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The Inhumanly Beautiful Race is a fictional non-human species that is always, nearly without fail, incredibly good looking. Not only are they good looking, but they tend to be described as better looking than the vast majority of humans could ever hope to be. When describing their beauty, authors tend to use terms like "inhuman", "otherworldly" and "ethereal". Depending on the author, such a species may inspire either simple chaste appreciation, or immediate and profound arousal. In extreme cases, their looks are so incredible as to act as almost a form of Glamour, instantly become the center of attention (and desire) everywhere they go.
While this concept can be found in all forms of media, it usually this works best in a non-visual medium. With a novel, the reader can imagine their own ideal of beauty. In a live action work, it may become a case of a subjective judgement of Informed Attractiveness.
Angels and Elves almost invariably fall under this trope, and The Fair Folk are often included. Physical Gods can easily do so. In recent years, Vampires have also increasingly been portrayed as having inhuman hotness, in contrast to older versions where they looked more like walking corpses. And it goes without saying for succubi.
In order to make this not-subjective, examples should only be of cases where the race is described as being this in-universe, either in the narration or by other characters.
- In the world of Elf Quest, most humans tend to feel this way about the elves. It sometimes provokes humans to extreme behavior, for good or evil.
- In Star Wars, the Diathim from the moons of Iego are known as "angels" and Anakin describes them as "the most beautiful creatures in the universe" (relaying stories he'd heard from spacers).
- Most vampires (except the Black Court) in The Dresden Files take on good looking forms, but the White Court vampires are an embodiment of Vampires Are Sex Gods meets Inhumanly Beautiful Race.
- In Twilight, all the Cullens are described as being impossibly beautiful, with Edward being metaphorically referred to as a god.
- Meyer in general has a very strange obsession with physical beauty, as all vampires are damn good looking in Twilight. Depending on what they looked like as a human, they will become even more attractive after they've been turned into a vampire. The Cullens, who were already good looking as humans, became drop dead gorgeous as vampires.
- Elves in JRR Tolkien's works are almost invariably described as being good-looking. The three best looking females in Middle-earth are all part elvish. The Valar and Maiar also count, although they cheat -- their bodies are artificial and custom-made, so their beauty is limited only by imagination and how Fallen they've become.
- Elves in The Witcher series, too, though unlike in Tolkien's works, their Beauty most definitely doesn't Equal Goodness
- Elves, again, in the Arcia Chronicles are exceptionally beautiful, which is justified by their species being many times older than humans, meaning that they represent the peak of humanoid evolution (frozen in time thanks to their immortality) while humans are still getting there. On the other hand, it is also deconstructed because perfect physique and looks means that all elves (of the same gender) look the same to humans, as their physical differences are so minimal that only fellow elves can spot them. Hair/eye color and clothes are the only way mortal races can tell elves they don't know personally apart.
- Yet again, Elves in the Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini. Their beauty is often described as angular and delicate looking, while emitting a sense of great strength. The elves inhuman beauty is referred to several times throughout the series and some elves go as far as to modify their appearance and attributes using magic. They are stated to be beautiful without exception and are noted as being of flawless skin, hair and figure.
- Selelvians from the Star Trek Expanded Universe. Which makes sense because they're Space Elves.
- The Veela in Harry Potter. They are beautiful women with long silver-blonde hair, blue eyes, shining skin and perfect teeth. Although they have supernatural powers to seduce men and hypnotise them, so it is possible that Harry's description of them is a little exaggerated. They have one downside though: piss them off and they turn into crazy bird monsters that throw fire at you.
Arthur Weasley: And that, boys, is why you should never go for looks alone!
- The Elves in the Hollow Kingdom Trilogy are described as being much better looking than humans. Also, the difference betweeen the beauty of elvish nobility to elvish commoners is compared in-story to the difference of an elvish commoner and a human.
- Jacqueline Carey's Kushiel's Legacy series has the D'Angelines, who impress every other people with their beauty.
- The demonic Kialli in Michelle West's The Sun Sword books are inhumanly beautiful. In the same author's Chronicles of Elantra books, it is the immortal Barrani who are repeatedly described as perfect.
- In The Chronicles of Narnia, dryads and merfolk, at least from Lucy's point of view.
- Example from Sci-Fi: Lois McMaster Bujold's Vorkosigan Saga features the Cetagandan Empire, whose ruling caste are unsurpassed master of genetic engineering. All of the haut are amazingly, superhumanly attractive, particularly the women.
- Almost all of the major Martian races in John Carter of Mars are incredibly attractive Human Aliens (except for the very inhuman Green Martians). Lampshaded with the First Born, aka Black Martians- Carter notes that as a Civil War-era southerner he's not used to dark skin being considered attractive but even so he can't help but feel that the First Born's black skin only adds to their beauty.
- The Nobles and Dhampyrs in Vampire Hunter D tend to be inhumanly beautiful and charismatic until they reveal their monstrous side. The titular character's superhuman beauty is often described at least a page's worth in every novel.
- The 'Eletians' in the Green Rider series are often described as having an otherworldly beauty that somehow seems to bend light towards them, probably through their innate magic.
Religion and Mythology
- Almost all the gods of Classical Mythology were inhumanly good looking, with the notable exception of Hephaestus.
- The Fae in Middle English mythology were known for their beauty, and unsurprisingly they were the inspiration behind Tolkein's elves.
- Nymphs in Dungeons and Dragons are described as being so beautiful that they can make characters go blind just from seeing them.
- The elves from Magic the Gathering's Lorwyn set. Their caste system runs on how beautiful they are and they will often hunt other species that they deem uglier than they.
- In New World of Darkness:
- The whole Daeva clan from Vampire: The Requiem. In their Clan Book it is stated that they're "stronger, faster and sexier than you". Even before the embrace they are already attractive humans; after it they become inhumanly beautiful, partly because of their discipline, Majesty, that allows them to bedazzle people with their presence. The clan book does make a point of the fact that anyone who knows enough about the Daeva (including the Daeva themselves) tends to find something off about them because their beauty is artificial and they are incapable of love. One of the illustrators noted that the Daeva are essentially sex objects rather than people.
- Galateids in Promethean: The Created are, to the last, made from the bodies of the young and beautiful who were unmarred by the process of death. This makes all social interactions a breeze, at least, until the Disquiet kicks in. The main reason they undertake the Pilgrimage is that it's no use being inhumanly beautiful and alluring if everyone's going to turn on you in the end.
- Then there are the Fairest from Changeling: The Lost. Remade as lovers and playthings to the Gentry, they are beautiful to the last (though not all of them in the most conventional sense), extremely skilled at social interaction, and have a buy-in with the Contracts of Vainglory, which ramp up their beauty and influence to superhuman levels.
- The Old World of Darkness gameline Changeling: The Dreaming has the sidhe. At character creation, the sidhe automatically apply two dots to their Appearance score. As Appearance automatically starts at 1, this means every sidhe ranges from Appearance 3 ("Hey, he's kinda cute.") to Appearance 5 ("I worship at your feet, my lady!").
- Eldar in Warhammer 40000 are said to look like beautiful humans, but also that they're so graceful it's creepy.
- Uncorrupt Horus Heresy and Great Crusade era Space Marines who have not suffered great disfigurement are generally described as being beautiful to an obviously inhuman standard. This being 40k however, the idea's twisted just a little; the sheer visual difference of a Space Marine also further marks him as posthuman, and can easily veer into the Uncanny Valley. Start combining this with Chaos and things can get even weirder.
- The Eberron Campaign Setting gives us Kalashtar, a near-human psionic race--and, of course, elves.
- The Asari in Mass Effect are a genderless race of aliens with natural phychic and telepathic powers, that mates by close telepathic contact and can do that with every known humanoid species in the galaxy, as the genetic material is entirely taken from the mother. Despite almost universally considering each other ugly, all the other species consider Asari very attractive and looking similar to them. It even works on Salarians, who reproduce as hives in which the vast majority of individuals are males that never have sex in their entire live, and also somehow seems to affect people who only see pictures or recordings of Asari without being near one.
- The quarians seemed to have developed into this too, with various races finding them attractive (and a popular feature in 'Fornax'). Even Javik notes that primitive quarians were considered attractive 50,000 years ago by his people.
- Faeling in Lusternia tend towards this. Even - especially - the Drow-esque shadow faeling, despite their ashy complexion and crimson eyes.