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World's Most Beautiful Woman

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"Was this the face that launch'd a thousand ships,
And burnt the topless towers of Ilium?
Sweet Helen, make me immortal with a kiss."

This character is notable In-Universe for having better looks than any other woman in it. She is the World's Most Beautiful Woman.

That doesn't mean her life is going to be easy, of course. These women are almost always So Beautiful, It's a Curse. She may be the target of a Vain Sorceress looking to be the Fairest of Them All, has some unwanted attention, suffer from Attractiveness Isolation (women may get jealous, men may feel intimidated) or she may simply be kidnapped.

Of course, having two (or more) women contending for the title is usually not good, and you really, really, really want to limit it to mortal competitors. Asserting that a woman is more beautiful than a goddess is dangerously Blasphemous Praise. Even...especially if she's another goddess.

The woman is often so beautiful because she is blessed by God, a new goddess, an angel on Earth, or in some other way divine. Depending on the setting and the mythology, this will often lead to some encounter or statement on divinity itself. This connection with the divine and the beautiful is often made in works where Beauty Equals Goodness.

Just the fact of a character's being hot is not enough to qualify her for this trope. Indeed, many of these women fall into Informed Attractiveness. The character must be explicitly stated to be the world's most beautiful woman, hence why this trope is usually limited to Mythology, Fantasy, and Fairy Tales, three genres that tend to go light on real-world logic (Was there a worldwide Beauty Contest that every woman alive was forced to enter and every man forced to vote?).

A common trait of the Hot Goddess and Princess Classic. If it's not just the fact that she's beautiful, but that he feels like she's above him, she's a Peerless Love Interest. Distaff Counterpart to World's Strongest Man, because Men Are Strong, Women Are Pretty. If she claims to be the world's most beautiful woman but not everyone agrees, she's a Proud Beauty. Note that the Real Life examples involve either antiquity, politics, or a direct invocation of this trope. This is no place to simply gush about attractive women, because such a title is so subjective it's meaningless.

Sub-Trope of "World's Best" Character, for being that, but only for females, in the category of beauty.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • In Attack on Titan, Queen Historia Reiss, is considered to be unearthly beautiful and even called "goddess" by several characters; in general the members of the Royal family are considered very attractive.
  • Nareesha in the OEL Manga Bizenghast is the three-time champion.
  • Charlotte Roselei from Black Clover is regarded as the most beautiful woman in the Clover Kingdom. Flashbacks show that many men proposed to her for her beauty and strength, with Charlotte turning them all down.
  • Bleach:
    • Tite Kubo states that Retsu Unohana is the most beautiful woman in all of Soul Society. She is also the original Kenpachi and the strongest one to have ever existed until surpassed by Zaraki (a man). In other words, she's both the most beautiful and the strongest woman in Soul Society.
    • Rangiku Matsumoto is perhaps the only woman in the Soul Society that rivals Unohana in terms of beauty. Kubo himself states that she is one of the, if not the, most attractive character in the series, though she seems to be unconsciously unaware of it.
    • Charlotte Cuulhorne and Yumichika Ayasegawa engaging in a fight to the death to find out who the most beautiful person in the world is... of course, they're actually both men, but neither of them let that fact get in the way.
    • And in the human world, Orihime Inoue is also called the most beautiful student of Karakura High School. Near the beginning of the series, Kon mentions how all the girls of the school are all, at least, above average in looks, and even then Orihime stands out among them. At some point she's followed around by a bunch of completely smitten younger boys, which annoys her friend and crush (and ultimately, husband) Ichigo; later, when a young man named Moe Shishigawara was tasked with attacking her, a mere look from her (complete with sparkles) was enough to leave him starstruck and unable to attack.
  • The girls in Spellbound! Magical Princess Lil'Pri are said to be the most beautiful girls in the world by a magic mirror. Though they're only the most beautiful in the world after transforming, their normal little girl forms aren't considered.
  • Berserk:
  • Soryu from Ao no Fuuin is said to be a beautiful woman whose appearance will charm any man or woman that lay eyes on her. She is so beautiful that two panicked humans, about to be devoured by her, fall into a trance upon seeing her.
  • Teruhashi Kokomi of The Disastrous Life of Saiki K. exaggerates this trope to superpower levels. Men (and some women) just give her things without her even asking. She has a fan club with membership numbering in the thousands, including prominent politicians. According to Saiki, God himself is in love with her, which is why events involving random chance seem to go her way, why it is physically impossible to take a bad photograph of her (splash her with mud immediately beforehand, and all it will do to her is create a lens flare, style her hair attractively, and give her shirt an attractive tie-dye pattern), and why the sun and clouds always seem to form a perfect halo/wings combo behind her.
  • Don't Meddle with My Daughter!: With few exceptions, nearly everyone wants to get into Athena's panties: her enemies, bystanders, aliens, a mutant plant monster, you name it. It was the reason she retired from being a superhero, because doing so was the only way she could finally catch a break from all the stares, sexual harassment, and rape. Fast forward 20 years later, she's a single mom and the masses still wanna bang her, including her own 17-year-old daughter!
  • One Piece:
    • Boa Hancock of the Seven Warlords of the Sea is the Trope Codifier for Screw the Rules, I'm Beautiful! and the female character Oda mentions he finds hardest to draw, because in a universe were 'all' grown women are either gorgeous or Gonks, Boa has to live up to the title. In-Universe, the Risky Brothers claim that Hancock's beauty is only rivaled by the Mermaid Princess Shirahoshi. Even her Devil Fruit power relies on her beauty: it allows her to turn anyone who feels any lust or attraction to her, man or woman, into stone. Only a few individuals have ever been able to resist this power, and one of them had to stab through his own hand to make the pain distract him.
    • Alvida proclaims herself as the most beautiful woman in the world. Well, considering what she looked like before she ate her Devil Fruit... Even before her transformation, she claimed to be the most beautiful woman, and forced her original crew to agree, or be clubbed.
    • A fabulously rich Wapol marries Kinderella aka "Miss Universe", though it's likely just a vain self title since compared to Hancock, Shirahoshi, Nami and so on, Kinderella wouldn't even make the top 5 in terms of beauty in the world of One Piece.
    • Komurasaki AKA Hiyori is the highest ranked courtesan in the Wano Country and, without a doubt, is the most beautiful woman in the country.
    • Nami the navigator may or may not be this, a certified Dude Magnet there’s very few male characters in the series that aren’t attracted to her (Bonclay a Voluntary Shapeshifter uses her appearance to great effect). Sanji often claims she is this even mistaking Nami for “an goddess” when she wears a wedding dress, but he’s such a lovesick horndog for beautiful women his opinion is unreliable. Regardless in Wano the sight of Nami’s naked body is able to take out of a room full of people (men, women and children) with one woman outright claiming Nami’ body is a “national treasure” meaning Nami is certainly contender. Especially given unlike Hancock Nami was able achieve this devastating effect without a desire-based Devil Fruit.
  • In the second Sally the Witch series, Sally's very pretty mother is specifically mentioned to be the most beautiful woman in the magical kingdoms. So much that, when she was a young princess, a jealous Hot Witch put her into an enchanted sleep, and Sally's dad had to give her a True Love's Kiss to save her. Hm... Little did the Queen know that the Witch would later return and try her hand at getting revenge, now targeting Sally and many other human girls...
  • Ranamon from Digimon Frontier is considered the most beautiful WoMon in the Digital World, having fan clubs across the land.
  • In My Youth Romantic Comedy Is Wrong, as I Expected, the trope likely applies to Yukino Yukinoshita. In the LN chapter 1, Hachiman describes her as having "unparalleled looks" and "the school's number 1 beauty." Although in the anime episode 2, Yui Yuigahama describes Yukino as "really cool" but Yumiko Miura as "gorgeous." But Yui has a tempting reason to lie in that situation. Well at least to Hachiman it's true - much to his annoyance.
  • In High School D×D, Archangel Gabriel is a woman, and has the title "The Most Beautiful Woman in Heaven". It takes a very long time for her to show up in person, but when she does, she turns everybody's heads.
  • In Naruto two women from Konoha and the Greater-Scope Villain of the series are considered acclaimed beauties.
    • The first is Tsunade, whom Shikaku Nara (Shikamaru's dad) claims is "the most beautiful and strongest kunoichi in the world" and you know it's not hard to see why. Tsunade is the first and only female Hokage and she's even given the title of "Konoha's Slug Princess." Ironically, as a girl she was mocked for her lack of sizable mammaries by Jiraiya. So naturally, Tsunade grew up to be the most gorgeous and curvaceous female in the franchise to spite him, which only made Jiraiya more attracted to her than he already was. Also, Tsunade uses Jutsu to keep herself young despite being upwards of fifty years old.
    • The second is Kushina Uzumaki, who was such a renowned beauty in Konoha that even Tsunade exclaimed how beautiful Kushina was when she grew up. Also, much like Tsunade, Kushina had doubts over her beauty when she was young thanks to bullies calling her "tomato" over her red hair, causing her to lash out at people. Of course, she fell in love with Minato when he stated that her hair was "beautiful", and when she was abducted, leaving locks of it on the ground helped Minato find her. When Kushina meets her son Naruto, she actually apologizes that Naruto inherited her face instead of his handsome father's, but Naruto takes it as a huge compliment and only wishes he had inherited her hair as well.
    • Both Tsunade and Kushina are descended from Meito Uzumaki, who was very attractive when she was young, it's a possible genetic trait.
    • Before these two, there was Princess Kaguya Otsutsuki (who incidentally is also a distant ancestor of Meito, Kushina, and Tsunade). In her backstory on a Filler episode of Naruto Shippuuden, it is shown that her beauty was known far and wide and that it even caused a war between two nations.
  • This is Misty's self-proclaimed title in the Japanese version of Pokémon: The Series. The dub never consistently translated this until Sun and Moon, where she refers to herself as an "internationally known beauty".
  • In Fate/Prototype, Gilgamesh falls in Love at First Sight with Ayaka Sajyou, and declares her the most beautiful woman in the world, much more beautiful than all the women in his old kingdom of Uruk.
  • In Red River (1995), Yuri's reputation as an exotic beauty (her being a Japanese girl in a Middle Eastern ancient land, coupled with doing enough extraordinary things that people have mistaken her for the war goddess Ishtar) cause plenty of people to believe her to be this. Really, while Yuri is very cute (and was seen as very pretty in Japan itself), she isn't actually considered the most beautiful woman ever to people who actually see her. In fact, she's often mistaken for a boy.
  • In Soul Hunter: Dakki is know as possessing a beauty that can only be found in one person every 100000 years. How much of her reputation is due to her temptation spell isn't clear, but she is definitely Ms. Fanservice and have no qualms about exploiting her charms, coupled with said spell, to manipulate people.
  • Sword Art Online: Several characters, including Kirito, declare Quinella to be the most beautiful woman they have ever seen.
  • Zombie Land Saga: Yugiri is known as the "legendary courtesan". An oiran from the Meiji era, her beauty and good graces caught the attention of the highest powers in Edo who fought with each other to claim her services. Eventually she is relieved of her oiran duties and settles down in Saga where her untimely death would occur. Kotaro revives her to be a member of the Zombie Land Saga project.

    Comic Books 
  • Green Lantern:
    • In an issue from the 1970s, Hal Jordan found the most beautiful woman in the universe on another planet. His friend Green Arrow, who was also there, however, refused to look at her face, claiming that it would spoil the sight of every other woman for him. (Note that Jordan wasn't affected that way. Also, the character's face is never shown to the reader.)
    • Bleez of the Red Lanterns was considered the most beautiful woman of seven systems. Unfortunately, this led to her getting abducted and raped by members of the Sinestro Corps. She now wears a mask.
  • Wonder Woman is canonically this in The DCU, having been blessed at birth by the goddess Aphrodite. In Flashpoint Diana even becomes an evil Proud Beauty, as seen in the animated adaption, when Steve Trevor dares to suggest Lois Lane was this trope and she hangs him.
    Steve: (gasping for air) She's also one of the most beautiful women I've ever met.
    Wonder Woman: Until now, you mean (choking him).
  • It's generally considered in The DCU Kara Zor-El aka Supergirl and Kara's Earth 2 counterpart Power Girl, are among of the few superheroines who give Diana a run for her money when it comes to beauty, being considered extremely attractive by both Earth and Krypton standards. Kara has frequently inspired obsession from numerous characters including Powerboy, New 52 Maxima and He'l, last of whom wanted Kara to be his Kryptonian Queen and rebuild Krypton with him and got very upset when she ultimately refuses. Power Girl for her part constantly and unapologetically instills plenty Perverse Sexual Lust from the masses (both male and female) due her appearance, Vartox even deemed her the only woman worthy and able of repopulating his race - to the consternation of Power Girl herself (though thankfully, the repopulation was more arranging a sort of spirtual rebirth, and while he was very taken with Power Girl herself, he got very flustered when he realised what she thought he was implying).
  • Mera is commonly considered the most beautiful Atlantean woman and as such was put in a Arranged Marriage by her father Ryus to the military chief Nereus, before Arthur came into picture and Mera fell for him. Mera's coronation appearance as ruling queen of Atlantis even inspired nation-wide awe, Arthur who regrettably wasn't able to attend hears about how Mera looked and is unsurprised since he's always considered her the most beautiful. Her famed beauty has even managed to rival Wonder Woman's on occasion, who herself referred to her as "modern Aphrodite". Heck, in Blackest Night she even attracted the affections of Atrocitus, who fell for her display as a Red Lantern when she barbecued her Black Lantern husband and baby, and once accidentally created a construct of her (for which he was mocked mercilessly by all and sundry as he furiously denied it).
  • Starfire, who is a Head-Turning Beauty that is often compared to the aforementioned three. The fact that she tends to prefer clothing that shows a lot of skin, is a passionate lover, and all in all exudes intense sensuality, helps. She even worked as a model for a time.
  • In the Rising Stars comics, there is a character who appears as the most perfect woman to anyone who sees her. Only one man sees her as she really is, and that's the man who loves her.
  • The Sandman (1989) has Nada, who is so beautiful that there isn't a single mortal who is worthy of her. Unfortunately, this attracts Desire's attention, and we all know how he likes to mess with Dream...
  • In the last Scott Pilgrim book, Envy is shown to have gained 999 points in bust, hips and waist, making her the perfect woman. Naturally, everyone starts looking at her direction.
  • From her first appearance in Spider-Man, Mary Jane Watson had the reputation for being the most beautiful woman in comics (at the time around The '60s) and she still ranks high on that list. Peter Parker also describes and calls her that on more than one occasion. Black Cat matches her in this category as well.
  • Fables takes a jab at the trope, with Snow White mentioning how many of the women there were 'fairest in the land'.
  • The Mighty Thor has Amora The Enchantress, who is sought after by practically every male in Asgard, even Odin and Loki at times, and she sometimes gets kidnapped as her beauty makes her highly prized even to males of other species like the Frost Giants. If she goes shopping on Earth, the employees will often scramble to help her and let her take stuff without paying. She's also a Vain Sorceress who hates the fact that her beauty is not enough to get Thor to fall for her, and she often gets murderously jealous of female superheroes or the girlfriends of male ones, perceiving them as rivals.
  • Black Widow surprisingly is a contender for this among Marvel's heroines being a Femme Fatale Spy who's enamored scores of people and multiple members of the Avengers, even Hercules who's familiar with multiple goddesses was enthralled by Natasha's beauty and pursued a relationship with her. If that wasn't enough the aforementioned Amora who has an extremely high benchmark for beauty appeared to Nat when she was just a girl and acknowledged how attractive Natasha is.
  • From the X-Men:
    • The most notable is Storm, who like Amora is worshiped as a Goddess despite being mortal herself. Storm has had nearly every single major hero, even female come on to her at some point and her line of suitors include the likes of Doctor Doom and even goddamn Dracula. Justified since it’s later revealed Storm is actually descended from godhood which along with her weather powers explains why so many people adore and worship her.
    • Jean Grey is also famed in-universe for her looks, with more or less every straight man on the X-Men falling for her, and at one time even worked as a fashion model. Given elements of The Chosen One around the Phoenix Force (a primordial being) signalling Jean out and Mister Sinister considering an ideal genetic template (which is why he cloned her) her being a contender for this isn’t too surprising.
    • Emma Frost is generally considered Jean's closest rival, and prides herself on having the "best body money can buy." (Though the fact that she always seems to fall ever so slightly short of Jean, even when Jean is dead, rankles severely). Emma also directly weaponizes her appearance, and her sexuality is a formidable weapon she can bring to bear at needs.
    • Rogue's beauty is frequently remarked on, and she has no lack of interested suitors following her around, ironically despite having Touch of Death most of the time. One of the best examples is during Jean and Scott’s wedding when Rogue catches the bouquet a mad scramble from half a dozen X-Guys make for garter — foiled by Gambit.
    • If the time-displaced Warren is to be believed, X-23 may be more beautiful than Jean. While it's downplayed by Laura's withdrawn personality, and she lacks the sheer number of suitors as the others, her looks are nonetheless often remarked on. At one point Ms. Sinister openly admired her body while trying to pull a Grand Theft Me.
  • In Dynamite comics Dawn/Vampirella crossover, Vampirella shares this title with the goddess Dawn, the demon Masodik kidnaps the two because they're the two most beautiful women in all the worlds.
  • Sin City: Nancy Callahan, the blonde, buxom stripper at Kadie's is presented as this, even in a setting where nearly every woman is a Ms. Fanservice. Entire crowds fall silent while watching her perform, and Hartigan is absolutely stunned when he realizes that the grown-up Nancy is the same little girl he saved all those years ago.

    Fairy Tales 
  • Andrew Lang's "The Flower Queens Daughter" (link): The titular character in this Bukovinian tale:
    And she disappeared into her hut, but returned very soon and said, "You are a mighty Prince, but at the same time you have a kind heart, which deserves to be rewarded. Would you like to have the most beautiful woman in the world for your wife?"
    "Most certainly I would," replied the Prince.
    So the old woman continued, "The most beautiful woman in the whole world is the daughter of the Queen of the Flowers, who has been captured by a dragon."
  • Snow White is proclaimed to be "the fairest of them all", deposing her stepmother from the title.
  • Princess Toutebelle from The Yellow Dwarf is described as having beauty "extraordinary and divine rather than mortal" and is basically treated like a goddess by not just her court, but by the entire world. To make things worse, she happens to be a Royal Brat who rejects twenty kings for not being good enough for her. And to top it all off, her name means "all-beautiful" in French. Her haughtiness leads her to her doom later in the story.
  • Kaguya of The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter, whom every man in Japan wanted to marry even without knowing she was princess of the Moon.
  • Yeh-Shen: In this ancient Chinese tale, part of the same body of Rags to Royalty stories that includes Cinderella, the title character goes to a festival (the Spring Festival) and is courted by the King, who is enchanted by her ravishing beauty, so much so that he tells her, "You are the most beautiful creature on earth." He later marries her (at the end of the story) and they live happily ever after.
  • In The Death of Koschei the Deathless, it is said that you could never find such a beautiful woman as queen Marya Morevna.
    "Ah, Prince Ivan! why, we never expected to see you again. Well, it wasn't for nothing that you gave yourself so much trouble. Such a beauty as Marya Morevna one might search for all the world over—and never find one like her!"

    Fan Works 
  • God Slaying Blade Works: In Shirou Emiya's personal opinion, Rider is the most beautiful woman in the Fate/Stay Night world while Tiamat is the most beautiful woman in the Campione world. Godou later comments that Tiamat is even more beautiful than Venus, because Venus is a girl, while Tiamat is a woman.
  • Fates Collide:
    • Cinder Fall comments she heard stories of how Rin Tohsaka and Sakura Matou were considered the most beautiful girls in the kingdom of Apocrypha, once upon a time.
    • In the present, Nero Claudius, Tamamo no Mae, and Elizabeth Bathory bicker about which of them deserve the title.
  • Heroic Myth: A few characters describe Brynhildr as the most beautiful non-goddess. Boudica is considered second. Later, when Bell Cranel meets the Siren, Rei, he is overwhelmed and thinks to himself that he cannot decide who is more beautiful, Rei, Brynhildr, or Boudica.
  • In the end portion of Beyond Heroes: Of Sunshine and Red Lyrium, Varric assures the Inquisitor that she is "the prettiest woman in Thedas and everybody loves you, whether they admit it or not." Admittedly, she's his wife, so he's not exactly objective.
  • In Prince's Angel, a crossover fic which merges A Song of Ice and Fire with Harry Potter, Gabrielle Delacour is reincarnated as a Valyrian-blooded Lyseni noblewoman by the name of Seraena Veltaris. However, she retains her Veela hybrid physical perfection and allure. When she arrives in King's Landing to marry Rhaegar, everyone is left breathless, servants drop their trays, nobles literally are unable to breathe. Queen Rhaella warns her son that the previous World's Most Beautiful Woman was Shiera Seastar, whose beauty caused men to kill themselves; Seraena is even more beautiful. Rhaegar Targaryen is guaranteed not to look twice at Lyanna Stark in this universe.

    Films — Animation 
  • As in the original story, Snow White is the fairest in the land. This title is apparently held by her stepmother until Snow White goes from a child to a young woman, at which point the Magic Mirror changes its tune and the stepmother turns murderous.
  • According to the song "Topsy-Turvy" from The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Esmeralda is "the finest girl in France."

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In The Bucket List, Jack Nicholson's character wants to kiss the world's most beautiful woman before he dies, which he plans to do by kissing a lot of women. It's sweetly subverted when he reunites with his estranged daughter and discovers that he has a granddaughter, whom he kisses on the cheek, and crosses that item off the list.
  • Leelo from The Fifth Element, as a supreme being, is said to have been engineered to be perfect. Being played by Milla Jovovich certainly helps.
  • Princess Tamina in Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time. Her looks are widely reputed, and when the Persian army first sees her, all the men rather hilariously go "OOOOOOOOOOHH!!!!" as if they have never seen a woman before. Ironically, once she is out and about outside her palace, no one else reacts like this throughout the rest of the film.
  • Much like her comic book counterpart, Wonder Woman is likely the most beautiful woman in the DC Extended Universe, considering that Steve Trevor, Etta Candy, Sameer, Ludendorff, Ares the God of War, Batman, Aquaman, and The Flash think she's gorgeous. Lampshaded by Etta Candy when they try some Clark Kenting on Diana.
    Etta: Really, specs? Suddenly she's not the most beautiful woman you've ever seen?
  • In Red Cliff, Xiao Qiao is claimed to be the most beautiful woman in the world. It's even suggested that Cao Cao is only fighting the war because he's obsessed with her. She manages to use this to her advantage by making tea for him at a crucial moment, thus delaying his attack and allowing her husband to win the upcoming battle.
  • Troy: In the original plan, Helen was going to be The Ghost, specifically because the filmmakers knew that you couldn't find anyone to realistically portray this trope. Executive Meddling insisted she appear, and Diane Kruger, then relatively unknown, beat out many other actresses for the part. As a possible compromise, at no point does anyone actually refer to her as the most beautiful woman in the world. Instead, she is "merely" called beautiful by multiple characters.

  • The Princess Bride says that at age 18, Buttercup was the most beautiful woman in the world for the last 100 years. It also tells who was the most beautiful woman in the world when Buttercup was born and when she was 10 and 15 years old. The book details what caused Buttercup's predecessors to lose the title (the culprits included an abundance of chocolate, a skin disease, and, best of all, worrying too much about losing said beauty). Buttercup starts off barely in the top 20 and only makes it to the top 10 after a rigorous campaign of self-improvement (beginning with taking a bath and brushing her hair). Even still, she lingers just behind until losing her true love. The depth of character this lends to her face is what bumps her to the top. This is actually stated as the reason she ends up engaged to Prince Humperdinck. After a disastrous attempt at courting the princess of the neighboring kingdom, he tells Count Rugen that he wants to marry a woman who is so beautiful that it will make everybody think he must be the greatest guy in the world. Rugen, having met Buttercup out of curiosity over the rumors about her beauty, takes the prince to see her, resulting in some Stunned Silence followed by the remark that "I'll take her." He's initially quite sincere about it. The plan to murder her and frame his enemies comes later.
  • The final Song of the Lioness by Tamora Pierce has Kalasin before she committed suicide. Her daughter Thayet "the Peerless" inherited the beauty and is considered to be the most beautiful woman in Tortall.
  • Orson Scott Card's Hart's Hope: The Flower Princess is considered the most beautiful in the world because she will never lie.
  • Barsoom: Dejah Thoris was the most beautiful woman on two worlds.
  • Discworld:
    • Juliet Stollop/Jewels in Unseen Academicals is a straight example, as well as a textbook case of a Brainless Beauty.
    • Sacharissa Cripslock of The Truth had a face that combined features that would have been considered astonishingly beautiful by roughly a dozen different, mutually-incompatible time periods and cultures, meaning that she tended to just average out as 'quite attractive' by modern standards.
    • Myria LeJean/Unity from Thief of Time was a deliberate attempt at this by creatures who didn't get the Uncanny Valley as a concept, and didn't understand that making a living painting with the imperfections erased would be more creepy than beautiful.
    • Eleanor of Tsort, the Discworld counterpart to Helen of Troy, was also famed as the most beautiful woman on the Disc... at the start of the Tsortean Wars. When she actually appears in Eric, she's "good-looking in a faded sort of way". It was, after all, a very long war.
  • Tolkien's Legendarium:
    • Beren and Lúthien: Lúthien Tinúviel is canonically "the fairest of all the Children of Ilúvatar" to ever live.
    • At the time of The Lord of the Rings, Lúthien's similar-looking great-great-granddaughter Arwen Undómiel is considered to be the fairest by many; Gimli, however, favors Arwen's grandmother, the Lady Galadriel, whom Tolkien confusingly also describes as being "the mightiest and fairest of all the Elves that remained in Middle-earth".
    • The Silmarillion: Varda, the Queen of the Valar, is said to be the most beautiful woman in all of Arda when in physical form, shining with a beauty too great to be put into words.
  • Dragonlance: The elven princess Laurana is repeatedly described as being the most beautiful woman on all the world of Krynn.
  • The Three Musketeers: Gender-inverted. The Duke of Buckingham is apparently rightly considered the most handsome man in either France or England.
  • The Chronicles of Narnia:
    • The Voyage of the Dawn Treader: Lucy comes across a magic spell that could make her this trope. She doesn't go through with it — not because she doesn't want to, but because Aslan's face appears in the book and stops her. Her sister, Queen Susan, was said to be the most beautiful woman in Narnia, possibly ever. (This was, in fact, the reason that Lucy wanted to do the spell in the first place; the comparisons were getting to her.)
    • Queen Swanwhite, who governed Narnia before the White Witch appeared, was said to have been so pretty that whenever she looked into a pond, said pond would reflect her face for a year and a day.
    • Speaking of the White Witch, she was said to be the most gorgeous woman that Diggory (young Professor Kirke) and Uncle Andrew had ever seen. (Of course, Polly thought she was nothing special. This might indicate she was using glamour on the males.) Then she ate a certain forbidden fruit and her eerie paleness made her still very beautiful, but terribly creepy.)
    • Ramandu's daughter in Dawn Treader note  is a half-Star young woman said to be really gorgeous; Caspian, the Pevensies, and Eustace thought that they had not "truly seen beauty" until they met her. The epilogue mentions that she ultimately marries Caspian.
  • C. S. Lewis's Till We Have Faces: Psyche starts off as the most beautiful infant in the world and is described as "at every age the perfect beauty of that age," implying that no matter how old she is, she is the most perfect example of that stage of development.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire:
    • Cersei Lannister has been called spectacularly beautiful since her youth; but age, motherhood, and alcohol are beginning to take their toll on her beauty by the fourth book. When she was young, she received a prophecy that an even more beautiful queen would overthrow her. The books have dropped hints towards three contenders: Sansa Stark (whose gorgeous mom says that she will grow even more beautiful than she), Margaery Tyrell (who is described as pretty by every POV that interacts with her), and Daenerys Targaryen (whose reputed beauty is remarked upon even half a world away).
    • Several Targaryen women have been considered this throughout history. We have Queen Rhaenys, Queen Rhaena, Princess Viserra, the young Queen Rhaenyra (though her looks faded with age), Queen Naerys, and Shiera Seastar, who was an illegitmate daughter of Aegon IV. Plus, being named "Daenerys Targaryen" seems to automatically make you the most beautiful woman in the world; in addition to Dany, there's King Jaehaerys's first daughter and the Aegon IV's only legitmate daughter with his wife.
    • Historically, Queen Sharra Arryn and Ashara Dayne have been called this.
    • Played with in regards to Lyanna Stark, whose abduction (or "abduction") by the already-married crown prince, Rhaegar, set in motion the fall of the Targaryens. While it's generally accepted that Lyanna was beautiful, people are split on whether she was pretty enough to justify a war. Of course, the people who talk like that are sexist jerks who wouldn't appreciate her other qualities.
  • In Spinning Silver, Irina is very much not this; despite having a part-Staryk mother, she herself took all her looks from her hard-faced father, the Duke of Visnya. That is, until Miryem sells the Duke jewelry made of Staryk silver. Wearing it makes Irina captivating to anyone who looks at her and transforms her into a Winter Royal Lady. This infuriates the tsar, who is immune to the effect by dint of having his own magic. At one point he tries to work it out by drawing her repeatedly and then shoving the sketches at captivated onlookers.
  • Lanfear from The Wheel of Time is often called this. It really says something about her personality that she can canonically be The World's Most Beautiful Woman and still can't get the man she wants. On the bright side, she doesn't have to worry about being kidnapped or the like, as she's also the world's most powerful woman... And, whether because of this trope or not, she also turns out to be the ultimate Psycho Ex-Girlfriend.
  • Kahlan Amnell of the Sword of Truth series, particularly according to Richard Rahl. The second book in the series introduces Merissa and Nicci, who are stated by some characters (including Kahlan herself!) to be even more beautiful.
  • The title of "most beautiful woman of her generation" runs in the Kaftan family in Incarnations of Immortality for three generations: Niobe, Orb, and Orlene.
    • Niobe is the only one described this way, while the others only come close; Blanche, on the other hand, is called this.
  • Melisande Shahrizai in the Kushiel's Legacy series is lauded to be the world's most beautiful woman even by her compatriots, who are descendants of angels and universally beautiful. Phedre waxes a lot of poetic about Melisande's beauty, even more than usual.
  • In Leo Tolstoy's War and Peace, Hélène Vasilyevna Kuragina is the most beautiful woman in the world, with porcelain white skin and beauty so alluring that it makes grown men weep and young boys lock themselves in bathrooms. In a subversion of the Beauty Equals Goodness trope, she is notably depraved, evil, and a serial philanderer.
  • Subverted by Neil Gaiman in "Keepsakes And Treasures" with the Shahinai, a tribe of crones whose legendary "treasure" is not an item, but the world's most beautiful person... who happens to be a young man. Unfortunately, he is extremely fragile, and dies within months of leaving the Gilded Cage his tribe made for him.
  • In the Chinese retelling of "Cinderella" Bound by Donna Jo Napoli, main character Xing Xing goes to the annual festival. After leaving behind a golden shoe, the shoe was sold to one rich man after another, until finally, only the prince was able to buy it. As the price of the shoe went up, so did reports of the owner's beauty. It wasn't before long she was claimed to be the most beautiful woman in the empire.
  • The Riddle Master Trilogy has both Raederle of An, categorised with amusing specificity as 'the second most beautiful woman in the Three Portions of An', and her (never-seen) friend Mara Croeg, who is more beautiful than Raederle.
  • Nikki Howard in the Airhead Series novels. In addition to her natural beauty, a lot is also chalked up to her taking great care of her body and features along with having great charisma to carry herself with.
  • In Megan Whalen Turner's The Queen's Thief series, Attolia is said to be extremely beautiful. Interestingly enough, she is not known for her beauty so much as her intellect and ruthlessness (bordering on cruelty), but she rarely seems to use this to her advantage.
  • Joelle van Dyne is called this by at least two characters in David Foster Wallace's Infinite Jest (one calls her the Prettiest Girl Of All Time), at least until the accident that leads her to cover her face with a veil. Or perhaps not. In any case, her beauty is key to why the titular Entertainment literally makes the viewer lose the will to live.
  • In the Skulduggery Pleasant series, China Sorrows is described as the most beautiful woman in the world. Not just because she's beautiful, but also because magic makes people fall in love with her on sight.
  • In a subversion, Bunny enters a cross-dimensional beauty contest in the Myth Adventures story "Myth Congeniality". As the dimensions are home to a lot of non-humanoid races, most of the finalists for Multiverse's Most Beautiful Female aren't even bipedal, let alone attractive by human standards.
  • This is a transferable power in The Annals of the Chosen, linked to a magical talisman, and intended to be used to fight evil. Unfortunately, the talisman in question is quite clingy. The current owner constantly wears a burqa, and it only partly helps, since her voice is incredibly beautiful too. (Interestingly, the talisman also gives her Healing Hands.)
  • Played with in the Snow White retelling White as Snow. Arpazia is more interested in her lost youth, which she believes Coira represents. But she does want to be beautiful, i.e. find the girlhood that was stolen from her.
  • Remedios "the Beauty" Buendia in One Hundred Years of Solitude. She also goes everywhere naked because she sees no reason not to. It doesn't end well.
  • Gender flipped in A Brother's Price. Jerin's among the most beautiful men alive, and whenever he's not in a fortified structure he's aware of the constant threat posed by women who might abduct and rape him. When he actually is abducted, it's largely political due to his Royal Blood.
  • In Bridge of Birds, one of the myths relevant to the plot is that of Jade Pearl, a girl who was described as being so beautiful that the Star Shepherd fell in love with her; she was made a goddess later. Beautifully subverted later when it's revealed that Jade Pearl has been Hidden in Plain Sight as Lotus Cloud, who's explicitly described as homely in appearance, with her major attractions being a dazzling smile and an effervescent personality.
  • In Eva Luna, Eva's roommate and Cool Big Sis is an actress and show-woman named Mimi. She's so gorgeous, talented and charismatic that she's regarded to as the prettiest woman in the whole country. Played With very interestingly: Mimi is actually a Transgender woman named Melecio, and she and Eva were friends several years ago.
  • Similarly, in The House of the Spirits a rich young woman named Rosa del Valle is considered to be unnaturally and incredibly beautiful, if kinda off and feared by men due to her beauty. For worse, she dies before hitting her twenties.
  • In The Chronicles of Amber, the Royal Family of Amber are generally much better than anyone else in the universe. Because Florimel is the most beautiful woman in the Royal family, she is the most beautiful woman in the universe.
  • Vida in Richard Brautigan's The Abortion is the perfect American piece of ass. "She was developed in the most extreme of Western men's desire in this century for women to look: the large breasts, the tiny waist, the large hips, the long Playboy-furniture legs." Aside from the fact that it has caused several deaths, she hates it and feels it is not her. She wanted to be a ballerina.
  • Schooled in Magic: Princess Alassa is said to be the vision of physical perfection. In fact, it is later revealed that she has been magically/genetically modified to ensure that she would be born perfect and this has had unexpected complications on her reproductive system, possibly leaving her barren.
  • Lady Hish Tulla in the Kharkanas Trilogy. She is so beautiful and ephemeral that even Warrior Prince Anomander Rake considers himself not good enough, and even those at court don't have the guts to denounce her in any way.
  • The Last Unicorn: Not explicitly stated, but when the unicorn, the most beautiful creature in the world becomes human this seems to be the result. It's worth noting, however, that as she becomes more human she stays beautiful, but the mystical quality of her beauty fades away.
  • The Traitor Son Cycle:
    • Irene of Morea is a scion of an imperial family that for generations picked and married most beautiful people as their consorts, and as a result is one of the most beautiful people in the story, to the point that even when he knows she'll try to double-cross him, the Red Knight is still attracted to her.
    • Irene's father is a Rare Male Example, for pretty much the same reason she is.
    • Queen Desiderata is outright stated, both by characters and in narration, to be the most beautiful woman in Alba, and pretty much everybody in the court is smitten with her.
  • In Something Wicked This Way Comes, one of the Circus of Fear's advertised attractions is "The Most Beautiful Woman in the World!" displayed inside an ice block. It's implied that the woman's appearance actually changes based on what the viewer finds the most attractive as a salesman who sees her thinks that she resembles all the women who captivated him in his youth and feels that he somehow knows the exact color of her eyes, but never confirmed.
  • The Mirror of Helen has Helen of Troy herself, the Ur-Example of this trope whose incomparable beauty caused the Trojan War.
  • The murder suspect in The Patchwork Girl. Unfortunately, she's convicted and sent to the organ banks, where several of her parts are recycled before the protagonist finds proof that she's innocent. She's returned with replacement body parts, but they don't all 'fit' correctly and so her beauty is no longer perfect.
  • Word of God is that Glinda the Good and Princess Ozma (who is sometimes of The Fair Folk) from Land of Oz are the sweetest and most beautiful ladies in all of Oz. Polychrome, who is literally the daughter of the rainbow, comes a very close third; her beauty is so considerable that it even captivates the otherwise heartless Nome King.
  • Empress Vaness from The Witchlands is considered the most beautiful woman in the world by anyone who meets her. Even Vivia, who's utterly smitten with someone else, notes that Vaness is ridiculously pretty.
  • The Jungle Book: In "The Spring Running", Mowgli's adoptive human mother Messua says she has never seen a man more beautiful than him.
  • Discussed by the fans of German SF series Perry Rhodan, and oh no, they did not have a Broken Base squabble whether the honor should go to fair Demeter or slightly demonic Gesil — they ridiculed the Overdosed Trope itself and the descriptions of "hyper beauties". The authors took the hint.
  • Tanith Lee's Tales from the Flat Earth takes this and runs with it. Kassafeh, who's the most beautiful of 9 virgins selected for their flawless beauty and also has the unearthly golden hair and ever-changing coloured eyes of her father — an angelic Sky Elemental, is not!! To her envy, she discovers that her husband Simmu has a female form who's even more beautiful than her. Because the stories takes place over a hundred thousand years, there's more than one example. Perhaps the most prominent is Queen Zoraya of Zojab, the last child of King Zorashad. Zoraya is a Sorcerous Overlord who was mutilated as a child and raised by a hermit before seizing her father's lost throne by force. She traps the beautiful demon king Azhrarn and in return for release, he makes her the most beautiful woman in the world. She's so beautiful that she expands her empire by simply letting enemy kingdoms look at her. Rulers and armies become so smitten, they surrender and then cater to her every whim.
    • Thousands of years after Queen Zoraya, special note goes to a family that has 3 generations of Most Beautiful. A pregnant "idiot girl" touches a Magitek machine that has a captured magical comet in it. She's transformed into a miraculous being with glowing skin and hair of the sun and is renamed Sunfire. Sunfire doesn't last long after giving birth and she Ascends to a Higher Plane of Existence. Her daughter is silver-haired Dunizel (formerly Soveh) who's at least as ethereally beautiful as her mother, but Dunizel's the moon rather than Sunfire's sun. Dunizel has scores of people coming from outside of her town just to look at her and when she turns 15 she gets constant marriage proposals from men and women. Even superhumanly beautiful demons of the Vazdru and Eshva castes are in awe of her beauty, with their demon king and Lord of Darkness, Azhrarn falling in love with her at first sight. In a story preface, Tanith Lee even writes that Dunizel is an OP depiction of her mother Hylda Lee as a teen, so Dunizel has beauty power. Dunizel has a daughter by Azhrarn and is murdered shortly after the birth. Their daughter Azhriaz has beauty from both unearthly parents and is worshipped as a goddess because of her power and looks.
  • Shadows of the Empire: Guri is a very beautiful blonde who most men notice instantly and find her highly attractive. Despite this, Lando notices there's something not quite right about her (he's right, since Guri's really a droid-she was designed to be this beautiful). No other woman in the book, not even Leia, ever gets described as being so attractive.
  • The Lunar Chronicles, being based on fairy tales, has Queen Levana, the ruler of Luna, who is said to be the most beautiful woman alive. Her stepdaughter, Princess Winter, is considered to be the prettiest girl in all of Luna, and many think she is more beautiful than her stepmother. This infuriates Levana. Levana is extra insecure about her appearance since it is a glamour. She had been using various glamours for most of her life, since she was disfigured by a fire as a child, leaving her with only one functional eye and considerable scarring.
  • The Villainess Turns The Hourglass: Lady Aria Roscente is the most beautiful woman in the Empire. No one else is considered in the same ballpark. The Crown Prince of the Empire, Asterope Franz falls in love with at first sight. King Lohan of Croa is also very attracted to her, but limits himself to just flirting since Asterope is his Vitriolic Best Buds. The first time Aria attends a ball she is almost mobbed by enchanted young noblemen and has to flee in Asterope's arms. Her evil stepbrother is also deeply in lust with her and at one point plots to make her his Sex Slave.
  • Gender-flipped in Grandmaster of Demonic Cultivation: Mo Dao Zu Shi with brothers Lan Wangji and Lan Xichen being considered the most good-looking male cultivators of their generation. However, the narration notes that while both are seen equally handsome, Lan Xichen's kind and friendly personality gives him an edge over his more stoic brother in terms of charm.
  • Being an immortal personification of Fantasy itself and the Fisher King ruler of Fantasia, The Childlike Emperess in The Neverending Story is the child version of this trope. As it was described how Bastian saw her:
    Bastian knew that he had never in all his life seen anything as beautiful as this face.
  • How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom: Juna Doma is considered one of, if not the most beautiful woman in the Elfrieden Kingdom, due to inheriting her beauty from the equally beautiful Excel.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Game of Thrones:
    • Tyene Sand poisons Bronn and won't give him the antidote unless he declares her the most beautiful girl in the world. Since he doesn't want to die, he obliges and gets the antidote. Later, while saying their goodbyes and flirting, he calls her this again.
    • Cersei Lannister, which is lampshaded by Euron Greyjoy, though he's laying it on thick and she is not his first choice.
      Euron: Ever since I was a little boy, I wanted to grow up and marry the most beautiful woman in the world.
    • Daenerys Targaryen. Out of the thousands of brides whom the mighty Khal Drogo could have selected as a tribute from the Nine Free Cities, he chooses the Targaryen Princess to be his Khaleesi. Doreah even makes an oblique comparison to Dany and a famous Lysene sex goddess, Irogenia, and the lengths to which men might go to obtain her. It's heavily implied that Ser Jorah Mormont switches to her side primarily because of his attraction to her, and later, Daario Naharis does much the same; he's willing to kill his own fellow captains to serve her because he was entranced by her pulchritude. Xaro offers her marriage at his reception, their second meeting mind you, and Euron Greyjoy would build "the greatest armada the world has ever seen" to offer her as a wedding gift. He even implies that his goal is still to marry the "most beautiful woman in the world" when he's trying to schmooze up to Cersei.
  • Jasmine from Angel and the Buffyverse being the most beautiful thing alive is no joke; every single mortal who meets Jasmine falls in love with her and unabashedly worships her. Jasmine's existence on Earth creates a Utopia which ultimately has to be destroyed, as Angel points out that Jasmine removes free will from humanity. Jasmine is also not quite as pretty beneath her glamour, though since she looks like Gina Torres most of the time, even the audience can believe in this trope.
  • Pee-wee's Playhouse: Miss Yvonne (as we are told Once per Episode) is The Most Beautiful Woman In All Of Puppetland. The slightly more adult-oriented Pee-Wee Herman stage shows played with this trope, where her persona had much darker undertones.
  • MythQuest depicts the story of Blodeuwedd, crafted by the wizards Gwydion and Math to be the most beautiful woman in the world. After Cleo takes her place, she learns a valuable lesson about why this is not a desirable attribute.
  • Monty Python's Flying Circus: Mister Neutron (Graham Chapman), the most powerful being in the universe, while taking over the world and falling in love with Mrs. S-C-U-M (Terry Jones as a drab housewife), transforms her into 'the most beautiful woman in the world' — Terry Jones as a somewhat better-dressed housewife.
  • That Mitchell and Webb Look parodies this trope at a wedding reception. After Robert Webb says his new bride is the most beautiful woman in the world, David Mitchell (as the best man) points out in his toast that she is obviously not the most beautiful woman in the world. True as that may be, it doesn't go over very well with the guests.
    Best Man: Look, if the most beautiful woman in the world was getting married, that would be big news. The papers would be here. There would have been champagne, not Prosecco.
  • In Turn, Peggy Shippen is talked about in these terms multiple times. Major Andre calls her "the most beautiful woman in America"; her older sister Betsy calls her "the most beautiful woman in the colonies"; and after a lovemaking session, Benedict Arnold (her future husband) tells her, "You really are the most beautiful woman in England and the colonies."
  • Wonder Woman: Unlike in the Comic Books, this version of Wonder Woman isn't gifted by Aphrodite to specifically make her the most beautiful woman in the world. However, she is portrayed by Lynda Carter, who represented the United States in the Miss World pageant and can make a serious claim to that title.

  • The Bellamy Brothers, in country music, use Double Entendre lyrics, hook lines and imagery to refer to incredibly desirable women in several of their biggest hits: "If I Said You Had a Beautiful Body Would You Hold It Against Me," "Do You Love As Good As You Look," "World's Greatest Lover" and "Santa Fe" among them. The idea is most evident in the latter song (a top 5 country hit in 1988) — turquoise lips, silver eyes, Indian soul, a Spanish heart, a sunrise “that could bring light to a blind man” and so forth — as the lyrics lead to the impression the woman referred to in the song (with whom a young drifter had a sexual encounter) is the most incredibly desirable imaginable.
  • “The Most Beautiful Girl,” most notably a country and pop No. 1 hit by Charlie Rich in 1973. Although not necessarily the world’s most beautiful woman, per the lyrics a man, heartbroken and deeply sorry he did his woman wrong, considers her just that: “The most beautiful girl in the world.”

    Mythology and Religion 
  • The Bible:
    • An empire-wide beauty contest found Esther to be the most beautiful woman in the Persian Empire, which was a pretty good chunk of the known world at the time. Her prize was marrying the king and using said marriage and her smarts to save the Jewish people single-handedly.
    • Esther, interestingly, was the king's replacement for his previous queen, Vashti; Vashti, a beautiful woman herself, found herself banished by her own husband because she had refused his drunken request that she appear before him and his friends, wearing her crown, at a feast. (A common inference is that she refused because of the implication that she should wear nothing other than her crown.)
    • In the Book of Job, Job's fourth, fifth, and sixth daughters (Jemimah, Keziah, and Keren-Happuch) are said to be the most beautiful women in all the land. How gorgeous were they? First, they're three of maybe a dozen people whose looks the Bible even mentions. Second, their names were recorded. Their brothers' weren't.
    • The Blessed Virgin Mary is a more innocent example of this to Catholics, being the personification of Incorruptible Pure Pureness and the highest model of virtue (after Jesus). Notably, her looks are not even mentioned casually in the actual Biblical text.
    • In Islamic tradition, Rachel, wife of Jacob, was the most beautiful woman and her son Joseph was the most handsome man. It's even said that both of them had half the beauty that God gave to mankind.
    • Adam and Eve are sometimes said to have been the most physically attractive humans, having been created directly by God, in a state of total and absolute grace (until their fall from it).
  • The Talmud mentions the four most beautiful women who ever lived. In first place is Sarah (so beautiful that every other human looks like a monkey compared to her), along with the aforementioned Esther, David's wife Abigail and Rahab from the Book of Joshua. The latter (a world-famous prostitute before joining the Jewish people) was supposedly so attractive that any man who had seen her would spill his seed upon hearing "Rahab, Rahab."
  • Celtic Mythology:
    • Deirdre was prophesied to be the most beautiful woman in the world, though Grainne has also been given the title by virtue of Deirdre being long dead by then. Irish mythology is also something of an outlier in that it also insists on naming the most beautiful man with a surprising frequency (Ciabhan, Cu Chulainn, Diarmuid Ua Duibhne, and Fionn mac Cumhaill all being named such at one point or another).
    • Mabinogion: Blodeuwedd is described as the most beautiful woman in the world, and was made by magicians from flowers so that the hero Lleu Llaw Gyffes could have a wife since he was cursed never to have a human one. Her name means "flower-face".
  • In Classical Mythology, this title tends to get handed out a lot with the heroine of just about any given myth being described as "more beautiful than Aphrodite". This tends to be an easy way to get in trouble, because beauty is Aphrodite's domain and as such a Blasphemous Boast will incur her wrath, but she's also been known to not get angry at some more beautiful women because there's no boast.
    • The Trojan Cycle:
      • The start of The Trojan War traces back to a competition over who was the most beautiful goddess on Olympus — Hera, Athena, or Aphrodite. Of course, all three of them tried to cheat, so the contest was really about who could offer Paris the most tempting bribe.
      • Helen of Troy, specifically described by Aphrodite as "the most beautiful of mortal women". "The face that launched a thousand warships" is how she's remembered. This one was in fact endorsed by Aphrodite as she used her to win Paris' favor. Beauty is, in fact, measured in "helens". One millihelen is "the amount of beauty needed to launch one ship".
    • Before Helen, there was Alcmene, mother of Herakles, said to be a match for Aphrodite herself in beauty. Fortunately, no one boasted Alcmene's features, so Aphrodite let her be (or she thought that Hera's wrath would be enough).
    • Psyche, who was so beautiful people began to worship her instead of the goddess of beauty. Naturally, this made Aphrodite very angry, seeing that it's a hubris against her domain, and she sent her son Eros, the god of love, to make Psyche fall in love with something horrible. Upon seeing her, Eros fell head over heels and married her. That's right. Psyche was so beautiful the god of love himself fell for her.
    • Not exactly to Aphrodite, but Cassiopeia boasted that her daughter Andromeda was more beautiful than the Nereids, who were high-class beauties; most myths identify Poseidon's wife as one of them. Their father's superior/friend/son-in-law, Poseidon, took it way too seriously (or was persuaded to do so by the Nereids themselves) and demanded that Andromeda be sacrificed to his sea serpent, or else their city drowns. Good thing that Athena's very badass protegé Perseus saw this and decided to step in, saving Andromeda and gaining her affection as well.
    • Surprisingly and ironically, it turned out that Aphrodite wasn't considered to be the most beautiful goddess to the Ancient Greeks. If anything, according to the hymns, that honor goes to Hera, as she was often referred to as the "greatest beauty among immortals/goddesses/deathless beings/etc.".
    • Male Example. Adonis was considered to be the world's most beautiful man, to the point where he charmed not one, but two, goddesses (Aphrodite and Persephone) when he was just a baby.
  • The Caucasian Nart Sagas have Setenaya, who is said to have unparalleled beauty; naturally, she is the object of many men's desires.
  • Albanian legends had Nora of Kelmendi whose beauty was comparable to a zana (a mountain nymph) and was referred to as the "Albanian Helen" because her beauty provoked a war when an Ottoman pasha wanted her for his harem and she refused him (due to belonging to a Roman Catholic warrior clan and being raised to fight against the Ottomans).
  • Hindu Theology and literature names numerous women as exceptionally beautiful.
    • Mohini, the only female avatar of Vishnu, is a wily trickster and she once defeated an Asura (ash-demon) who could turn anybody into ash with the touch of his hand; she tricked him into touching his own head while he mimicked her dancing, thus burning him to ash.
    • Tilottama was created from the best of everything by Visgwakarma to put a stop to a pair of demon brothers who sought conquest; the brothers loved each other very much, but when faced with her, they fought to the death over her.
    • In The Mahabharata, Princess Damayanti of Vidarbha is named as such. Because Kali missed her Svayamvara (in which a woman gets to pick the suitor of her choice) and found her already married to King Nala, a very handsome man himself, Kali spitefully separated the couple and changed Nala's appearance to prevent a reunion, but Damayanti asked her father to hold her Svayamvara again; she recognized the training of a chariot's horses and the cooking of her husband and they were reunited.
    • In a patriarchal society, lovely Draupadi participated in polyandry and in the politics of her husbands, and she was always ready to question the prerogatives of men and protest against sexual injustice.
    • Unwillingly betrothed by her greedy brother, Rukmini secretly sent messages to her beloved Krishna to abduct her and marry her to avoid a family war. Her brother defeated and shamed, Rukmini became Krishna's primary wife and queen.
    • Sita, a human avatar of Lakshmi, is depicted as the "perfect" woman alongside her husband, Rama, the "perfect" man.
    • When Ravana kidnapped Sita, Ravana's wife Mandodari, a beauty herself, remained in love with him and still advised him to return Sita to her husband, although he wouldn't listen.
  • The Philippines has its own tales of legendary beauties:
    • Mount Mayon, a volcano in the Philippines, was once the beautiful heroine in a tragic Love Triangle. Magayon was the only daughter of a Rawis chieftain, and many young men fought over her; but she only had affection for Peganoron, who saved her from a river. A rival suitor was less than pleased with this and began a war over her.
  • Many American First Nations, from Alaska to Tierra del Fuego, have tales of legendary beauties:
    • Mt. St. Helens is often the heroine (or at least one of the heroines) among the Puyallup, Cowlitz, Klickitat, and Yakima nations: according to the Puyallup, elderly Loowitlakla, or “Loowit”, was rewarded with eternal youth by the Chief of the Gods since she had preserved fire in her lodge for two nations, but the chieftains of each tribe, who were brothers and very handsome young men but notoriously hotheaded, began warring because she could not choose clearly between them.
    • Deer Woman appears in many traditions, including the Sioux, Ojibwe, Ponca, the Omaha people, Cherokee, Muscogee, Seminole, Choctaw, the Otoe tribe, Osage, the Pawnee people, and the Iroquois; the basic story is that she teaches men to avoid sexual promiscuity and she warns women against sexual promiscuity; the men suffer punishment for betrayal of their wives.
    • The Ongiaras, in the vicinity of Niagara Falls, tell of Lelawala, a beautiful young widow, who threw herself over the Great Falls in grief; the god of thunder, Hinon, and his sons saved and healed her and she happily married his son, but she missed her people. Still, she warned her people of a monstrous serpent who threatened them.
    • In a famine, White Buffalo Calf Woman saved the Lakota People. Two young men saw her in the form of a strikingly beautiful young woman and one boldly tried to make her his wife, despite the protests of the other to leave her alone. After she vanquished the youth who tried to take her by force, she taught the people the sacred rites that they would have to perform to survive the famine.
  • The Mayans have quite a few tales of beautiful heroines and villains:
    • As Mayan Goddess of the Moon, Ixchel is as complicated as her marriage with the Sun God Itzamná himself; a triple goddess of the Maiden/Mother/Crone aspects, she brings catastrophe but she will not become a victim of oppression.
    • The Maya also tell a story about the Xtabay that inverts the Madonna-Whore Complex: Two women from the same Yucatán village, Xkeban and Utz-Colel, are both exceptionally beautiful but Xkeban is very promiscuous while Utz-Colel (who becomes Xtabay in death) is chaste and virtuous. But it's not that simple; Xkeban is genuinely kind, humble, and compassionate to the unfortunate (despite that the rest of the village looks down on her for her many romances) and even sells the expensive gifts of her lovers to help the needy while Utz-Colel is admired for her chastity, but she is cold and haughty, and looks down her nose at the unfortunate and poor. When Xkeban dies, she's given a funeral by the people she helped, her body becoming sweet-smelling and her grave soon growing beautiful, fragrant flowers. Utz-Colel in jealously declares that her body would smell better than Xkeban. Instead, her body would immit a putrid smell and her grave grew a foul-smelling cactus instead. Enraged, Utz-Colel prayed to the evil spirits to become a woman again to become a more beautiful flower, but because of her cruelty, she became the demon Xtabay.
    • Nicté Há is the daughter of the guardian of a cenote and she is in love with the prince Chak Tzitzib, but because she is not royal their union cannot be; the nobles plot to sacrifice her, but she and her prince die together.
    • Princess Sac-Nicté of Mayapán was engaged to the prince Ulil, but she and King Canek of Chichen-Itza were in love; she fled with him and his whole city, leaving it empty when Ulil tried to retrieve her.
  • The Aztecs mention at least one beautiful heroine:
    • When she heard of the death in battle of her beloved Popocatépetl, the Princess Iztaccíhuatl died from grief, but the news was wrong and he carried her body to a spot outside Tenochtitlan and the gods turned them into snowy mountains.
  • The Inca likewise have at least two legendary beauties:
    • As the Goddess of the Moon, Mama Killa is the ethereally beautiful guardian of women and their young children, of women's fertility, and of the healing power of birth and new life. She regulates time itself.
    • The vicuña has its origins in a forbidden romance between a beautiful human maiden and an errant auki (immortal being). But when the Creator God Wiracocha came to punish the couple for disrupting the mission on which he sent the auki, he saw their enchanting children and he did not punish them; the parents became mountains and their children became the vicuña.
  • In Norse Mythology, we get multiple Frost Giants whose whole thing is demanding Freya's hand in marriage. This doesn't seems to be an issue for other goddesses, who are also probably quite attractive.
  • Nibelungenlied: Princess Kriemhild's beauty is sufficient that Siegfried is not only willing to fight in battles for her favor, but willing to deceive a queen and involve himself in plots that he likely would never take part in otherwise. This is the basis of his tragic flaw, and of her upcoming revenge.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • After posing nude for a phone company in South Korea, Gail Kim went into United Wrestling Federation and TNA events demanding to be announced as "The most beautiful woman in professional wrestling."
  • Though never outright stated, WWE was clearly billing Kelly Kelly as this due to her being the company's number one Ms. Fanservice and having the commentators (particularly Jerry Lawler) constantly talk about how hot she was night after night.
  • In 2021, Carmella egotistically demands the announcers call her "The most beautiful woman in WWE."

    Tabletop Games 
  • In Changeling: The Lost, female Fairest are very often contenders for this title. There's a reason their Seeming is so named. That said, while all of the Fairest are incredibly beautiful, it's not uncommon for them to be unconventionally beautiful or have looks that are physically impossible for mortal women to have. While beautiful, seeing a woman who is, for example, a living embodiment of a rainbow or of the beauty of a wild beast may not appeal so much to humans.
  • The One Ring: As in The Lord of the Rings, Arwen's beauty is unsurpassed, even among the Inhumanly Beautiful Race of the Elves. It's so pronounced that people who see her for the first time recover some Heroic Willpower or gain an Experience Point.
  • Ravenloft: Tatyana is this to Strahd, to the point that he wants nobody else, despite attempts at trying to find a substitute. His desire to have her caused him to make a Deal with the Devil, resulting in him becoming a vampire and the Darklord of Barovia, in effect, creating the whole setting.
  • Warhammer: Lucrezzia Belladonna is reputed to be the most beautiful woman in Tilea, if not in the entire Old World. Her Stunning Beauty rule represents this by allowing allied units routing in her vicinity to rally automatically, out of shame of having their cowardice seen by such a beautiful lady.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!: Sand Gambler is a gender swap; a poll in Master Guide 2 named him the hunkiest male monster in the game. (Of course, the poll was a fictitious one where female monsters were surveyed.)
  • Dungeons & Dragons: Nymphs are the embodiment of this trope, as they are elemental beings of pure beauty. A nymph is so incredibly attractive that looking upon their face without protection can render a mortal blind, and seeing them naked can instantly kill a mortal.

    Video Games 
  • Word of God claims that Chun-Li is the most beautiful woman in the Street Fighter series.
    • Naturally, Chun-Li has a rivalry with Morrigan Aensland from Darkstalkers, who is worshipped as the most beautiful succubus in Makai, the Demon World — so much so that men and women alike cannot resist her allure.
  • Daniella from Haunting Ground can be seen as an example of this trope, especially once it is revealed that she was created to be "the perfect woman." Of course Daniella gets murderously jealous of Fiona (the protagonist), whom every male in the castle wants to bone and who is "a real woman" - i.e., has the ability to give birth (something Daniella lacks).
  • Several of Emelone's victory titles in Yggdra Unison claim that she's the most beautiful woman in the world.
  • Milotic of Pokémon, as described in the Pokédex. The Pokémon Diancie is also described as the loveliest sight in the world.
  • In the Warriors series:
    • Dynasty Warriors has Diao Chan, who is noted as being one of the "Four Beauties of Ancient China". In the 7th installment, she even has a stage facing off against other female characters (and Zhang He) in a battle royale for said title.
    • Samurai Warriors follows suit by giving a few of the female characters dream stages revolving around this concept.
  • Fire Emblem:
  • The Incognito Princess in Sunless Skies is often described as extraordinarily, impossibly beautiful and wherever she goes, passersby are bound to be completely enthralled by merely setting eyes on her. Upon her recruitment, a random passerby took one look at her and casually gouged out his eyes, for those eyes will never see anything so radiant again. No, really.
    "After such radiance, all else is tawdry!"
  • Princess Medea of Dragon Quest VIII is mentioned to be the fairest princess in the world. A tourist guide even says getting to see Medea is worth the trip to Trodain. Unfortunately, for most of the game, she has a face like a horse. Literally.
  • Two female characters from Mortal Kombat fit this bill:
    • Kitana, the former princess of Edenia, is considered the most beautiful woman in Outworld; nearly all her interactions with opponents in MKX are them praising her beauty which does wonders to Kitana's vanity and arrogance, and The Hero Liu Kang, of course, falls for her. This trope, in regards to Kitana, is another reason why her Evil Twin Mileena is as screwed up as she is, since she's considered an inferior and ugly clone of Kitana, and even when Mileena becomes Empress of Outworld herself, she's dismayed that she still isn't as beloved as Kitana was.
    • The second is Sonya Blade, seriously. Half the male cast is attracted to Sonya including three of the main villains: Kano, Shang Tsung, and Shao Khan. Sonya is considered the most beautiful Earthrealm woman by the Outworld inhabitants, and due to lack of understanding of Earth customs, they assume Sonya is the Earthrealm's equivalent to Princess Kitana. Judging by interactions, Sonya is only surpassed by her daughter Cassie.
      Kitana: (to Sonya) Raiden's princess...
      Sonya: I wasn't even prom queen.
  • In a combination of World's Most Beautiful Woman and Really Gets Around, you've got Elona's Shena the Draw, about whom the townspeople in Vernis frequently comment, 'Everyone loves Shena's ass.'
    • In a bit of Gameplay and Story Segregation, Shena's Charisma is 44, which is decently high, but there are other NPCs with higher, including ironically, the creepy gravedigger, who also lives in Vernis, 'Whom Dwell In Vanity' whose Charisma is 146.
  • Rosa of Final Fantasy IV is referred to as the most beautiful woman in the kingdom of Baron.
  • Banjo-Kazooie:
    • Banjo's sister Tooty is referred to as the fairest in the land, which causes the entire plot of the game; the hideous and jealous witch Gruntilda kidnaps her, planning to use a machine to steal Tooty's beauty.
    • In the bad ending of the game, Grunty succeeds in stealing her beauty and becomes the new fairest in the land, and Tooty left as the hideous one.
  • Francesca Findabair is widely considered to be the world's most beautiful woman in the universe of The Witcher. Triss Merigold, Geralt's Lancer and potential Love Interest, is also a strong contender. In the first game she's openly called this by an admiring party guest, and through the second game, she catches the eye of Zoltan, Cedric, Phillipa Eilhart, and a troll.
  • In God of War (PS4), Mimir says that Freya was renowned throughout the nine realms for her "fertile beauty" and it was noted that part of the reason Odin agreed to the marriage was that he was taken with her looks.
    • Also, Gondul the Valkyrie was said to have a figure so stunning, it literally drove men insane. Unfortunately, she's been mutated by arcane magic and driven insane, so we get a stock berserker woman with wings.
  • Implied case in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. Jarl Elisif the Fair of Solitude is the only woman in Skyrim to have an epithet pertaining to how she looks.
  • In the background lore of Dragon Age, Flemeth, the legendary Witch of the Wilds, is described as having been this in most of the stories about her. Her beauty was so considerable that (in her own version of the story) a local nobleman offered to buy her from her impoverished husband. She agreed, being a practical sort, but was much offended when the noble then killed her husband instead of giving him the promised money. He did not live long enough to regret it.
  • Valerie from Pathfinder: Kingmaker is noted by both characters and the narrator (who, admittedly, might be somewhat biased on the subject) to be incredibly beautiful, and is believed to have been blessed by Shelyn: Devotees of the goddess treat her as a muse and she's constantly approached by admirers. Valerie herself finds this incredibly annoying as she's a trained knight, and would much rather be lauded for her skills than the face she happens to be born with. When her face is scarred during her personal quest she quickly develops a complex about this too, as she finds the combination of pity and Ignore the Disability even worse.
  • Fate/Grand Order holds that there are three such women who the most beautiful in human history: Cleopatra, Consort Yu/Yu Miaoyi, and Helen of Troy. The first two of these have already been introduced as playable characters though Yu is also revealed to not actually been human in the first place, but Helen has yet to appear. Other top contenders are Brynhildr, Mata Hari, Marie Antoinette, Yang Guifei, Stheno, and Euryale. Astolfo and Gao Changgong/Lanling Wang were considered among the most beautiful men. Lanling is so pretty that he has to wear a mask to keep his allies and enemies from being distracted. And in at least one alternate universe, Merlin (so far exclusive to the Arcade version of Fate/Grand Order and only alluded to in the main game) fits the bill, though she's not entirely human. In the British Lostbelt, Fairy Knight Lancelot/Melusine was considered the most beautiful fairy, but she disagrees and thinks that title belongs to Aurora. Sancho Panza is a Composite Character with several characters in Don Quixote's story, including Princess Dulcinea, so she is protective of her status as this trope in the eyes of her lord. Therefore, she gets jealous when he seems to want to fight for Marie Antoinette's honor, and she's flattered that his wish for the Grail is to have the world acknowledge Dulcinea's beauty, therefore technically hers, as being beyond compare. Ironically, Don Quixote only sees her as his faithful sidekick Sancho Panza, so he's oblivious to the fact that the ideal beauty that he constantly proclaims to the world is right there faithfully at his side, finally physically incarnated rather than a mere figment of his imagination.
  • In The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Zelda's beauty was so well renowned that even a hundred years later, people are still talking about it.
  • In Honor of Kings, since the game is taking inspiration and character design from various Chinese historical (and mythical) figure, the game includes all of the Four Beauties of Ancient China; aside of Diaochan and Yang Guifei/Yuhuan noted above, it also marks the video game appearance of both Wang Zhaojun and Xi Shi, and they're all classified as Mages so they don't get too dirty. Consort Yu (as Yu Ji) is included, but as a marksman hero, she's not afraid to get a little dirtier (and she didn't get the Four Beauties title). On the male department, though, there's just Lanling Wang/Gao Changgong, who's wearing a ninja mask and also plays like one as an assassin; the rest of the Four Handsomes (Pan An, Song Yu and Wei Jie) have yet to be featured.


    Web Original 
  • It's noted in Dragon Ball Z Abridged that Dodoria was once considered the most beautiful-and fertile-woman on her planet. Before Frieza blew it up.
  • Fey of the Whateley Universe is not only this but has a faerie Glamour that makes her seem even sexier. Even gay guys and straight women often feel attraction for her. As a queen of Faerie, she has even more going for her than that.
  • Welcome to Night Vale:
    • The radio host cannot mention Carlos without breathlessly describing how incredibly handsome he is. We know that it's not just the host that Carlos affects this way, either, as the barber who dared to cut Carlos' "beautiful, perfect hair" "so very, very short" is later found wandering the desert wastes, gibbering, clutching Carlos' shorn locks, and attempting to shave cacti. Cecil and Carlos are Happily Married as of episode 100. Cecil's pretty biased.
    • Speaking of cacti, Night Vale's third most beautiful woman lived up one until a mysterious traveler convinced her to come down and marry him.

    Western Animation 
  • In Futurama, Leela is the most beautiful mutant, ever. Of course, mutants being mutants, it means she is simply mildly attractive rather than hideous.
  • The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack features a salesman who wears a bag on his head, as does the rest of his family. When the bag is removed people stand in awe at his face, with an Ethereal Choir even chiming in to describe him as "the most beautiful man in the world". Instantly, people will do anything to please him, including buying his wares; but he puts his bag on and sadly moves away, wanting people to do so without knowing what he looks like.
  • Lana from Archer is basically this. Not only are straight women and gay men willing to have sex with her, but she was also chosen specifically, out of all the women on Earth, to be the "brood sow" for colonizing Mars in the "Space Race" two-parter. Commander Drake chose Lana because he considers her the perfect female specimen based on her morphology, I.Q., and medical history. That's flattering... kinda. This is also somewhat subverted as Lana's supposedly huge, mannish hands as well as her other not so feminine qualities are frequently pointed out.
  • Lampshaded, naturally, in Rocky and Bullwinkle in their "Fractured Fairy Tale" spots. In one, "Snow White Inc.", the magic mirror informs the wicked queen several times that "Snow White is the fairest", but ultimately announces that the queen is the most beautiful. When the queen asks why he called Snow White the fairest, the mirror answers, "She never lies, cheats, or steals. What could be fairer than that?"
  • Rowena is referred to as the "Most beautiful woman in England" by Abhorrent Admirer and fiancé by Arranged Marriage Prince John in Ivanhoe: The King's Knight.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
    • Spike sometimes proclaims Rarity as the most beautiful mare in the world. Of course, he's biased because he has a crush on her.
    • In "Campfire Tales", Rarity tells a story about Mistmane, who was considered the most beautiful Unicorn in the land. She eventually used her magic to sacrifice her beauty to restore the land and her friend Sable Spirit to health, turning into a crone, but she was well respected for the deed.
  • In "SamuraiRabbitTheUsagiChronicles", Chizu has feline beauty and appearance with Hartman Hips. Her beauty is admired by others (including Yuichi Usagi, Spot, Kitsune, and Gen). While being The Mole.

    Real Life 
  • A number of women in ancient times, including Nefertiti of Egypt (who has a portrait bust) and Roxana, the first wife of Alexander the Great, were identified this way. Two inspirations for Aphrodite/Venus are Phryne, a famous courtesan, and Campaspe, reportedly a mistress of the aforementioned Alexander the Great.
  • Subsaharan Africa is just as abundant with tales of famous beauties:
    • 12th century warrior Princess Yennenga, who is the founding mother of the Mossi kingdom of Burkina Faso through her son Ouedraogo, was an expert warrior and horsewoman from puberty and strikingly beautiful, but her father would not allow her to marry and become a mother because she was the leader of his armies and too important of a warrior; after her attempts to soften his stance failed, she disguised herself as a man and she fled with the help of a servant, riding her stallion until they could go no further. And she met Riale, an elephant hunter and a handsome young man in his own right. They quickly befriended each other but Riale quickly saw through her disguise and romance blossomed between them, resulting in their marriage and the birth of their son, Ouedraogo.
    • Moremi Ajasoro, 12th century Queen of the Yoruba, was married to the king of Ife Ife, and their kingdom was at war with a mysterious rival tribe, who kept raiding their realm and enslaving their people. Moremi sacrificed all she had to the river god in her effort to understand who these people were and how they fought. She daringly allowed herself to be captured by the enemies and, being an enchantingly beautiful woman, she soon caught the attention of their king, who married her. Biding her time, Moremi the spy queen studied the secrets of her captors, including those of their army, and when the time was right she fled home to Ife Ife (an adventure in itself) and informed the Yoruba of these secrets; the Yoruba soon crushed them in battle.
  • Various women in modern times are proclaimed this by one person, group or magazine poll or another. The yearly contests for Miss World/Miss Universe and so on are somewhat based on this principle, but the girls are not only chosen for their good looks, but also for their personalities. The one who wins is not necessarily the most beautiful one there, or even any more beautiful than the previous winner.
  • Cleopatra, depending on who says it. She's constantly depicted as the World's Most Beautiful Woman, but in real life, she has been described as rather less so, with some even saying that her personality was the key to her attractiveness rather than any physical beauty, and she was also said to have the most beautiful voice. Cicero himself, upon meeting her, said that "she is not as beautiful as many men have said." However, it should also be noted that Cicero disliked Cleopatra, and he would have gladly called her ugly if she actually was.
    "She certainly never scared anybody when she was fixed up a bit." - Will Cuppy, The Decline & Fall of Practically Everybody
  • In societies with a tradition of a polygamous monarchy, it was common for the King to send recruiting parties composed of trained connoisseurs to find the most beautiful women in his Kingdom for wives. In a large Empire like Persia or China, the selection was so great that the one that was finally picked as the King's favorite was likely to be almost literally the World's Most Beautiful Woman.
  • The already beautiful Empress Elisabeth of Austria-Hungary, aka Sisi, was widely considered as this in her time. Rather darkly, she kept herself youthful and thin by, among other things, basically starving herself to anorexic levels so she could maintain her tiny waist, and letting her hair grow to the point that it took hours to wash and dry it.
  • The Four Beauties of Ancient China are claimed to be the most beautiful women in the world during their time. Considering China's extremely long history, the fact that they are the chosen four is saying a lot. Also, one of them, Diaochan from Romance of the Three Kingdoms, is speculated to be most likely fictitious (though possibly based on a real person). Their beauty was so great that some of them changed history; as most know, Diaochan played a big part in causing Lu Bu to rebel against Dong Zhou, at least according to the novel.
    • Aside from Diaochan, the other three were Xi Shi, Wang Zhaojun and Yang Guifei. A famous poem describes how beautiful each of them were: Xi Shi made fish forget how to swim, Wang Zhaojun made birds drop from the sky, Diaochan eclipsed the moon, and Yang Guifei put all flowers to shame.
    • Of the four Great Beauties, Xi Shi was said to have been the most beautiful. On a related note, there is a common joke in the greater Chinese sphere about the inversion of this trope that uses Xi Shi's name in a pun: the world's ugliest woman is said to be Dong Shinote  (She is most likely fictional, but she ends up creating an idiom about discouraging imitating other's strength so your weakness does not show.The idiom in question ).
    • One of the big reasons why four them was selected as the top beauties was that Chinese people has an obsession with tragic stories and heroes, and these four fit the bill as tragic beauties in which their beauties didn't just bring kingdoms down, they brought downfalls to themselves.note 
  • Gender-inverted with the writer Pan An (潘安), the prospect poet Song Yu (宋玉), the Warrior Prince Lanling (兰陵王) and Wei Jie (卫玠), known as "China's Four Most Handsome Men". And just like their female counterparts... they don't end well due to their handsomeness too.
  • Up until the Muscovite era, the tsars of Russia used to choose their wives via a nationwide beauty contest. The tsar would give a ring and a handkerchief to the winner. Beginning in the 18th century, they switched to the standard operating procedure of marrying with other royal families.
  • Oda Nobunaga's younger sister Oichi had the term zessei no bijin ("peerless beauty") coined for her, and most influential men of the time apparently sought her hand in marriage. Ironically, Nobunaga thought she was too tall. But to be fair, brothers who appreciate their sisters' beauty are usually quite depraved and prone to Brother–Sister Incest.
    • The Heian period poetess Ono no Komachi was also thought of being very beautiful, as well as good enough at writing to be one of the Rokkasen or Six Best Waka Poets. So much that, even now, komachi is a synonym for female beauty in Japan.
  • People magazine voted Julia Roberts "the most beautiful person in the world" a record four times, though Michelle Pfeiffer has been listed six times, winning once. The cover of their annual "50 Most Beautiful People in the World" has usually been a woman, and for nearly the past decade, said woman—Halle Berry, Jennifer Lopez, Jennifer Aniston, etc.— has in fact been designated the "World's Most Beautiful Woman".
  • Eleanor of Aquitaine, mother of Richard the Lion-Hearted, was considered the most beautiful woman in the world by many contemporaries. Even many of her fiercest critics, who believed her to be a murderess, an adulteress, and/or a literal witch, couldn't disparage her good looks (although they of course considered her beauty as proof of her wickedness). Ironically, while we have many writings praising her beauty, no one ever bothered to describe what she actually looked like, not even so much as the color of her hair, and the few images popularly assumed to be her can't be confirmed (with the notable exception of her tomb effigy).note  She's sort of a "take our word for it" contender for World's Most Beautiful Woman.
  • Catherine of Aragon, first wife of Henry VIII, was described as "the most beautiful creature in the world," and was probably the best-looking of all Henry's wives. That did not stop her husband from divorcing her, however.
    • Henry's younger sister Mary, meanwhile, has been regarded by some historians as having probably been the most attractive princess in all of Europe during her teenage years. She bore a strong resemblance to her mother; see below.
    • Henry's mother and maternal grandmother, Elizabeth of York and Elizabeth Woodville (who was said to have "heavy-lidded eyes of a dragon"), were each considered the most beautiful woman in England during their prime. Henry's grandfather Edward IV was so captivated by Elizabeth Woodville that he married her against all advice to the contrary. Meanwhile, Henry's parents had an Arranged Marriage, but it was by all accounts a Perfectly Arranged Marriage and Henry VII truly loved his beautiful wife (to the point that when Elizabeth died, Henry became so heartbroken his advisors feared he might soon follow his wife into the grave, refused to consider remarrying for a long time, and when he finally warmed to the idea, his advisors gave up when they realised Henry wasn't looking for a new bride so much as a carbon copy of Elizabeth). In fact, it is said that Elizabeth of York's portrait was taken as the basis for the figure of the Queen of Hearts in the deck of playing cards.
  • Opera singer Lina Cavalieri was literally billed as the World's Most Beautiful Woman. (Also the Kissing Prima Donna for the spontaneous off-script Big Damn Kiss she planted on co-star and friend Enrico Caruso in a performance of Fedora in December 1906.)
  • British silent film actress Ivy Close was named this by the Daily Mirror in 1908, prior to her launching her film career.
  • Gayatri Devi (1919–2009), the Maharani of Jaipur and a renowned politician who won her parliamentary election by a record-breaking number of votes, was hailed by Vogue as the world's most beautiful woman.
  • Aishwarya Rai, Bollywood actress (and former Miss World) has been called this (and the most attractive woman of 2003, too).
  • The actress and inventor Hedy Lamarr was often called the most beautiful woman in the world, particularly in her youth.
  • Actress Raquel Welch is considered not only one of the most beautiful woman of her era, but due to her striking physical fitness (which led her to be nicknamed simply "The Body"), also one of the most perfect examples of the entire human species — so much so that she has allegedly bequeathed her skeleton (or her skull; accounts differ) to a scientific trust that collects examples of humanity for future research.
  • Gender-inverted with Omar Borkan Al Gala, a Saudi Arabian man who came to the world's attention in 2013 when he was asked to leave the country because he's too handsome — the Saudi government thought his looks would tempt women into leaving their husbands.
  • Elizabeth Taylor, in her youth, was commonly regarded as "the world's most beautiful teenager." Her eyes were of particular note, being such a deep shade of blue that they were often described as purple.
  • Rebecca Gratz was a prominent philanthropist and educator in the early 19th century, and was widely considered to be the most beautiful woman in the United States in her time. She is believed to be the real-life basis for the character of Rebecca in Ivanhoe.
  • Audrey Hepburn is widely considered a prime candidate for the title of "most beautiful woman who ever lived."
  • Isabella of Angouleme, second wife and queen to King John of England, was renowned for her beauty, even considered the Helen of the Middle Ages; of course, no New Trojan War was ever fought in her day.

Alternative Title(s): Worlds Most Sexy Woman