Beautiful People #20 (AKA Let's Be All Shallow and Discuss Appearance)


If, for some crazy reason, you've never heard of Beautiful People, we must rectify that immediately. It's this awesome monthly meme hosted by Skye of Further Up and Further In and Cait of Paper Fury that allows writers to get to know their characters better by asking a bunch of questions about them. Cool, right?

For the last few months, I've been answering questions about Grace, the main character of the WIP I've been blindly attempting to finish. It's set in an elitist boarding school, so there are posh boys, poker and a New Year's party that involves karaoke.

The problem is that someone's probably going to get sick of Grace at some point. Her backstory is quickly getting overcomplicated. However, she does have a best friend, called Lorna. Today I'm going to introduce you guys.

(And no, this sudden change of character has nothing to do with the fact I only had a Lorna snippet for question two. Not in the slightest.)

Give a brief overview of their looks. (Include a photo if you want!)

Lorna is one of those people whose (long and wavy) hair changes colour with the seasons. It's dark blonde in August, kind of very light brown in December, and in between? Don't even ask. She usually refers to herself as blonde because she wants to have as much fun as possible.

Her eyes are blue and permanently framed by a LOT of mascara. Otherwise, I guess she has milky skin, completely unfreckled other than a mole just under her right ear, and a long neck.

Oh, and she has Cerebral Palsy, so she spends a lot of time in a downright awesome pink wheelchair. Sometimes she'll walk, but only with crutches and not a long way. 

Share a snippet that involves description of their appearance.

What? I don't like people to see my first drafts. And now you want to see this, a snippet of the firstiest of first drafts? (Hush, that word made sense. Don't doubt me.)

Ok. I guess you can have a look. It's not like this is going to make it past edits, because it's a huge info dump and also not very necessary. But here's Lorna from Grace's perspective:
My best friend, Lorna, is already leaning against my bedroom door in her candy pink wheelchair, mousy blonde hair in absolutely perfect ringlets. I’ve never been much of a morning person compared to her.

What is the first thing people might notice about them?

That man is putting his head in his hands because honestly? People are shallow. They see the wheelchair first.

That said, if you met Lorna, you would also notice fairly quickly that her mouth doesn't really stop moving. Like, ever.

What are their unique features? (Ex: freckles, big ears, birthmark, scars, etc.)

You know in my answer to question one, when I told you Lorna has blue eyes? Well ... I lied. Sorry.

One of her eyes is blue - but if you look really, really carefully (like close enough to kiss her carefully) her right eye is the tiniest bit green. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is unique and interesting.

Yay me for coming up with it.

How tall are they? What is their build (Ex: stocky, slender, petite, etc.)

Do you really want to ask Lorna this question? Do you really want to ask ANYONE this question? Characters can be sensitive about this stuff, you know.

*Waits, hoping you won't notice I just said that to delay because I have no idea what to say*

Um ... I've thought about it for a long time, and all I can really think is "curvier than Grace".

What is their posture like? How do they usually carry themselves?

Does this GIF answer your question? 

Your character has been seen on a “lazy day” (free from usual routine/expectations): what are they wearing and how do they look?

Lorna's usually a really morningy person - she gets dressed straight away and just kind of gets on with it. Because getting dressed is the funnest part, for her. But it doesn't matter who you are or what you look like. Lazy days are still pyjama days. She's probably really scruffy, but with a perfectly made-up face and nails because she's been experimenting.

Do they wear glasses, accessories, or jewellery on a regular basis? Do they have any article of clothing or accessory that could be considered their trademark?

Lorna isn't the kind of person who wears glasses, even though she technically needs them to read and really, really struggles with contacts (because disability might not define her, but it can make fiddly things a little difficult). She just doesn't want to, and that's okay.

What she does like (as my nodding Ariel will no doubt have warned you) is accessories. Bracelets clank against her wheels when she pushes herself, so she only wears them for special occasions, but she loves them - along with anything else sparkly, to be honest. She's like a blonde magpie.

Have they ever been bullied or shamed because of their looks? Explain!

No-one would dare bully Lorna Rosen. She's too sassily awesome and her best friend has far too good a right hook. (One person tried to call her a sp*z once, and TIPPED HER OUT OF HER WHEELCHAIR. Once Grace was through with him, no-one ever tried again.)

What she is used to is the judgemental looks. The genuinely curious ones from kids aren't really as bad, although their parents always pull them away anyway. The horrible stares are the ones from adults who try to pretend they're not looking, or attempt to be nice by smiling in a less-than-faintly patronising way.

It's nice that they're trying to be nice, but it doesn't feel great to be treated like a five year old.

Are they happy with how they look? If they could change anything about their appearance, what would it be?

Lorna tells people she's comfortable with herself and her looks - and for the most part, she is. But, if she's going to be more honest than she even is with Grace, she feels like she has to wear makeup and accessorise herself to be treated like a real human being sometimes. Which of course she hates, but something compels her to do it anyway.
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  1. ohhh Lorna sounds AMAZING. And yay for morning people!! I don't know why it's such a rare thing, actually. Mornings are the best. Particularly pre-sunrise. :') Ahem. Anyway she sounds like a really spectacular character and I could totally picture her after this! LOVE IT.
    Thanks for joining in!

    1. ohhh I'm really glad you like her! Unfortunately, I am not a morning person. It is a rare thing because - while morning people are brilliant and generally get a lot more done than mere mortals - getting up early is difficult. Sad, but true.

      Thank you so much for the awesome questions and I'm sorry for the formatting issues earlier. It must have made the post pretty hard to read! (oops ...) Hopefully I've fixed them now.

  2. Hair that turns color during the seasons? That's so cool! Now that you've mentioned it. I've noticed some people I know have hair like that. ^ ^ Her pink wheelchair sounds awesome. Just from what you've showed us about her appearance, she sounds like a really dynamic character!

    I've done Beautiful People too this month:

    1. Aww, thanks Victoria! I'm glad I'm not the only one who thinks Lorna and her pink wheelchair are awesome ;-) Also, dynamic is a very appropriate word to describe her. I'd probably go for ball of energetic ridiculousness, but yours certainly sounds more professional...

      Thanks for sharing your link! I'll go have a look right now.


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