Beautiful People Part II (August): Introducing Phaidra Callas-Yu (Red as Blood)

10928109_595959117172101_1450331761_nWhen I saw August’s theme, and Cait’s awesome gifs to go with it, I just knew that I had to drop the Seven Sisters in favor of another extremely important character in Red as Blood: Sull’s stepmother, the formidable model, dancer, and actress “Calla Fay.”

No Snow White retelling would be complete without it’s “evil queen,” and since this BP was all about appearances, it’s too perfect.

But first, a little bio:
Name: Phaidra Yu, nee Callas          Nickname: Calla Fay

Age: 25     Height: 1.82 meters       Weight: Really?

Phaidra Callas burst onto the modelling scene at the young age of fourteen. From the beginning, her startling beauty, poise, and charming sweetness made her a star, and agencies were practically fighting to sign her. Nevertheless, she kept her current manager (her mother) until her mother's tragic passing in a freak accident when Phaidra was sixteen. 
Phaidra disappeared (presumably in mourning) for a month, and then came back as "Calla Fay" the female face of SnøFall - the groundbreaking fashion line by young designer Yu Hayato  (유 하야토). This was the first time she met Yu, and his motherless son, who was the other face of SnøFall. Phaidra's star continued to rise, and she made further news by marrying Yu four years later. The "King and Queen of Galactic Fashion" were unstoppable - or so everyone thought.
  1. Give a brief overview of their looks. (Include a photo if you want!)

I imagine that Phaidra looks quite a bit like this photo of classic actress and beauty, Gene Tierney
I imagine that Phaidra looks quite a bit like this photo of classic actress and beauty, Gene Tierney
Hair: Natural black      Eyes: Lavender-grey
Skin: Flawless ivory

2. Share a snippet that involves description of their appearance.

Well – I don’t actually have a snipped that describes Phaidra right now (since I’m playing around with first person), but I will share one of the random snippets I wrote about her as a practice exercise/character development tool. Note that it probably won’t be part of the book and it’s completely unedited, but it gives you a little taste –

The woman was undeniably beautiful, with her doe-eyed expression and milky white limbs curving through the swaths of silver and gold, but it was the child who stole your breath away. It was hard to look at the woman with him there, this creature of nearly indeterminate gender, whose dark eyes held more sorrow than any child’s should. It was then, after looking close, that you might notice the woman again. You might see how her hand rested on the child’s shoulder, a little too heavy for comfort. You might note how her long, silky black hair draped onto the child, mixing with his own locks in a tangle of confusion. Then you would notice how even the extra fabric from her dress somehow shrouded the child, framing his small body and miring his feet in a swamp of exquisite silk. Last of all, you would look back into her eyes, so clear and crystalline that they might have been liquid, and you might feel uncomfortable when you saw how empty they were. And you would turn away, and try to forget their expressions – but you couldn’t get their frozen stares out of your mind. It’s just an ad, you would think to yourself, it doesn’t mean anything.

3. What is the first thing people might notice about them?

Phaidra’s eyes. They are piercing, crystalline lavender grey, with extra long lashes and an extraordinary sparkle to them. Though she has been (quietly) accused of enhancing them, no records exist to prove it.

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

Phaidra’s only “imperfection” is a tiny, heart-shaped mole under her left eye. Otherwise, her skin seems poreless, and her features are suspiciously symmetrical.

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

Phaidra is around 5 ft, 10 inches tall (just a couple of inches shorter than her husband).

Delicate bone structure, immaculate features, and a perfectly proportioned, long-limbed, graceful body made Phaidra one of the most galactically popular models of all time. She has been voted the “Most Beautiful Woman in the Galaxy” for the past six years.

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

Phaidra carries herself like royalty. She is the queen of a fashion empire, after all. Her posture is perfect, and she moves with an unhurried grace that has been compared to large, predatory cats.

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

Minimal makeup and exclusive designer loungewear that cost more than some average citizen’s house. One of the perks of being married to a designer is that Phaidra is never wearing the same thing as anyone else.

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

Phaidra’s trademark is a pair of silver crown shaped earrings that she never removes. They were rumored to be a gift from her mother, but she has never explained their origin. However, she refuses to take them off, so designers and stylists have had to work around them. Other than these, Phaidra wears whatever accessories are dictated by her current job.

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

Phaidra’s “perfect” looks have been under scrutiny ever since she debuted at fourteen as the face of a popular perfume. There has been a debate over everything from plastic-surgery to rumors that she was forced into modelling by her mother. However, ultimately it all comes down to how she looks. Despite the criticism and harsh accusations she’s received over the years, Phaidra seems to glow brightest when she’s being attacked, almost as if she welcomes any attention at all . . .

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

Yes. Phaidra has said that she would rather die than be ugly, and that her looks are really all she has. The only thing she would change is her age – though she’s only twenty-five, she lives in constant terror of her looks fading and wilting with age. There is an entire lab (funded by Phaidra herself) devoted to finding products and routines that will hold back her aging process as long as possible.

So that’s Phaidra, folks. Since this was all about looks, I feel like we only just scraped the darkness and complexity of her character – but that’s just too fitting. Most people (okay, characters in my world) have evaluated/judged Phaidra by looks alone. As you all know, this can lead to misconceptions, misjudgments, and be a terrible mistake.

So what did you think? How important are appearances to your current characters? Red as Blood is the first project of mine to have appearances be pivotal to the plot!

 Did you all do this month’s BP? If so, leave a link so I can check yours out!



6 thoughts on “Beautiful People Part II (August): Introducing Phaidra Callas-Yu (Red as Blood)”

  1. She sounds really cool! I love her name and that you chose a classic actress for her picture. There’s a special kind of beauty in those old photos since you know no photoshop was involved. I think you can tell a lot about a character just from their appearance. I’ve seen some people not like this month’s questions because “it doesn’t go into the same depth as others.” But I think appearance can reveal a level of depth in of itself.

    My BP:

  2. You know how you mentioned that Red As Blood is a Snow White retelling? Well, your description of Phaidra’s appearance reminded me of Snow White. Except she’s sort of Snow White as the “evil queen.” Very cool. *thumbs up*

    I get the feeling that there’s a psychological demon lurking under that model facade. (Or maybe there’s a real one… Hmmmmm…. ) The little hints you left about Phaidra’s personality give the impression that her beauty is a “front” to a snooty, manipulative diva, a woman who acts like and sees herself as a queen of sorts. There were other little parallels to the evil queen (the crown-shaped earrings, her expensive and exclusive taste in clothing, her aversion to aging / ugliness) that were woven into her character, and I thought that was very clever.

    I would say that I like Phaidra… but I typically get a strong, visceral reaction to characters like her, and that was the case here. But that means you’ve done your job as a writer, and I’d still like to know more about her in the future (if you were to do another BP on her again). 😉

    Btw, just so you know, I originally wrote “snotty” instead of “snooty.” XD

    1. “Btw, just so you know, I originally wrote “snotty” instead of “snooty.” XD”

      Actually, both work.

      YESSS – I always pictured Phaidra as more of the classic SW, and she’s a bit of a mirror to Sull (who shares her more misanthropic tendencies). Also, the whole “beauty=good and beauty=bad” thing in Snow White has always fascinated me. The heroine is lovely and kind, but not clever (which sets her apart from a lot of fairytale characters). The villain is basically what Snow White could become, if she let her beauty define her. And she has a heckuva CREEPY fixation on Snow White, in my opinion.
      *Beams because Sara has noted all my little nods to the original story*

      So since I genderbent it a bit (Sull being Snow White, or rather, the protag), that changed the dynamics a bunch. And I set it in the world of high fashion, in space. So there’s that. I feel like Phaidra will pop up again, since she is so pivotal to the story. And yeah, she’s a complete, true sociopath: she’s aware of her behavior, and yet she puts up a perfectly crafted front. It’s not that she can’t be sympathetic or have her reasons, it’s just that she’s still a monster. A beautiful monster 😉

      Thanks for your comment/insight!
      <3 R

  3. As I was reading this, I picked up on the same things Sara L mentioned. This queen of fashion is like a Snow White turned dark–and I can’t wait to learn even more about her! Her darker secrets, that is. 😉 The “snippet” you shared is fabulous and had me in chills. That would be quite a TV ad to see!
    Are you planning on making Red As Blood first-person?

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