Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who's the fairest of them all? If we're talking about folks in Ratbridge, the answer is none. While Arthur is a cute kid and all, many of the other characters are true blue monsters, and so though we don't get the impression that boxtrolls and cabbageheads are particularly scary-looking, it seems unlikely that they'll win any beauty awards anytime soon. And for the humans, the fashionable ladies of Ratbridge sure think they're hot stuff, but they've been eating up Snatcher's horrendous fashion propaganda for so long that they look more like hot messes.
Appearances can also be used to deceive in Here Be Monsters!, like when Willbury and the rest of the gang disguise themselves as boxtrolls in order to sneak by the police. So keep an eye on those appearance-related things going on in the book. Sometimes they're clues to who characters are, but sometimes they remind us that there's more than meets the eye.
Questions About Appearances
How far do you think Snatcher could have gone with his made-up fashion tips for the ladies of Ratbridge before they realized they were being fooled?
Why do you think the boxtroll disguise was so effective?
Does Arthur seem to care about appearances? Why or why not?
How do you imagine boxtrolls in your mind? Are they actually scary-looking?
Chew on This
The deception of the Ratbridge fashionable ladies demonstrates how variable beauty standards can be.
The characters that don't care about their appearances in this book are more likely to be the good guys than those who care about their appearances.