuu Tsukiyama, known as the "Gourmet" for being an exceptionally Picky People Eater. In stark contrast to most Ghouls that are orphaned and living in poverty, Tsukiyama is the son of an extremely powerful and wealthy family with connections in both human and Ghoul society. As a teenager, he was the School Idol of a prestigious private Academy and is known for his eccentric but high-end taste in fashion. Kaneki notes that he "looks like a model", though quickly learns that his cultured demeanor hides a ruthless and twisted killer even by Ghoul standards. Later in the series, he uses his considerable wealth to assist and remain close to Kaneki, having become a Yandere Stalker with a Crush. The sequel implies the result of having developed into a better person is that he's become grief-stricken and in poor physical condition — while leaving him looking beautiful and frail during the times he's not loosing control of his sanity.
    • Kanae from the sequel is an beautiful girl from the upper levels of Ghoul society prone to looking down on everybody and she's jealous of Sasaki/Kaneki having Tsukiyama's attention to the point that she wants to kill Sasaki/Kaneki.
    • The art has improved greatly by the sequel leading to characters that looked plain or merely interesting looking before to be considered drop dead gorgeous. They are not without their flaws and hidden darkness though, and not without reason.
  • Siegfried's Contra Mundi team in the Trinity Blood manga. Perfect skins, stylish, expensive uniforms and haircuts, and ohmygod, he sparkles!. (Then Cain shows up naked and ruins the effect. Nice butt, though.)
  • Umineko: When They Cry:
    • Subverted with the Ushiromiya household is filthy rich, composed of good-looking people with astonishingly good fashion sense and... well, pretty. That is, until the murders start. The first incident of the series consists of 6 people locked in a shed with their faces almost completely gone. Beauty Is Never Tarnished, this is not. And one or more of them may be the culprit...
    • Averted with Hideyoshi and George, who are overweight and not especially attractive, but played straight with the rest of the main cast, excluding non-Ushiromiyas.
    • Witches, on the other hand, take this trope and veer it straight into The Fair Folk territory. They're very beautiful and grandiose, and they'll be sure to make their murders just as grandiose and magnificent.
  • Vampire Hunter D where most of the Nobles and Dhampyrs are inhumanly beautiful, but hide predatory instincts behind their suave demeanour. One of the novels mentions that even the most kind-hearted Noble can't spend more than three days in the presence of a human without succumbing to the desire to drink their blood.
  • Pegasus J. Crawford and Siegfried von Schroider of Yu-Gi-Oh! are both impossibly rich, intellectual and glamorous. Unfortunately, they're also very unhappy with their lives.

    Comic Books 
  • X-Men: Emma Frost's 2003 limited series reveals the Frosts to be this. Winston, the family patriarch, is an abusive control freak who also cheats on his wife Hazel and pits his children against each other to win his approval. He is also homophobic towards his gay son whose boyfriend he has deported and expresses No Sympathy when his son attempts suicide. Hazel for her part is implied to resort to drugs and alcohol to deal with the chaos of her family. The eldest daughter Adrienne is a manipulative sociopath who thinks little to nothing of hurting her siblings to get her father's approval and in future stories would become a villain herself. The second eldest daughter Cordelia is a teenage Goth rebel who frequently acts out to get her parents' attention. Christian is a closeted homosexual who turns to drugs after his boyfriend is deported. And of course, we have Emma who starts out as a decent person but will become the White Queen in the future.

    Fan Works 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The 1970s Made-for-TV Movie The Girl Most Likely To... is about a smart, homely, overweight girl who enters college and is routinely tormented by the beautiful people. Driven to the brink, she ends up in a major car crash. After months of hospitalization with her jaw wired shut and extensive reconstructive surgery, she emerges slim and beautiful. Returning to college unrecognized, she gets close to her tormentors, who regard her as one of them...and starts killing them off one by one.
  • Godzilla vs. Kong: Corporate billionaire father and daughter duo Walter and Maia Simmons are both portrayed by physically gorgeous actors, and both sport some trendy clothing articles throughout the movie which compliment their faces (in Walter's case, the latter is justified by the fact he's actually a narcissist who will truly go to any lengths without thinking things through to satisfy his ego). However, only Walter is charismatic and sophisticated, whereas Maia is a Rich Bitch with the bare minimum in term of attitude relevant to this trope.
  • In Time: Everybody stops aging physically at 25. The highest-ranking members of society in are very good-looking and rich.
  • In The Last Witch Hunter, Danique's fashion house, with its high-class models and the owner being a full-blown Femme Fatale, is definitely one. Kaulder calls it "old magic and old money", and they turn out to be aiding Belial.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe: As a Prince of Asgard, it's expected that Loki's wardrobe be lavish and majestic, but he takes the "beautiful" part much more seriously than Thor or Odin. Loki's attire is noticeably more elaborate than theirs, and it always flatters his statuesque frame leaving no doubt that he's part of the ruling class. In Thor: The Dark World, Loki's Luxury Prison Suite and his Simple, yet Opulent prison uniform are visual cues that he was once a member of Asgard's elite. In Thor: Ragnarok, he indulges in a bit of decadence by being a Reclining Reigner with five lovely female servants offering him Grapes of Luxury and wine.
  • Seconds (1966) depicts an elderly man who pays to literally be remade as one of the Beautiful People; in a nice touch, post-transformation he is played by Rock Hudson. It doesn't work out very well.
  • The Stepford Wives takes place in a Town with a Dark Secret where the women and their houses look too good to be true... and are. Notable in that the people who run the town, the Men's Association, are the only things that are ugly.

  • Poul Anderson:
    • In Sargasso of Lost Starships, the alien race appear as stunningly beautiful, because of their vast psychic powers. They're also sadistic and completely insane.
    • Queen of Air and Darkness, there are The Fair Folk, stunningly beautiful, on a distant planet. Psychic aliens, actually.
  • Treacherous Beautiful People often figure in the novels of Sidney Sheldon, dating back to his breakthrough hit The Other Side of Midnight and villainess Noelle Page, a poor French girl who clawed her way to the top by utilizing her beauty. Good Beautiful People exist too, but usually are the targets of the bad ones.
  • Any time one adopts a beautiful orphan in the works of V. C. Andrews, watch out. Incest and all forms of abuse will ensue.
  • Books of the Raksura: The Ruler caste of the Always Chaotic Evil Fell are usually described as having Raven Hair, Ivory Skin with a "cold, perfect beauty" to their human forms.
  • Brave New World is one of the most famous examples. A Dystopia where everyone is raised to be a Stepford Smiler, and everyone looks twenty years old (except the Epsilons, the lowest caste; they are barely human).
  • In The Dresden Files, the White Court. Averted with Inari Raith, Thomas' little sister. Cute, but not blinding, jaw-droppingly beautiful like Lara, although that's only because she is still human. It is shown in the same book that teenaged Thomas was, while not ugly, slightly overweight and had a "squint that suggested a need for glasses". So becoming a White Court vampire literally makes you one of the beautiful people. They're Succubi and Incubi.
  • Harry Potter: Lucius Malfoy has a pale, pointed-featured visage like his son, and if being a horribly-Fantastic Racist jackass isn't bad enough, he's also a first-generation Death Eater who willingly served Voldemort's first campaign of terror and does so again following the Dark Lord's return. It's also implied that Blaise Zabini's mother, who's mentioned to be famously beautiful, is a Black Widow. See Jerkass Versions for more examples.
  • The Physical God in Olivia's dream in "Iron Shadows in the Moon". This might go under "Too Good to be True" since all we see him do is avenge his son's torture and death. Then, it's a nasty revenge that endangers anyone who happens on it.
  • Lords and Ladies features the exceptionally beautiful Fair Folk who are described as evil, violent sociopaths. They get away with it because they are so beautiful that people don't think they're good enough to stop them. The beauty turns out just to be a glamour field though — to anyone that can see through it, they look vaguely feline and not especially attractive at all.
  • Wealthy residents of the city of Shadukiam in The Orphan's Tales. The setting alone should give you an idea: They live in the most beautiful city in the world, pieced together by djinn-magic, crowned by diamond spires and a magnificent dome covered in roses that never wilt. The achievement of their lives is eating, especially food derived from jewels. Look away from the Rose Dome, however, and you'll find crowded slums teeming with sapient species undertrodden and killed daily, corpse-defiling evil spirits, and a long history of corruption, greed, and betrayal, which finally catches up with the beautiful city.
  • In the Space Wolf novel Wolfblade, the House of Belisarius is like this. They even provide this kind of luxury for the Wolfblades, their Space Wolf bodyguards. The factional fighting is something else again, as well.
  • The nobility from Twig have used Bio-Augmentation to give themselves not just astounding beauty, but also abilities such as enough strength and speed to outfight bioweapons, Photographic Memory, subdermal bulletproof armor, and lifespan far beyond normal human limits. They spend their days with parties, luxuries, and using commoners for toys. Non-noble characters react to the presence of a noble much like they would to a visit from The Fair Folk.
  • In the Uglies book Pretties, everyone gets turned phenomenally beautiful at age sixteen, but given brain lesions, so that they're all the same and follow the herd.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Little House on the Prairie: Nellie Oleson, in her teen-aged days. Nellie is very attractive... and very conniving, snobbish and cruelly mean. It is implied that her mother — and we know how she was — was also attractive many years earlier.
  • Almost any portrayal of royal courts on television. In the polar opposite of The Dung Ages, royal courts from ancient Rome to the Tudors to Louis XIV are often portrayed as places where everyone is a scheming courtier in Gorgeous Period Dress who has everything — looks, brains, charm — except a soul. This requires completely ignoring the uglier parts of historical court life. For instance, Louis XIV's Versailles was beautiful, but it was incredibly uncomfortable and unhygienic. (Courtiers sometimes used the stairwells as lavatories.)
  • The Twilight Zone (1959): The episode "Number 12 Looks Just Like You" may have been inspired by Brave New World. (It was based on a Charles Beaumont story.) The future Dystopia in which the story is set forces its people to undergo an operation that makes them beautiful and ditzy. (Said people are only allowed to choose from a small number of idealized forms for their new bodies — which is why except for the main character until she goes through the operation at the end, all the roles in the episode are played by only three people — and thus have to wear nametags in order to identify each other.)

  • "Beautiful Dirty Rich" by Lady Gaga seems to be about people of this nature. Many other examples from Lady Gaga have also appeared in her work, most notably "Paparazzi". The video takes place in a nice looking mansion, but during the Talky Bookend part Gaga is thrown off a balcony by her boyfriend. It gets worse from there on out, as there are repeated shots of models' corpses throughout the video, among other things, and at the end Gaga gets revenge on her boyfriend by poisoning his drink.
  • Marilyn Manson's Concept Album Antichrist Superstar features a race of beautiful, superior beings who lord over the oppressed masses. The story is told from the perspective of "Wormboy", a downtrodden Muggle who seeks to join the ranks of these Ubermenschian overlords and become the titular Antichrist Superstar. There's actually a song on the album entitled "The Beautiful People" (the original name of this trope).
  • David Bowie's "Oh! You Pretty Things" tells the story of a perfect next generation, homo superior, who will discard and destroy the current population of humanity.

    Pro Wrestling 
  • Matt Sydal and Lizzy Valentine on Wrestling Society X, Sydal mixing this trope with Gorgeous George, as he was so effeminate his returned affections toward Valentine was all that cast doubt on him being gay.
  • TNA stable The Beautiful People were a wannabe version of this. While they were physically fine as hell, they dressed more like streetwalkers than like anything classy.
  • There is usually at least one "I'm Rich And Good Looking And Better Than You" gimmick going on in wrestling at any given time. Ric Flair is probably the best known example, going on about styling, profiling, and limousine riding.

    Tabletop Games 
  • The Fairest from Changeling: The Lost; the name of the group literally derives from Fairest of Them All, and they pretty much embody the Beautiful Elite - complete with its darker aspects. They were kept largely for either sex or decoration by the Gentry, and they get the ability to use magic to enhance their presence and their ability to manipulate and persuade, along with a Contract called Vainglory which at high levels simultaneously makes them inhumanly beautiful and utterly terrifying even if they weren't to start with (and many are). Meanwhile, they pay for it by having an extra hard time with their Clarity (simultaneous Karma Meter and Sanity Meter) because they and those around them tend to mistakenly believe that Beauty Equals Goodness even when they're subverting it like mad.
  • Many of the Exalted are like this, particularly ones old enough to reach a permanent Essence rating of 6 or higher (who can thus raise their Appearance stat to beyond-human levels). Abyssal Exalted, unless they are so horrifically ugly that their Appearance is permanently 0, actually have to become this as they grow stronger.
  • Genius: The Transgression: There are a group of people who are better, faster and stronger than any normal human has a right to be. They also look damn hot. They're genetically modified Nazi fanatics grown in vats. Avoid them.
  • In Magic: The Gathering, this trope is taken to to its Logical Extreme by the elves of Lorwyn. They are narcissists who view themselves as superior to the other races of their world, and whose society's hierarchy is based on physical beauty. "Faultless", the lowest caste, ranks just below "immaculates," who rank below "exquisites." At the top of the chain are the "perfects," who are so privileged that they're allowed to murder "eyeblights" (beings who are not beautiful, i.e. non-elves) at their discretion.
  • The Excrucians of Nobilis are this trope. Achingly graceful in motion, soul-churningly beautiful in appearance, hauntingly melodic in speech... And out to unmake reality on such a fundamental level that even those who aim to merely destroy it must oppose them.
  • The Galateids of Promethean: The Created can only be created from the bodies of beautiful people. They exude charm and grace, and their innate power allows them to become masterful manipulators. And then you see what they really look like. Under the surface, they look like mannequins, statues... embalmed corpses. When the world gets too much, they snap and try to claim what they want regardless of who suffers. Part of what drives them to try to Become a Real Boy, even though it means aging and decay, is to stop living out the lie.
  • Vampire: The Requiem:
  • Warhammer 40,000:
    • Dark Eldar . Tall, pale and beautiful, but also complete sociopaths who literally feed on pain and suffering. Their Craftworld cousins are slightly more benevolent, in that they won't kill you for fun (but will kill you if they have any reason to do so).
    • A lot of Elite class in the Imperium society, and plenty of military commanders look down on the regular Red Shirt Guardsmen, viewing them as mere Cannon Fodder.

    Visual Novels 
  • In Double Homework, Dennis’s dad owns a mansion, travels in yachts, limos, helicopters, and private jets, and isn’t bad-looking for a middle-aged man. Too bad his looks didn’t rub off on his son.

    Web Original 
  • Caroline Lee in The Lizzie Bennet Diaries is a gorgeous Socialite who pretends to be friends with the Bennet sisters, but she actually manipulates her brother and other people around her. Some of her ways are downright nasty, like deleting messages for his brother from his girlfriend and other sabotages.
  • Orion's Arm: While genetic modifications can give pretty much anyone who chooses this status by modern standards, Clade Labela stands out as an extreme example since their mandatory scarcity make them all the more attractive.

    Western Animation 
  • The ruling class of the Fire Nation in Avatar: The Last Airbender: the men are almost all either venerable sages or muscular hunks, all the women under 70 are gorgeous, they wear extravagant red and gold robes and live in opulent palaces or luxurious beach houses, and many of them are powerful firebenders. Their morality ranges from Punch-Clock Villains to The Sociopath.

Jerkass Versions

    Anime & Manga 

    Comic Books 
  • X-Men:
    • New Mutants: Bobby da Costa aka Sunspot is the son of wealthy Afro-Brazilian businessman Emmanuel da Costa and his white American mother archaeologist Nina da Costa. In his youth, Bobby was temperamental and pig-headed towards his teammates, but mellowed out as he grew up.
    • Monet St. Croix is the daughter of a Monégasque ambassador and the granddaughter of a French aristocrat. Between her beauty, which makes her the Lust Object of numerous men, wealth, fame, and winning of the Superpower Lottery, it is little wonder she has an ego the size of a continent.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The titular Girl Posse from Heathers.
  • The Plastics from Mean Girls are the most popular girls at school and are even referred to by Damian as "teen royalty". They are also gossiping, shallow, spiteful and arrogant people.

  • City of Bones by Martha Wells: Patricians of Charisat are generally tall and fair, with classically attractive bone structure, in contrast to the denizens of the lower tiers of the city. Justified in that there's little class mobility, so Patricians not only hold all the wealth but are mostly descended from a small pool of Blue Bloods who specifically selected for those features.
  • Harry Potter:
    • The students of Slytherin House (many of whom are from wealthy and/or "pureblood" wizarding families) tend to be very physically beautiful if they don't have ugly inbred looks, as do their parents. Draco Malfoy is an example, although he can be snivelling and cowardly in his school years, whilst Blaise Zabini as more sophisticated and haughty as befits this trope, though they still don't come across as quite as willfuly evil as their elders are.
    • See Evil Version for more examples.
  • The Star Wars Expanded Universe gives us the Hapan Consortium. Their race is astonishingly beautiful because is it descended from the kidnapped brides of Space Pirates, who only kidnapped the most beautiful women. Basically everyone in the Consortium is attractive, with the beauty increasing the higher up in society you get. Prince Isolder even takes Han's breath away when he first sees him.
  • In The Real Boy, the rich, snobby inhabitants of the walled city of Asteri are known as the shining people. They are always flawlessly beautiful, with elaborately coiffed hair and skin and eyes that seem to glow. They wear enchanted jewelry and clothes made out of magic cloth that never wears out.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The upper-class society depicted in the Black Mirror episode "Nosedive" where everyone is physically fit and impeccably dressed, and the surroundings are very well-kept and clean-cut (with pretty pastel colors to brighten it all up). The jerkass part comes from the fact that, in this world, everything in your life is dictated by how high your social media rating is, and those living in the upper classes are those with the highest ratings. The whole society is essentially a Stepford Suburbia Crapsaccharine World. And given this episode was written by Mike Schur and Rashida Jones of Parks and Rec fame, one could even say it's like Eagleton taken Up to Eleven.
  • The Brady Bunch: Season 4's "Today I Am A Freshman," where the girls in the Boosters — a socially elite club at Westdale High — are depicted as this.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • Cordelia is rich, beautiful and serves as the Alpha Bitch for much of her time on the show. Her family losing their wealth sets her on the path to humility.
    • Even before he became a vampire, Angel was a handsome man and his father was a linen and silk merchant. He was also, as the First Evil put it, "a drunken, whoring layabout", whose only real ambition was to travel the world for excitement and adventure. His bad traits got taken Up to Eleven after he became Angelus. Having his soul restored turned into The Atoner and made him much more humble.
  • Carru Sel with Jorge del Salto. Jorge is rich, mean, and arrogant- and at least one of the girls points out how handsome he is when he first transfers to the school, even though none of them actively crush on him let alone date him. Downplayed with Maria Joaquina- who is pretty, wealthy, and haughty, but not cruel. Averted with David- who is rich and cute (to the point where he has two love interests), but never malicious.
  • Parks and Recreation: The residents of Eagleton, the much nicer and more pristine town neighboring the main characters' hometown of Pawnee. They're certainly rich and beautiful, but they're also insufferable snobs who just love to rub their wealth into the faces of the more working class small-town Pawnee. This massive spending ends up getting them in trouble in the sixth season when the town is bankrupt and is forced to become absorbed into Pawnee as a new sub-district.

  • "At Seventeen" by Janis Ian, depicts the beautiful elite – of which the young woman from whose viewpoint this song is told – as snobbish and who unashamedly sneer down on those who are "beneath them" and that "ordinary" girls have no chance of even getting a bone thrown at them.

    Tabletop Games 
  • The Clan Warrior Caste in BattleTech. Effectively the Clan's nobility. They aren't actually engineered for attractiveness but considering they're all genetically engineered to be strong and fast many of them are very attractive. They usually have the best living conditions, and are tied with the Laborer Caste for getting the best food. They are constantly extolled as the pinnacle of their society and the ones who every other member of the society is working to support. Even sympathetic Clan warriors tend to be kind of a jerk to people they do not view as other warriors, and depending on the Clan their rights may extend to the ability to injure or kill members of other castes without recourse.
  • Espers that work for Abraxis in Psionics: The Next Stage in Human Evolution qualify. They work for an amoral megacorp and are fit, well-dressed, and rich, in addition to having formal training in psytalents and combat.
  • The Bretonnian Knights in Warhammer Fantasy. They are brave, noble, courageous killing machines living off the sweat of the peasants bearing 90% taxes on them.

    Visual Novels 
  • Ace Attorney:
    • Manfred von Karma of the Ace Attorney series was a man murderously obsessed with "perfection". So instead of LA attorneys, all members of his family (Edgeworth, Franziska, and himself) live more like European nobility than LA lawyers, from Classy Cravats, to expensive cars, to globetrotting lifestyles, to perfect prosecution records, to terribly dysfunctional family dynamics.
    • Barok van Zieks and his late brother Klint of The Great Ace Attorney take it even further than the von Karmas, showcasing Blue Blood at its most ominous yet opulent and aesthetically pleasing. Barok goes as far as to shout his objections in ornate blackletter rather than the usual speech bubbles.
  • Cecilia and Lainie from Daughter for Dessert are both good-looking and expensively dressed.

    Western Animation 
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic has two straight examples, and a subversion:
    • Prince Blueblood is the straight example. He was always imagined by Rarity to be a sort of Prince Charming. Sadly...
    • In the "Sweet and Elite" episode, the characters Jet Set and Upper Crust are in possession of very high fashion. Too bad they frown on anyone considered less than their standards. The only person considered to be of higher tastes is Fancy Pants, and the two take every opportunity to accept what is to his liking, even Rarity, who they previously mocked. Fancy Pants himself could be counted as a subversion, you might expect him to be the same kind of snob as Jet Set, Upper Crust and the majority of Canterlot elite, but he actually is the gentleman as he appears to be.
    • Princess Mi Amore Cadenza, better known as simply Cadance, is the subversion. When we first see her in the present, she seems a bit of a Jerkass, but it's subverted by the fact that it's an impostor. The real Cadance is just as nice and friendly as she was seen in Twilight's flashbacks.


Video Example(s):


Black Moon's Esmeraude

Esmeraude is a proud and haughty villainess with a high opinion of herself, bragging to the Sailors about her beauty and high status and demeaning their appearances. She also has the stereotypical loud laughter of haughty women and wears clothing that highlights her haughtiness, such as her feather fan and her long gloves.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (6 votes)

Example of:

Main / ProudBeauty

Media sources: