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Snow White's Wicked Stepmother checks her success in her Magic Mirror

"When a woman stays young and beautiful forever, the world is hers."
Queen Ravenna, Snow White and the Huntsman

So, by studying magic or through being extraordinarily gifted genetically, you've managed to acquire the power to cast flashy destructive spells, Brainwashed people en masse, and pretty much bend the whole of reality to your will. What is the first thing you do?

Well... if you're a woman, the first thing you probably do is use your magic to make yourself look like a Vogue cover model. As villains tend to be defined by their vices, it's only natural then, that female villains would gravitate towards vanity.

While any sorceress who looks over 40 runs the risk of being ridiculed for her less than perfect looks, ancient-looking wizards, Warlocks and male magic users are rarely subject to the same kind of ribbing. They will also be far less likely to fly off of the handle when called "Old man" or "Gramps", even when they have no grandchildren. Many of them may actually be trying to purposely cultivate the "wizened old man" look to inspire respect or get their enemies to underestimate them. It should be noted that some female characters do act this way as well, but they're going for the obvious smartalecky hag gimmick, which only in recent years has become popular enough to be taken seriously.

The Vain Sorceress might just be a particular version of the rule that in fantasy stories, all female main characters must appear youthful in appearance regardless of age. This is especially true for female mages who are associated with big strong virile warriors as their tanks; the difference between a good mage and the Vain Sorceress is only about 30% less clothing and 30% more purple dye.

The Vain Sorceress' youthfulness is often related to a specific power, where the character has to maintain their appearance by sucking energy from the young — if not be an outright vampire. Evil sorceresses tend to be far more obsessed with the perfection of their appearance, and go to further lengths to maintain it than good ones will. They may even go so far as to pull a Grand Theft Me, stealing a younger, prettier body to act as the vessel for their soul. In any case, they have to be the Fairest of Them All... by any means necessary.

If there's a Black Magician Girl in the hero's party, the Vain Sorceress will mock her unrefined, tomboyish look and intentionally flirt with the hero to make her mad. If there isn't, she'll mock the White Magician Girl's naivete. This again goes back to her vanity: the presence of other, younger females that spend most of their time with the good-looking heroic opposition means that putting them down and preserving her top spot is naturally a high priority.

This leads close to being an Always Female trope, as male characters who acts this way are usually depicted as very fey if not outright effeminate. Works that believe All Women Are Vain are just about guaranteed to have at least one Vain Sorceress running around.

Sometimes the Vain Sorceress is the Dark Magical Girl all grown up, so the heroine is the 'good' version. If the protagonist is a young male, this can venture into unintended Freudian overtones.

If the Vain Sorceress suffers from the Green-Eyed Monster, she often features as the Fairest of Them All. Usually delights in answering Revenge SVPs.

Note: this trope doesn't have anything to do with shapeshifting, deceptive illusion, or the more drastic physical changes that a male or female magic user may undergo in their campaign against an enemy. This is strictly a vanity thing. (It's interesting to note however, how much prettier and more human-looking a female mage's monstrous forms are compared to those of a male mage.)

Contrast the Wicked Witch, who is equally villainous but lacks the beauty, and the Hot Witch, who has the beauty but lacks or tones down the obsession. If this person is also much older than they seem, then they are Really Seven Hundred Years Old.

Examples of Vain Sorceress include:


  • Naruto features two characters who use unnatural means to keep themselves looking young. Tsunade (a heroic example) uses a jutsu to adjust her apparent age (mostly to keep herself looking pretty, but sometimes as a way to elude creditors). Orochimaru uses the Grand Theft Me approach, hi-jacking the bodies of attractive young men (and women) to serve as the vessels for his soul, and thus, achieve immortality.
    • Seeing as how Orochimaru usually defaults to his normal appearance unless he wants to try a stealth approach to something, he is more really just trying to live forever and pick up his host's jutsu along the way. If his preferred host happens to be a looker, it's really just icing more than a specific objective.
  • Record of Lodoss War features Karla, a witch who must steal the bodies of others to survive. Although she can possess anyone she chooses, she prefers to possess beautiful, young, magically-talented females (like Laylia the priestess), which may be just enough to qualify her for this trope.
  • Taiitsukun from Fushigi Yuugi is not a Vain Sorceress, but is an interesting example of a magical old hag who has a beautiful true form. (Her true identity is actually that of the Jade Emperor, the (male) ruler of Heaven.)
  • Used as an Inverted Trope in Slayers: Lina Inverse, being something of a late bloomer, is always on the lookout for any magical item that will increase her apparent age (and with it, her bust and hip measurements).
    • Naga in the movies fits this trope to a T.
  • Alcyone from Magic Knight Rayearth — the normally polite-to-a-fault Fuu (who even addresses monsters as "Monster-san") seemed to make it a point to always point out her not being young.
  • Evangeline A.K. McDowell from Negima normally has the appearance of a 10-year old girl (being a vampire, she doesn't age), but switches to a sexy adult woman form if she wants to be taken seriously - at least by adults - or wishes to flaunt her adult form's sex appeal (particularly to 10-year-old Negi, and often while naked; she seems to like seeing his flustered and embarrassed reaction).
  • Big Bad Dante from the 2003 anime version of Fullmetal Alchemist turns out to be a several centuries old Body Surfer who has routinely switched bodies (and created a conspiracy to make the government create desperation that would drive people into making new Philosopher's Stones she can steal and use to fuel her repeated body-hopping) to keep herself from growing old and dying.
  • Princess Vina in Dragon Half uses magic to make herself look like a beautiful teenage girl... not because she's old (she really is a teenager), but because in her natural body she's a small purple slime.
  • Tsubaki the Dark Priestess from Inuyasha wanted the Shikon no Tama to keep her power, youth and beauty, and as a strike for not being chosen as its keeper despite her abilities. She tried to steal it from Kikyou, with less than positive consequences (Kikyou ends up cursed, and in the anime her little sister Kaede loses an eye in the fight).
  • Queen Nehelenia from Sailor Moon, so very much. She consumed the dreams of the young and happy to stay beautiful, because she caught a glimpse of her ugly future self in her Magic Mirror and was terrified. In the first anime, this was partially an after-effect of said Magic Mirror putting the whammy on her. She was still crazy and vain enough to choose being imprisoned in said mirror than losing her good looks, until Sailor Galaxia released her.
    • The Ayakashi Sisters were The Psycho Rangers of the R Season, and to remark on such a role they were always taunting each other about not looking young (the eldest sister, Petz, was the most usual butt of jokes) and applying make-up to their pretty faces when off-duty. In the first anime they're actually more heroic than the standard and ultimately have Heel Face Turns, becoming the owners of a small make-up store in the process.
    • To a smaller degree, also Green Esmeraude.
  • Related: in Katekyo Hitman Reborn, Mammon says that it is common for female illusionists to make their bodies disappear during their death throes so they don't leave an unsightly corpse behind. He thinks this is what is happening when Chrome's body disappears, but she is actually quite alive and ready to continue the fight.
  • Grimm's Fairy Tale Classics had an episode, "The Crystal Ball", where an evil witch murdered a beautiful older woman and stole her identity. To keep herself beautiful and young, she keeps a very beautiful princess trapped in her castle, and performed an unholy ritual every night where she bites into her neck and drains her off her lifeforce, and leaves her a rotting corpse. The princess revives within a matter of seconds after the ritual is performed, but understandably lives in fear of the witch and her rituals. When the murdered woman's sons find out what is going on, she turns two of them into animals, but the youngest escapes and is able to destroy her and rescue the poor princess.
    • In the English and Hebrew Dub, the scenes with the biting were removed, and she simply switches ages with the princess. This is actually closer to the original story. The Spanish changed it to drinking her youth, but showed the biting.
  • Togenishia from Hana no Ko Lunlun. She can summon powerful winds, but doing so drains her of energy and brings lots of temporary wrinkles to her face. Therefore she whines a LOT about using her powers and relays more in trickery, manipulation and her henchman Yabooki's antics.

Comic Books

  • Somewhat Justified in the case of the X-Men opponent Selene in that even if she did not regenerate, use her various Psychic Powers, or cast any of the spells she has picked up over the centuries she has to drain life from others just to stay alive. One may ask if it would be more efficient to let herself age past thirty or so, but not to her face if you like being healthy.
    • Note that it's not a case of merely natural aging; if she goes too long without a Life Energy fix, she starts to revert to her true age-- of about ten thousand years or so. Dust to dust.
    • It's implied that her Good Counterpart (or at least Less Evil Counterpart) Emma Frost uses her psychic powers to appear slightly more beautiful than she already is. Considering she's one of the few comic book characters to admit to plastic surgery, it doesn't take too much effort.
  • Sistah Spooky had made a Deal with the Devil to become much more beautiful, her sorcerous powers were an accidental bonus. She plays it straight later when she gets into power-throwing jealously fits if it feels like no one appreciates her good looks. Considering what they cost her...
  • Subverted in Fables: Frau Totenkinder is one of, if not the most powerful sorceress in existence. Part of this granted her eternal life and beauty, but she intentionally aged herself to become an old lady, so that she would not be distracted by her youth. Or by handsome princes who she wanted to curse/not fall in love with.
    • Similarly subverted in the original Shadow Man series by Valiant Comics - when the hundreds of years old voodoo housekeeper Nettie (who normally looks about 70 or so) is super-charged by a potent increase in magic in the world, she reflexively reverts to the young (and devastatingly beautiful) appearance she had when she was in her 20s. The subversion stems from the fact that she reveals she was ALWAYS capable of making this change, but never wanted to - in fact, she's incredibly annoyed by her youth and just wants to go back to being old.


  • The ultimate example may be the Wicked Queen from Snow White; moreso in the Disney Animated Canon version, whose character design was reputedly based on Katherine Hepburn. This example also illustrates the primary paradox intrinsic to this trope: Why would an intelligent, powerful woman like the Queen be so crazily obsessed over something as seemingly paltry as mere physical appearance? Sure, vanity might explain part of it, but to go so far as to seek the death of a rival (who is actually not even be aware of her grudge), and undergo a painful transformation to disguise herself so that she could personally carry out a murder plot? Seems a bit over the top, but then again, that's the warping nature of evil for you.
    • In an anime adaptation, she wants to steal Snow White's body instead. And it's revealed that she's not actually the Queen, but stole her body instead when she was a child. She (or even 'it') may have spent generations Body Surfing from beauty queen to beauty queen...
    • In some of the earliest versions of the tale, the Wicked Queen fears Snow White's maturing beauty because it symbolizes her impending death due to an ancient mythological trope that a person's child is his or her replacement — and she is Snow White's biological mother (not step-mother). So her efforts to kill Snow White are not based on physical vanity, but on a desperate hunger for immortality.
    • The book Fairest of All implies that the root behind her attempt at killing Snow White was predicated more due to insecurities and an inferiority complex as a result of her mirror-making father being emotionally abusive towards her, never acknowledging her beauty even once, which worsened after Snow White's father died. It should be noted that before said death, the Evil Queen did in fact genuinely care for Snow White.
  • Maleficent, in Disney's Sleeping Beauty (although she is technically a fairy rather than a sorceress). Her grudge against the title heroine is based on other factors, but this 'tall, dark and lethal' lady clearly hasn't neglected her looks. Oddly enough, the VHS cover blurb for the 1997 release of the film implied that the reason she cursed Aurora was due to jealousy regarding the latter's beauty, even though in the film itself, she never had any personal grudge against Aurora (the curse was more as revenge towards her parents for not inviting her, if even that since she implied to Queen Leah that she would have cursed Aurora anyways even if he had in fact been invited), let alone jealousy of her beauty.
  • A live action example can be seen in Excalibur: Morgana Le Fay uses her magical powers to keep herself looking young into middle age. Interestingly, when Merlin goes into her dream and tricks her into casting a powerful mist spell, she releases so much energy that she ages far beyond what her natural age was originally.
    • In fact, just about any evil sorceress in any show, (especially those who use a forbidden, "sacrificial" form of magic to maintain their appearance) will wind up becoming old and wrinkly — or turning to dust completely — once their power is broken.
  • Rare, non-fey male example: Merlin's Shop of Mystical Wonders (which 99% of viewers probably saw on Mystery Science Theater 3000) featured a jerkish newspaper reviewer who dabbled in magic and discovered that doing so caused him to age rapidly. He then concocted a spell to make himself young again, but it worked a little too well...
  • The witches in Hocus Pocus spend all their time looking for children to suck the life out of to make themselves look younger, with the added impetus once they've been resurrected of having to do this or they'll turn to dust. At one point, the 8(?)-year-old heroine says, "It doesn't matter how young or old you are. You sold your soul! You're the ugliest thing that's ever lived! And you know it!"
  • Return to Oz features a witch who collects pretty female heads, and swaps between them like another woman changes dresses. (The idea came from the novel Ozma Of Oz, although the character was far less malevolent and more ditzy.)
  • Countess Dracula, a 1971 Hammer horror film based on the legends surrounding the "Blood Countess" Elizabeth Bathory. The Countess restores her youth and beauty by bathing in the blood of murdered virgins. While in her rejuvenated state, she takes the identity of her own daughter; a plan that gets complicated when her actual daughter returns home.
  • The 1985 film Rainbow Brite and the Star Stealer featured one of these as the primary antagonist.
  • Possibly the sorceress Azkedellia from the Sci-Fi original movie Tin Man. While she doesn't obsess over her looks, she's too beautiful to be a standard Wicked Witch, so...
    • Azkedellia's true nature is eventually revealed as a victim of Grand Theft Me. Although the evil witch possessing her is likely to be very old (possibly the Wicked Witch defeated by The Grey Gale) Azkedellia herself still retains her perfectly natural youth. She's roughly the same age as the protagonist, after all.
  • In the Hugga Bunch TV Movie from the 80s, Witch/Queen Admira keeps herself young looking with the use of "young berries" which the 8-year-old heroine tries to procure for her aging grandmother. Of course, in the end she gets her karmic comeuppance when the key that unlocks the glass case in which the young-berry tree is kept gets left inside the case, after which time the sorceress rapidly ages and dies.
  • In The Brothers Grimm, the villainous Mirror Queen (Monica Bellucci) was so desperate to remain beautiful and unsullied as plague ravaged her lands that she cast a spell on herself to live forever. Unfortunately, the spell didn't keep her from aging. Several centuries later, she's a bedridden old crone who sends out a hypnotized henchman to kidnap twelve young girls from a nearby village to prepare a ritual that will restore her beauty at the cost of the girls' lives. Her eternally-youthful reflection in a magic mirror is key to putting other people under her power. She succeeds in regaining her youth, but Jacob smashes the mirror and she shatters, though the final shot reveals she may not be completely dead. At least the girls are rescued.
  • In Stardust, the witches' motivation for cutting out the Star's heart is to regain youth permanently and to a notably lesser extent, to become more powerful. There is a Lampshade Hanging on the trope, as the witch assigned to catch the star keeps using magic to keep a youthful appearance, and even though her sisters also desire youth, they scold her for wasting it.
  • Like the original tale, in Snow White a Tale of Terror Claudia is enamored with her physical appearance to the point that the magic mirror shows her to be beautiful in moments when she's not.
  • Although more the standard Evil Witch, Ursula from The Little Mermaid, or more accurately her human disguise Vanessa, has shades of this trope in play, if her reprise is of any indication where she commented that she looked divine.


  • Tascela in Robert E. Howard's Conan story Red Nails.
  • Discworld's witches are generally an exception; they intentionally cultivate the "hag" image, and very few are willing to mock them. Of course, the local rules of magic state that the natural shape of a witch or wizard quickly reasserts itself, so it's pointless for them to try to change their appearance.
    • Although when Magrat marries the king, she briefly muses that she might have to become a Witch Queen, which probably involves wearing revealing clothes.
      • Then again, considering Magrat doesn't exactly have much to reveal, it's probably for the best that she settled for a more sensible look and prefers ruling as a rather benevolent, if slightly too liberal and modern, queen.
    • During the Sourceror's reign, many UU wizards initially tried to youthen themselves with the more powerful magic. Unfortunately, as mentioned above, it didn't take too well, and having fifty years of aging coming back and suckerpunching you in the gut will ruin anyone's day.
    • Lady Lilith, Granny Weatherwax's evil older sister, looks pretty much like Esme would if she were fifty years younger. This is due to a highly dangerous use of mirror magic.
  • In The Magic Goes Away all mages use youth spells to extend their life spans. However, the female mage has the lowest physical age.
  • A rare case of male character is Gerald Tarrant in the Coldfire Trilogy who systematically uses his magical powers to keep himself neat, well dressed and handsome. Although Damien frequently makes fun of his vanity, he also notices that it has a very practical bonus- Tarrant is always at his best appearance, and this helps him to make quite an impression.
  • In Stardust, the witches' motivation for cutting out the Star's heart is to regain youth permanently and to a notably lesser extent, to become more powerful.
  • In a subplot of Never Trust a Dead Man by Vivian Vande Velde, Deadpan Snarker mentor Elswyeth (a witch) spends much of the book collecting ingredients for a spell to make herself young. This is mostly an Aversion, however, since her motives are practical rather than aesthetic (fewer aches and pains, a longer lifespan) and her young form is not particularly attractive.
  • In The Witcher world it's so common that it not only gets Lampshaded, but outright deconstructed. Virtually all the sorceresses are like this, at least in the Northern Kingdoms. This is due to the fact that while magical talent is distributed pretty evenly among population, it is, for all its anachronisms, a late Medieval period, when a woman's purpose in life was marriage and motherhood. So, only girls who had a chance to take up magic were the ones with the worst marriage prospects — read, butt-ugly at best, if not outright cripples. Furthermore, there's a matter of prestige — Mages Guild couldn't allow its members to soil its image by their ugliness... Wizards mostly go for the respectable, wizened look instead. But then, Sapkowski loves to deconstruct everything.
  • In David Eddings' Belgariad Prequel Belgarath the Sorcerer, a sorcerer's appearance seems to be connected to their mental image. While the original sorcerer Belgarath deliberately goes for either the old vagabond storyteller look or the hale and hearty old man appearance (and is still in remarkable physical shape, come to think of it, enough that many women find him very attractive), his daughter Polgara always looks quite stunning. She notes that an old women is called a "crone" for a reason, and cronehood isn't exactly her idea of a positive impression.
    • Given that in this setting sorcerers shapechange simply by thoroughly visualizing their new body (no incantation or ritual), very low level leakage from the subconscious should make this a reasonable side effect of simply living for a few millennia. Probably explains the muscles, too - all that exercise accumulating without the atrophy (you notice the former happening more). May even explain the immortality.
  • Piers Anthony's earlier Xanth novels feature Iris, a sorceress who uses illusions to maintain her aura of beauty — although that was a bit less out of vanity for its own sake than the knowledge that it gave her an advantage in dealing with men. Later, Golem in the Gears featured the Sea-Hag, who used the body stealing version of this trope to live for thousands of years.
    • In the Apprentice Adept series, the Yellow Adept has, and occasionally uses, a potion to restore her youth. The difficulty of making it keeps her old most of the time.
  • Dorian from The Picture of Dorian Gray is pretty much the male poster for the trope, having expressed the desire to never age or show any flaws so he could stay young and be loved by everyone. His portrait became uglier and older every time he did something bad, while Dorian remained young and handsome.
  • This trope seems to be both subverted and played straight to a degree in the novel Howl's Moving Castle. The Witch of the Waste or at least the fire demon possessing her has attractive female forms as does the fire demon which masquerades as the school teacher Howl romances. On the other hand, Howl himself is extremely vain about his appearance, claims to be thousands of years old, and has a reputation for seducing pretty girls and taking their souls the stealing souls is figurative of him being a Casanova and a rumor he spread himself, and he's actually a young guy from Wales in "our world".
  • Ileana in Twitches who insists that other characters call her "Goddess".
  • In L. Frank Baum's Queen Zizi of Ix, Zizi's chief motivation is that while she makes herself beautiful in everyone else's eyes, she's still ugly in her own; she wants to fix that.
  • Mages (male and female) who obsess over looks and use their powers for cosmetic purposes sometimes figure on the fringes of Tamora Pierce's books, portrayed with varying levels of sympathy. Varice Kingsford from the Tortall Universe is part of the Big Bad's court and considered a waste of time at best by the protagonist, but is last seen sobbing amid the ruins of the palace (sans makeup) and saying that she just likes pretty things, and does that make her a bad person? Contrast the fourth Circle of Magic book, where a pox epidemic is traced back to a mage (one Eilisa Pearldrop, whose very name inspires contempt in the sensible mage protagonists) specializing in beauty magic, who messes up a weight-loss spell and, rather than pay for her magical waste to be disposed of safely, lets it get carried out in the sewage system, thereby creating a magically strengthened disease. Very unsexy.
    • Numair is literally a vain sorcerer, at least some of the time, but he doesn't fit into this trope very well, as he's a good person and knows when not to care about his appearance. One of his friends says he spends hours getting ready, then ruins his outfit by lying in the grass to watch meteor showers.
  • One of the Lord Darcy stories features a lord who uses a magical ritual to extend his youth. However, because of Equivalent Exchange, this reduces his lifespan; the vitality is going from his heart and lungs to his skin and hair.

Live Action TV

  • Not a mystic case, but the illusionist Candice of Heroes prefers to appear as Missy Perergrym, but as revealed in the second season, her real figure is about sixty pounds heavier.
  • In the Are You Afraid of the Dark? episode "The Tale of the Many Faces", a struggling model named Emma visits a strange woman named Madame Visage who gives her some powder that apparently helps her get a modeling job. (The powder didn't really do anything, considering that Emma was pretty to begin with) However, its revealed that Madame Visage is a Vain Sorceress and the face powder has properties that keeps girls faces looking younger and the skin smooth. She wants the faces to be in peak condition so that she can steal them and use them as her own face as a way to keep herself looking younger.
    • Another episode featured the beautiful owner of a cosmetics store who oddly enough for someone so vain avoids mirrors like the plague. Her beauty is only an illusion and mirrors reflect her true appearance as an old woman. She tries to use a magic ritual that involves turning young girls into dogs and cutting out their tongues in order to make her youth and beauty real. In the end a mirror is used to break her power which saves the girls and causes time to return to her and everything she owns including her store. The storyteller's ending line says it all:

 In the end, all that was left of her beautiful illusion was dust, and a pile of ugly rubble.

  • Vanessa Zeitgeist from the M.I. High episode "Forever Young" is the scientific version of this trope.
  • In the Kolchak the Night Stalker episode "The Youth Killer", Helen of Troy returns to drain the youth out of unsuspecting perfect victims, sacrifices for the goddess Hecate, in her quest for immortality.
  • The power of one Smallville Freak Of The Week was to absorb Life Energy to retain her youth. Like most villains with this ability, Rapid Aging eventually caught up with her.
  • Subverted with the character of Morgana in series four of Merlin. Though she's beautiful, she clearly takes little care of her appearance and wanders around in a black robe and incredibly messy hair.

Tabletop RPG

  • The Hag Queens of the Dark Elves in Warhammer, notably Morathi and Hellebron, who regularly bathe in blood to keep their eternal youth. Particularly relevant for Hellebron, who's only able to get a few days of youth every year. There's also Neferata, obsessed with living forever but, disliking the appearance of mummies or liches, invented vampires to preserve her beauty.
  • Exalted has a divine equivalent in the form of the storm mothers. Unlike the other examples, there's no way to make one of them pretty, and their natural appearance is utterly hideous. They express their vanity by making it so that no woman prettier than themselves (which is pretty much every mortal woman) can crew a ship in the West without calling down their wrath. They do provide a third option, however, allowing women to become the "third-gender" Tya if they want to take to the sea.
    • They also find it hard to affect red-haired women, due to the existence of a more powerful deity of sail who happens to be a redhead.


Video Games

  • This is also a running gag for the sorceress Marjolly, from the Nippon Ichi Marl Kingdom games (Rhapsody a Musical Adventure) and cameos in Disgaea.
    • Same with "Beauty Queen" Etna.
  • In Banjo-Kazooie, Gruntilda the witch kidnaps the protagonist's little sister to use her for the "sucking the youth out of younger characters" method. She only pulls it off if the player gets a game over or quits.
  • In the Fan Remake of King's Quest II, Hagatha's motivation is that she's a wannabe Vain Sorceress. She's a hideous old hag who wants to be young and beautiful, but hasn't managed to find a way to accomplish that yet.
  • Icewind Dale featured a minor villain, a witch living near a village of skinners and furriers. Their primary source of income was mink fur. She turned children into...minks, somehow using that energy to remain not only young and beautiful but immortal.
  • Deneb from Ogre Battle willfully staves off aging using underhanded means. Allegedly. And if you're female, she taunts you and then tells you you'll get wrinkles if you frown. Averted in the same game by the great witch Mango, who is 120 years old and entitled "The Great and Beautiful", even though she looks like any other old witch in the game.
    • So allegedly that Deneb's "death quote" in both Tactics Ogre games is more irritation than despair, and you can have her possess suitable hosts multiple times after dying in Tactic Ogre: Knight of Lodis.
  • Melody, one of the Prophets in Wild Arms 3 strives to become a demon so that she can stay beautiful forever. One of the heroes, Clive Winslet, mocks her for her vanity whenever they meet, and she carries a grudge against him for it.
  • In Planescape: Torment, even though Fall-From-Grace probably isn't of this type (despite being able to change her shape to appear as she desires), and as a Succubus there's no reason to think that her true form would be anything but beautiful, Action Girl Annah frequently uses the idea to try to insult her. Pointedly, she does not try to hide the wings that mark her as a demon.
    • Ravel, on the other hand, is a subversion; she keeps her ancient, shriveled hag appearance despite the fact that changing her looks is as easy as breathing to her. She does assume the appearances of your female companions to tempt you and she reveals that she actually were three specific people you encountered at certain places in the Hive but resumes her old self after that.
      • The especially interesting thing about Ravel is that while she does have extensive shapeshifting powers, when she assumes the appearances of Grace and Annah it's only an illusion that doesn't extend past sight, as is revealed when she kisses you. Maybe she's making a comment on the nature of beauty.
  • In Archon, while they're designed (in the original version) to be fairly blank slates to let players feel free to use Light Is Not Good and Dark Is Not Evil, the iconic pieces for the Light and Dark spellcasters are still visually suggestive. And in the piece descriptions, we have "An ancient man of vast supernatural power" contrasted with "The equal of the old Wizard only in power, the eternally young and ever beautiful Sorceress is his counterpart in all ways." Make of it what you will.
  • An odd male, more or less benign version: Anji Mito from Guilty Gear, who greatly dislikes the mere idea of growing older. One of his GGX endings has That Man offering him the chance to join him and get his wish to stay young forever. Anji's reply is not shown, but later games show him to be working for That Man - though he doesn't do anything utterly evil, plus That Man is an Anti-Villain. . .
  • Flea of Chrono Trigger, the primary magic user in the Mystic army, is obsessed with beauty, stating that "beauty is power" when confronted by the heroes. However, despite all appearances, Flea isn't quite a perfect match.
  • Morrigan in Dragon Age seems to be one of these, though she's a little young for it to be apparent. She's certainly very concerned with being seen as sexy, and she's got the rest of the personality associated with this.
    • Her mother Flemeth, however, fits this trope in the body surfing variety.
  • Kuja of Final Fantasy IX is another male character along the lines of this (though his gender isn't necessarily obvious at first glance.) He's quite vain about his appearance and while he doesn't specifically pursue eternal youth, this is probably because he mistakenly believes he's immortal; upon learning that he isn't, he has a Suicidal Cosmic Temper Tantrum because he can't bear the thought of the world existing without him.
  • The evil queen in Curse of Enchantia kidnaps Brad (the player's character) as a final ingredient for her spell of constant youth.
  • The Fire Emblem Gaiden remake, Fire Emblem Echoes, rewrites the arcanist Nuibaba into a textbook example and pretty much the Elizabeth Báthory of the FE universe, who kidnaps and sacrifices cute Rigelian women to keep herself beautiful and youthful.

Web Comics

  • Salth from The Dementia Of Magic is a borderline case. She's not evil, nor is her youth Powered by a Forsaken Child, but always surrounds herself with an illusion spell to look young.
  • The double standard is fairly well pointed out early on in Errant Story; female magic-users that show the slightest sign of aging are more or less expected to dedicate some of their power to maintaining their appearance. The main character hates this expectation, mainly because she's largely resistant to such magics.
    • Said main character's mother sympathetic one, who's doing it so she'll still be at attractive to the main character's father, an immortal elf, Too bad he's a Jerkass who doesn't care about her or his daughter.
  • In El Goonish Shive Nioi, human-skunk chimera sorceress, is a benign version — she played with cosmetic use of Shapeshifting magic, changing her skin color and making herself slightly younger. Maybe because of her rather obvious crush on Lord Tedd. She also claimed as empirical knowledge that a younger soul in physically older body is a bad idea, but it's just fine if vice versa.

Web Original

Western Animation

  • Mesmira from the Conan the Adventurer cartoons.
  • Lady Bane from Disney's Adventures of the Gummi Bears used the "sucking the youth out of younger characters" method of de-agifying herself.
  • Porcina in the My Little Pony episode "The Glass Princess" wants to turn everything into glass so she can see her reflection everywhere.
  • Spectra in Danny Phantom, who drains the happiness of young people around her to make herself younger.
  • Played straight in WITCH. While second season Big Bad Nerissa starts out as a 60+ hag with almost viper like features, as soon as she has some power to spare she turns into a 20-something diva.
    • Though in this case, the regaining of youth is presented as more of a side-affect of Nerissa's power boost (albeit one she's certainly pleased with) rather than her primary goal.
  • Toyed with in Justice League - their version of Morgan Le Fay drains youth from random Muggles...but it's not really a case of vanity, since her costume covers up her entire body except for her hands. Mostly it seems to be for the benefit of her son, Mordred, whom she cast a spell on to grant eternal life and eternal youth. Evidently, it fixed him at that age and can't be broken or altered without causing him to instantly turn into a withered old man.
    • Oddly subverted with Tala, who is a Sorceress, but is more poised on romance than anything else.
  • Subverted by classic Looney Tunes character Witch Hazel, who is very vain and obsessive about her ugliness. In "Broomstick Bunny", Hazel becomes jealous when Bugs shows up at her house on Halloween, wearing a witch mask more hideous than she is. In the same cartoon, she's tricked into drinking a potion that actually turns her into a beautiful woman, which causes her to Freak-Out.
  • Laverna in the Barbie Fairytopia movies.
  • White Diamond from Steven Universe. A Moe Anthropomorphism of a white diamond, she is the God-Emperor of Homeworld and is obsessed with her appearance and being perfect.