Roses are Red, Aliens are Blue

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I’ve realized recently that when I create a character with a skin tone that does not exist in the human spectrum, I seem to default to blue. I’m not really sure why that is. I’ve read somewhere, though I don’t know if it’s true, that some designers opt for skin tones on the blue and green side of the spectrum specifically because it falls completely outside the range we see on humans, which makes it less likely that people will misconstrue the choice as being based on a stereotype of some particular ethnic group in the real world. I don’t think that’s why I like it, certainly not consciously anyway. Maybe I just find it pretty, but if that was the whole reason I’d probably make them purple since that’s my favorite color.

That being said, a lot of my favorite unusually colored characters have been blue. Nightcrawler, Mystique and Beast were all in my top 10 of favorite mutants (even in the the top 5, depending on which reincarnation of the X-men we’re talking about). Abe Sapien of Hellboy was pretty kickass and Demona from Gargoyles, although a royal pain in the ass, was pretty interesting. The Na’vis of Avatar were pretty neat even if that movie was sort of corny. But my all-time favorite blue skinned character is Pa’u Zotoh Zhaan of the epic sci-fi show Farscape (if you haven’t watched it yet, you simply must).

Zhaan
The hottest blue chick this side of… well, everywhere, really.
Image/Character Copyright © The Jim Henson Company.

Not only is Zhaan a complex character with an interesting back-story and an, in my opinion, sort of unusual personality for having a major role in this type of show, but she also one hot alien. I really didn’t think I could find a character with blue skin and no hair as attractive as I find her. Like… I would have her half-blue babies in a heartbeat. Yes, I am in love with a fictional character. If you’ve never been, you need to imbibe better fiction.

I could go on about how awesome Zhaan is (did I mention she looks purple in certain lights and that purple is my favorite color?) but let’s get back on track instead. I reiterate: I seem to have a thing for making blue characters. In fact, the story I’m working on right now for Camp NaNoWriMo features a blue character. One of the other stories on my “I really should draft this soon”-list actually consists mainly of characters with blue skin (or possible characters with skin ranging from teal through blue to purple, depending on what I decide on in the end). And honestly… I think they may be the only characters with oddly colored skin I have right now. I don’t know… maybe I’m just subconsciously trying to avoid the “little green men” trope.

Oh, and in case you wondered: No, I am not a fan of Smurfs.

4 Replies to “Roses are Red, Aliens are Blue”

  1. True! And IDK if you’re a gamer, but the 2 most popular aliens from the Mass Effect series are blue (Liara) and green (Thane). It does seem to be a trend among alien life in media. Even lights on ships (like in the movie Skyline) and the lights embedded in the skin (like in the TV shows Star-Crossed and Falling Skies, and the movie Outlander) are usually blue. Blue’s my favorite color, so I love it, but purple would make for a cool alien race! Definitely unique. 😉

  2. Well purple would get my vote too, being my favourite colour!

    Interesting as I’d not really thought about alien skin colour but you’re right there is a lot of blue around!

    I’m rather fond of Vastra from Dr Who though for my favourite green aliens…

    Mars
    Curling Stones for Lego People

    • It’s funny you should say that! When I was writing this post I was talking to a friend about how so many of my favorites were blue but none were green and he pointed out Vastra so of course I had to take it back since I adore her!

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