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If beauty is subjective, who defines the beauty of your character?


LadyRochester

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Mind you, this applies both to "Ugly" and "Beautiful" characters.

 

I start this thread because a lot of people, instead of describing their character's feaures to an extent, simply go: "Sasha Rochester is very beautiful."

 

Isn't beauty subjective?

 

What if you find Sasha Rochester ugly? Should your character pretend she's drop-dead gorgeous because it says on her RPC wiki "She's beautiful."?

 

Same thing applies to ugly characters. If I'm a roleplayer and don't really describe my character's physical appearance, and then just go "Oh, he's ugly."

 

Is he? What if I like the way he looks? Even better, what if you describe your character as "Morbidly obese, hairy, with a lazy eye, and a balding head with green hair", and it just so happens I find those features beautiful? Wouldn't that throw the "My character is ugly" argument out the window?

 

In essence, is the beauty of the character truly judged by the player themselves or the audience? If someone makes a character everyone considers ugly, except themselves, should they really lazily describe themselves as "beautiful"? Should they get upset when other characters don't act with praise towards their appearance?

 

Keep the discussion respectful and with no personal insults.

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All traits that are stated instead of displayed or interpreted are suspect. I personally tend to avoid that sort of thing because I'm awful at description. No NPC in any of my threads gets a comment besides race and hair color, and sometimes only the first one.

 

I usually stick to my character's appearance in-game. Even in my RPC wiki, I'm pretty much describing the in-game model. Only difference is perhaps the body. I don't describe her as beautiful though, to me, that's up to others. This might be lazy, but it makes it easier for others.

 

I have roleplayed "ugly" characters before where I had to extensively describe their commonly "unattractive" features. If people at one point actually found those features attractive, well, it was up to them. I didn't explicitly say they were ugly (Unless I was expressing my opinion OOC), as I was under the assumption most people would consider those features unattractive anyway.

 

I'm not necessarily bothered by people with "lazy" descriptions, more people who just simply put their characters under the "ugly/beautiful" category without giving any clues when there are too many variables to take into account.

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Perhaps a way around this would be to state something like "This character is considered to be ugly/beautiful by many people." This way, it implies that while others my think the character to be one thing, your character is free to have their own opinion based on their own tastes.

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Perhaps a way around this would be to state something like "This character is considered to be ugly/beautiful by many people." This way, it implies that while others my think the character to be one thing, your character is free to have their own opinion based on their own tastes.

 

This is simply a rhetorical question!

 

What if you say that, but most of the role players they surround themselves with disagree? What if I describe my character as "repulsive" and then describe her as having flawless skin, bright blue eyes, plump lips, a symmetrical face, high cheekbones, with silky, long hair, etc. You know, "classically" attractive things... And then most of the audience sees them as beautiful instead?

 

Could that statement still be supported, even when ICly it has been disproved?

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Perhaps a way around this would be to state something like "This character is considered to be ugly/beautiful by many people." This way, it implies that while others my think the character to be one thing, your character is free to have their own opinion based on their own tastes.

 

This is simply a rhetorical question!

 

What if you say that, but most of the role players they surround themselves with disagree? What if I describe my character as "repulsive" and then describe her as having flawless skin, bright blue eyes, plump lips, a symmetrical face, high cheekbones, with silky, long hair, etc. You know, "classically" attractive things... And then most of the audience sees them as beautiful instead?

 

Could that statement still be supported, even when ICly it has been disproved?

 

If its a rhetorical question, then you do not require an answer which defeats the purpose of asking for a discussion.

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Isaulde should be a very boyish-looking Elezen and not attractive at all, but the best I could do is making her flat as a man. I wish I could've at least edited the muscle tone, but nope, we can't on certain race/gender combinations. Goddamnit SE.

 

In that case, wouldn't you simply describe her as boyish-looking with harsh, masculine features and a strong build? Instead of simply saying "Oh, she's unattractive."

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Perhaps a way around this would be to state something like "This character is considered to be ugly/beautiful by many people." This way, it implies that while others my think the character to be one thing, your character is free to have their own opinion based on their own tastes.

 

This is simply a rhetorical question!

 

What if you say that, but most of the role players they surround themselves with disagree? What if I describe my character as "repulsive" and then describe her as having flawless skin, bright blue eyes, plump lips, a symmetrical face, high cheekbones, with silky, long hair, etc. You know, "classically" attractive things... And then most of the audience sees them as beautiful instead?

 

Could that statement still be supported, even when ICly it has been disproved?

 

If its a rhetorical question, then you do not require an answer which defeats the purpose of asking for a discussion.

 

I suppose it was more of a statement to defend my position, but take back the rhetorical part, what then?

 

What if you say that, but most of the role players they surround themselves with disagree? What if I describe my character as "repulsive" and then describe her as having flawless skin, bright blue eyes, plump lips, a symmetrical face, high cheekbones, with silky, long hair, etc. You know, "classically" attractive things... And then most of the audience sees them as beautiful instead?

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What if you say that, but most of the role players they surround themselves with disagree? What if I describe my character as "repulsive" and then describe her as having flawless skin, bright blue eyes, plump lips, a symmetrical face, high cheekbones, with silky, long hair, etc. You know, "classically" attractive things... And then most of the audience sees them as beautiful instead?

 

If they're aware such things are classically attractive and still describe her as repulsive, I could see it being one of a few things.

 

  • Personal opinion on beauty - they may be "classically" attractive traits, but for that person they don't seem as such and, thus, they don't even think that it's the case. Could either lead to confusion when people find them attractive, or statements that it's "not pretty to them."
  • Character is actively marring their appearance, either intentionally or unintentionally. Maybe they would look nice if they treated themselves well or presented themselves properly. Instead they wear too much makeup or their hair is a mess - a sort of a "diamond in the rough" approach.
  • They aren't talking about "repulsive" in terms of appearance. The most beautiful person in the world can still have a horrifically nasty attitude. Maybe it was just phrased wrong and while she's very pretty, most people don't want to be around her because of how she acts.

Though, subjective views aren't solely limited to beauty. Humor, wit, righteousness, piety, even strength and combat ability... are all things people can claim their character has but could be subjectively refuted. Ultimately, I feel people can say their character is anything - it's not really my place to tell them whether they are or not - but I may hold my own personal opinions otherwise if they "tell" rather than "show." Or if I'm "supposed" to just go with it just because they say so.

 

Then again, I suppose I'm a bit hypocritical in that regard. I say Gogon is supposed to be smart and Judge is supposed to be strong. I do try to do more showing than telling, though, which I can only hope helps some. Maybe avoiding absolutes is just the safest way to go. :blush:

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When I see a character described as 'beautiful' or 'ugly', I tend to assume it's referring to the 'general standard of beauty' that tends to be prevalent in any society. I then compare that to my character's own tastes and decide how their 'beauty' or 'ugliness' will be received. 

 

'Show, don't tell' is all good and fine, but for some things, subjective or no, there tends to be a 'world standard' that we can use as a gauge along with our character's preferences.

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Perhaps a way around this would be to state something like "This character is considered to be ugly/beautiful by many people." This way, it implies that while others my think the character to be one thing, your character is free to have their own opinion based on their own tastes.

 

This is simply a rhetorical question!

 

What if you say that, but most of the role players they surround themselves with disagree? What if I describe my character as "repulsive" and then describe her as having flawless skin, bright blue eyes, plump lips, a symmetrical face, high cheekbones, with silky, long hair, etc. You know, "classically" attractive things... And then most of the audience sees them as beautiful instead?

 

Could that statement still be supported, even when ICly it has been disproved?

 

If its a rhetorical question, then you do not require an answer which defeats the purpose of asking for a discussion.

 

I suppose it was more of a statement to defend my position, but take back the rhetorical part, what then?

 

What if you say that, but most of the role players they surround themselves with disagree? What if I describe my character as "repulsive" and then describe her as having flawless skin, bright blue eyes, plump lips, a symmetrical face, high cheekbones, with silky, long hair, etc. You know, "classically" attractive things... And then most of the audience sees them as beautiful instead?

 

Then people might assume you are not very good at creating a character as your description of her does not match the statement of her being "ugly."

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When I see a character described as 'beautiful' or 'ugly', I tend to assume it's referring to the 'general standard of beauty' that tends to be prevalent in any society. I then compare that to my character's own tastes and decide how their 'beauty' or 'ugliness' will be received. 

 

'Show, don't tell' is all good and fine, but for some things, subjective or no, there tends to be a 'world standard' that we can use as a gauge along with our character's preferences.

 

Fair enough.  :)

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Then people might assume you are not very good at creating a character as your description of her does not match the statement of her being "ugly."

 

Well, to you. However, would you roleplay your character as finding them unattractive or not? Even if she is described as having those features, but also described as being "ugly". Would you make your character follow your/their beauty standards or the other roleplayer's?

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I think i leave it open to interpretation. And there are three main types I play..

 

1. The character is specifically given a hideous or jarring appearance. Think playing undersea in WoW. The flip is that through RP can see the real you through the hideous visage. 

 

2. The plain character. Nebula will describe herself as a "plain dumpling of a girl from the shroud", and leave any interpretation open to those RPing. Add in the suitable emotes for a plain girl and you have great times breaking out of the mould.

 

3. Playing the beauty. In this case I play the character flaunting it, they know they are good looking and have a personality to match. Though with me there is probably much more beneath the surface. As is the life of my Twi'lek smuggler in SWTOR who replaces feelings with drink and violence.

 

I suppose that the answer is in your role play, how you portray the character and in the perception of those you RP with. I think that MMO RP is far richer than just the toon, and we should give ourselves a lot more credit for the depth and layering of our characters.

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I tend not to directly mention my characters appearance in descriptions.  I prefer the game-mechanic to describe my character's look.  However, she does have an obvious scar on her face.  She feels somewhat awkward about it as it may have been the thing to separate her from her sisters when they were abducted (and presumably put in an undesirable situation) and she was left behind.  She blames the scar and will say so if it comes up in conversation.  She won't mention it otherwise.

 

If people find her attractive, she won't debate.  If people find her unappealing, she won't debate.  She's aware enough to know that impressions aren't necessarily reality.

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I've got a picture of Warren on his wiki page. I don't see the need to describe him. If I wanted him to look different, I'd've changed his design.

 

Pushing too hard in a direction that can't be displayed makes for rough times, especially if its more than you can fit in your search comment. People are going to play with what they see, be it descriptions or displayed names.

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Pushing too hard in a direction that can't be displayed makes for rough times, especially if its more than you can fit in your search comment. People are going to play with what they see, be it descriptions or displayed names.

There's nowhere near enough variety in the models.  I tend to assume that facial features are about right, but that the rest is more highly variable based on description :)

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Pushing too hard in a direction that can't be displayed makes for rough times, especially if its more than you can fit in your search comment. People are going to play with what they see, be it descriptions or displayed names.

There's nowhere near enough variety in the models.  I tend to assume that facial features are about right, but that the rest is more highly variable based on description :)

 

There's no problem with that, so long as it's nothing major. "I'm actually eight feet tall, with hair down to my ankles, and I only have one leg" is jarring as hell compared to what the game displays. Most people won't mind a nudge of height or weight or body shape, but when you start going full-on this-avatar-does-not-represent-me you'll run into some headaches.

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Your character is not "beautiful."  Your character may be "tall", "muscular", "unblemished", "well-proportioned", "vuluptuous", "perky", "dusky", "chiseled", "angular", "alien", "flashy", "well-kept", "clean", "gritty", "unshaven", "strong", "sleight", or "willowy".  Your character can have "dazzling blue eyes", "a crooked but sincere grin", "a full beard strewn with braids and beads of his culture", "eyes that seem to flicker with intelligence", "a smile full of perfectly white teeth", "a voice that seems to almost sing as he speaks", "a scar across his cheek, seemingly ritual in nature", or even "well-manicured nails painted with clear varnish."  You character can "sit ramrod-straight in his chair", "lean against the wall casually and light a cigarette", "sit with shoulders stooped, nervous at the public setting", "lean across the table on one elbow, pointing across it with his knife", or "sit leaned back, never uttering a word, but eyes burning with contempt."

 

But your character cannot be "beautiful."  That is at the discretion of the audience, and you'd be amazed at the wide variety involved in their reactions.  For example, in addition to not finding Lalafels "beautiful" (rather common) I also find Miqo'te well-night universally unattractive (rather rare).  I don't like how young they appear and how sleight they are; it's not my thing.  At the same time, I know that Orleans isn't universally attractive.  Even if someone thinks he looks handsome, Orleans' mannerisms are sometimes hostile and aggressive, not every woman's thing.

 

So just describe your character.  Aim to get something about the personality across in the presence (as it often does in real life).  Be illustrative.  But don't try to demand the reaction.

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Thancreds is considered a pretty womanizer.

 

And for some reason Aaron is his evil twin and or Thancreds cosplayer.

 

So by default Aaron is considered beautiful to the masses because he looks like Thancred (Which in honesty he really doesn't but you know, just because they have the same hairstyle and people think Thancreds hair is white still. It gets assumed a lot.)

 

I'm beautiful nerds deal with it.

 

Do note, this post isn't meant to be taken seriously.

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Then people might assume you are not very good at creating a character as your description of her does not match the statement of her being "ugly."

 

Well, to you. However, would you roleplay your character as finding them unattractive or not? Even if she is described as having those features, but also described as being "ugly". Would you make your character follow your/their beauty standards or the other roleplayer's?

 

I would likely not acknowledge the physical description and have my character interact with them like any other character. Such descriptions are little more than flavor text as far as I'm concerned.

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Beautiful tends to correspond with average. Clean features, symmetrical, certain proportions. While beauty does vary across cultures, there's generally some things that stay the same, and those are things that signify a healthy person.

 

So when I decided to make Zhi ugly, it was those things I targeted.

 

But then the character creator wouldn't cooperate. At best, in game she looks dirty and boyish; the most I can hope for is 'plain' but most people consider her 'cute.'

 

In the end, there's a pretty jarring gap between how I have her in my head and what's in game. So.......it's to the point where I'm more pushing how gross her hygiene is than doing anything with her features. She looks how she looks, and I feel it's too confusing for people if I talk about how her mouth is wide like a frog's and her eyes are mean and small and her nose is too short when in game she is none of that.

 

I'll just give her a STD instead.

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