I’ve seen a few of these posts now, whether via Tumblr or some other place (no I don’t have a Tumblr*. Some filters onto Facebook though) that whinnily whine, [high-pitched mockery voice]”Stop making villains pretty!”[/voice]
And to that, I say, pinching my eyebrows in, frowning, drawing head back slightly and to the side, “No.”
I say this because unless you are specifically saying, “I feel as though the stereotype for villains has shifted from hideous with some exceptions for super sexy yet promiscuous women to super pretty men that make women foolishly swoon and therefore there’s no real reason for villains to be pretty, it’s just The Thing To Do and it’s ridiculous, put some thought into your villains and stop making them pretty just ‘cuz that’s what’s in chic,” in which case we’re cool, you’re probably saying, “Villains are evil, and evil can’t or shouldn’t be pretty.” Or perhaps, if you’re a specific kind of guy, “It was cool when the villains appealed to me, but it’s bothering me that all the girls around here are [foolishly] swooning over the baddies.” I don’t mean to make this a sexism issue, but that does apply to at least one of the posts about it I’ve seen. Some guys just can’t handle girls who are into evil.
I’m sorry, I was having a flashback to that one date where the guy showed true character by not fleeing in terror after I said “I’m an evil overlord” despite the fact I could tell he wanted to by the look on his face. You thought I was just some short cutie back at P.F. Chang’s, didn’t you? You should have asked the tall blonde out instead. (hahaha jk asking her out wouldn’t have been better. In the long run, anyway.)
Anyway here’s the skinny: evil can be anything.
Evil can be gorgeous.
Evil can be hideous.
Evil can be adorable.
And you know what else evil can be? Anything.
So stop it. Stop whining that evil shouldn’t look pretty because one of the most important tools is that nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition.
I mean deception. For Evil. Evil is disguised as a gorgeous girl or guy. It’s anything. It’s everything. Everything you ever wanted. That’s the beauty of writing a villain, there are no limits. If you’re analyzing the face of villains, that’s one thing. But if it’s because you think evil can’t be pretty, you’re very mistaken. And remember – Hollywood gets that people would rather spend their time looking at very pretty people on a screen so there’s that. Books have less of an excuse. But seriously, either get analytical on it or stuff it and stop trying to limit what a character can be. Especially villains.
*Technically, I made a Tumblr account for one of my characters…but then I realize that to stay in character, especially without him being established i.e. published, things were going to get too creepy way too fast, so it’s inactive (it’s Vince, a sociopathic psychopath who especially likes to target teenage girls. Yeaaah). It’s been inactive for many, many years now.
*I actually think chest hair is gross, but I guess a lot of other women (and gay men and whonot) find it appealing so whatever.