Trope-a-Day: The Beautiful People

The Beautiful People: I refer you to the comments about “impossibly beautiful sexy immortal billionaire genius demigods” made under Can’t Argue With Elves.  The engineering works, people.  However pretty a people the baseline Eldrae alathis were to begin with – and they were – by the time autoevolution reached the very transsophont Eldrae kirsunar, it had gone Up To Eleven.  The self-designated Supreme Eldrae and their cousin species in the Empire are self-consciously designed to be perfected, unflawed, soul-churningly beautiful, marvelous to behold, exquisite and/or excruciating in unsurpassed elegance.

(And if you’d care to sign up, they can do it for you, too.  Queue for applications starts to your left.)

It’s a sort of inherited status, I suppose, inasmuch as you acquire it – most commonly – by being the offspring of an Imperial citizen-shareholder, although most of it is offered freely to immigrants and, well, anyone who turns up waving checks or cashy money at the right businesses… but since this does represent more or less the entire society, these Beautiful People do, at least those who haven’t yet earned their way into the investor-leisure class, have to work for a living, and many of those continue to anyway.

And yes, the surroundings also match (see: Emotion Bomb and Scenery Porn), because it’s not like they stuck to just improving themselves.  Also played straight, again for almost everyone, with regard to the clothing (see: Sharp Dressed Soph), the housing (see: Big Fancy House), the wealth levels (it is a materially mostly-post-scarcity society, after all)…

4 thoughts on “Trope-a-Day: The Beautiful People

  1. Sounds like a Red Queen Race, actually, and something that I find curious about a race of supposedly independent-minded libertarian mono manics is that they would *ALL* elect on doing such a thing, and that they would have a unified enough standard of physical beauty to make it stick across the whole race. Also, there are always tradeoffs. What did they trade away in exchange for having everyone look like a tall muscular supermodel?

    • The thing that stops it from being a Red Queen’s Race (at least for the eldrae) is that – as per Blue and Orange Morality – they’re very, very bad at peer pressure/social consensus and, in general, thinking about these things in relative terms. They’re not comparing themselves to each other; they’re comparing themselves to the platonic ideals in their heads. So, it’s an asymptotic race, sure, but not a Red Queen’s.

      Similarly, that standard of physical beauty isn’t all _that_ unified; it’s not like the case suggested by some bioconservatives that if humans started self-modifying everyone would end up blonde and generically-pretty featured. While they are all _beautiful_, it’s in the many different ways that result from millions of different idiosyncratic visions being pursued – more than a few of which have wandered a good long way away from the species baseline. Some factors are more common than others – cultural/instinctive habits – but they’re a diverse lot, as the four-armed ebony-skinned vacuum-dwellers would point out. In some cases, the distinction is as great as between, say, a handsome dog, a prizewinning tropical fish, and a sunset.

      It is true, of course, that they all – not literally all, of course, but statistically within delta of all – are going down this course, to which I’d say that while they do possess strong and innate drives which push them in a libertarian direction, those – again per Blue and Orange Morality – aren’t the only ones at work. They also possess strong tropism for excellence – which would include beauty – and so while they differ in any number of ways about the specifics of where to go and how to get there, it takes some psychological oddness/brokenness for one of them not to at least _want_ to be brilliant, beautiful, and skilled. They exist – there’s even a term of abuse for it (“dullist”) – but they’re about as rare as true human never-even-think-about-it asexuals.

      As for the tradeoffs – well, the caloric requirements are one (details in the Big Eater trope, forthcoming), and the way in which their genome doesn’t even come close to looking natural any more (and there are, indeed, a lot of synthetic symbionts in the modal body); so most reproduction has to be done technologically, and anything resembling natural evolution, vis-a-vis further engineering, is out of the question.

      But that’s about it for the general case. They have good engineers, and aren’t inclined to implement things that aren’t definite net improvements.

  2. Pingback: Trope-a-Day: Beauty Equals Goodness « The Eldraeverse

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