Success is often a bitter thing. When one has everything, then what worlds are left to conquer, after all? Rarity has expanded her business into every province of the Principality and is known in every city. She has everything that a much younger Rarity dreamed of, and yet absolutely nothing satisfies.

We must imagine Rarity happy, no matter how impossible it seems.

Forgot. Sorry. This was written for the Barcast's "Make Rarity Not Garbage" contest.

Chapters (1)
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Comments ( 46 )

This was a solid, solid read. There's some great insight here.

Also, bonus points for usimg Queensryche as the title/chapter header


Is this written for the Rarity contest?

There's a Rarity contest?

MJP #5 · Sep 17th, 2017 · · 14 ·

no, rarity, success isn't hollow, you're just shallow

I uh

I'm not sure you got the point.

MJP #7 · Sep 17th, 2017 · · 18 ·

I hate rarity's character she is shallow, cares only about her looks, is the kind of person that would go behind men's backs and talk about how they are just "broken women" and lives by an obvious double standard as constantly promotes creativity and freedom of expression, yet expects every living breathing thing to look and act exactly like her

of course she would be unhappy with success, she's a terrible person

8431235 The things you are complaining about aren't in her character so much as how she is written by individual writers and authors. Strip everything else from her and at her core Rarity is a dreamer, she chases them constantly, love, career, fame. Then she catches them and finds they pale in comparison to what she dreamed of.

Of course that is going to lead to despair. But her beauty is that she finds a new dream to pursue. She never gives up.

This was wonderful. A few minor errors bothered me a little bit, but they weren't enough to pull me out of the story. You never disappoint.

Of course characters are gonna be shallow if you only analyze them at a surface level. That doesn't mean they're actually shallow, it means your analysis is shallow.

I hate rarity's character she is shallow, cares only about her looks

People are not shallow simply because they attend to their appearance. Maintaining a good self-image is key to having confidence in yourself. Rarity realizes that, and the whole point of her being a fashion designer is to try and bring out the beauty in others, because she wants it to inspire confidence in them like it inspires confidence in herself.

is the kind of person that would go behind me's back and talk about how they are just "broken women"

Have we ever seen her do this before? No. What does this have anything to do with being invested in your own appearance? You're making assumptions about what she thinks of other mares based on… what, her interest in fashion?

and lives by an obvious double standard as constantly promotes creativity and freedom of expression, yet expects every living breathing thing to look and act exactly like her

This is literally anathema to her entire persona. There have been multiple episodes that have completely disproved this.

  • In the most recent episode, she helped people get flower arrangements that accentuated their natural colors, and helped a ton of businesses by giving them advice specific to their business model. That's not "exactly like her", that's the complete opposite.
  • In Canterlot Boutique, she realized how awful it was that everyone was wearing the same dress, and how creatively stifling it was to her.
  • In Spice Up Your Life, she did try this, was immediately proven wrong, and admitted that her approach was faulty.
  • In Green Isn't Your Color, she wanted to make Fluttershy happy by giving her the life she herself always wanted, but when Fluttershy told her that kind of life wasn't making her happy, she accepted it immediately and without complaint.
  • In Simple Ways, she literally changed her entire appearance and all of her mannerisms in order to try and woo someone. Clearly, if she thought she was the best and everyone should be like her, she'd simply just be herself, wouldn't she?

Besides, if this were true, she wouldn't be best friends with such a diverse cast of characters, would she?

of course she would be unhappy with success, she's a terrible person

The defining theme in almost all of her episodes is the precarious line between success and personal integrity, a line that almost any professional artist worth their salt must walk. That doesn't make them terrible people for trying (and occasionally failing) to walk it. It's not an easy balance.

The massive irony here is that, by judging her solely on her interest in fashion and her appearance, all you're doing is demonstrating that you're just as shallow as you claim her to be. How is judging others based on their interests any different than judging others based on their appearance?

This is a solid comeback and I don't know why I'm so impressed by it.

Don't forget Suited For Success, one of the best Rarity episodes ever! If Rarity was the kind of shallow fashion-addled prissy girl stereotype people sometimes mistake her for, the ep would have been about her trying to fit all of her friends into the same standard of beauty, and the morale would have been her realizing that it was a bad idea.

Instead, she starts by designing and crafting individualized dresses for each of her friends, meant to emphasize their unique traits and make each one look better and more beautiful, but in their own way. And the morale turns out to be a 50-50 mix of "If a friend generously does a good thing to you, respect that and don't demand more" and "Let the experts and creative artists do their jobs, and don't meddle when you don't know what you're doing!"

Edit: Am I imagining things, or is the Rarity in this story implied to be transgender?

I want to smack the bellend who came up with the idea that Rarity's name has a Belle on the end.

Ah! Then that adds a whole another layer of meaning to her musings. Nicely done!

Rarity's always known that the mirror never lies, it would seem.

Oh shit, a trans Rarity fic made front page!

why was this put in the RariTwi group if there is no RariTwi romance> Hell Twilight isn't in the story

This was very well written and thought out. Good job <3

If you didn't get that Twilight and their failed relationship is a big part of this I'm not sure what to tell yoi

What did Marshmallow ever do to you?

I remember now,

With a sister named Sweetie Belle, it was kinda inevitable.

The perfection of one such as myself helping another pony pretend to be something is not lost on me

That takes on a much more bitterly ironic meaning after the denouement...

If anything, her last name would be Crumbles or Flanks.

... Now that I think of it, Rarity Flanks sounds hilarious.

Maybe, but we didn't get the names Hondo Flanks and Cookie Crumbles until relatively recently; by comparison, we've had Sweetie Belle since almost day 1.

(And yeah, that would be hilarious :rainbowlaugh: )

Of course, just like Applejack Bloom. And Twilight Sparkle Armor. And Fluttershy Breeze. Ok, that last one doesn't sound quite so bad. But still.

These aren't directly comparable: "Rarity" is one part, whereas "Twilight Sparkle" is two parts (hence "Twilight" for short, and her family is frequently called "the Sparkles"), and "Fluttershy" and "Applejack" can be read as two parts: it's not all that unusual to see mentions of Fluttershy's family as "the Shys" (Mr. and Mrs. Shy is one I see pop up with some regularity), nor to come across Applejack written/treated as "Apple Jack" (though while her family is "the Apples", it's also the case that no one refers to her as "Apple" or "Jack" for short, just "AJ" (or maybe "Jackie", if you're Pinkie Pie or a romantically-involved Rainbow Dash/Twilight Sparkle)).

Note that I'm not personally advocating for any of these, or arguing that any of them are correct (the examples we have suggest that human-style family names are something of a rarity in Equestria anyways - in fact, the only example that readily comes to mind for me is the Cakes, and that easily could have been coincidence for Mr. and Mrs. Cake, and a thematic choice for their twins), just pointing out what the fandom has more-or-less adopted. You're way too late in the game to be able to actually do anything about them at this point, though obviously that shouldn't stop you from using whatever referents you personally prefer - just don't expect anyone else to care for whatever you decide on.


I just never really liked rarity's character.

at all.

something about her just rubs me the wrong way, and she feels way too much like every female stereotype Lauren Faust wanted to break in this show, not to mention that I hate fashion designer characters that aren't Raven Baxter

plus what she did in LofE didn't help either

Lauren wasn't really trying to break stereotypes as much as she was attempting to show that girls are complex and can have different interests.

Anyways I find your comment's existence confusingly pointless. Why go out of your way to be vitriolic about a fictional character?


and she feels way too much like every female stereotype Lauren Faust wanted to break in this show

Rarity is one of Lauren's favorite and most nuanced characters, and it was actually a sore point for her that she had to spend so much time defending Rarity against people who simply judged her based on her surface characteristics and kept missing the entire point of her character. You should read Lauren's interviews where she explains why Rarity is so important to the show's dynamic, how Rarity exists to defy the stereotype, and why Lauren herself personally loves and relates to Rarity so much.

Here's some highlights:

  • Rarity isn't just a fashionista, she's an artist. She was specifically designed not just to be "obsessed with fashion", but to be a wellspring of creative vision who combines her passion with ambition, who commits herself every day to making mistakes and learning from them in order to better herself and her talent as a seamstress. To be an artist is not to simply glorify the thing you love—it's to understand it, break it down, reverse-engineer it, and to apply yourself wholly to mastering your craft. It's to bare every fibre of your creative soul to the world despite the overwhelming fear of being judged. In this way, Rarity has no less emotional and intellectual depth than a painter, sculptor, or writer; her trade just happens to be fashion. This is what makes her different and so much more admirable compared to some basic Beverly Hills bitch who uses pumpkin spice lattes and expensive clothing as a means to validate her existence.
  • Lauren uses Rarity as a vessel to channel her own experience in the industry. You know how I mentioned that the whole point of Rarity's episodes is to demonstrate the balance that must be walked between success and artistic integrity? This is all based on Lauren's experience as an animator/producer/writer. Several episodes are meant to specifically demonstrate challenges she faced in her career. Suited for Success, for example, is allegorical to the problem where a client hires an artist to create something for them, but then gives the artists unreasonable demands despite the artist's implicit expertise.
  • Women should not be afraid to pursue their passions, even if it's "stereotypical". There's nothing wrong with a woman who likes to be "womanly", and we should not judge women for pursuing feminine passions. The important thing is that they're sincere and true to who they are, because they have every right to be themselves, just as every tomboy like Rainbow Dash or Applejack has a right to also be themselves. People who give women shit for liking fashion and makeup are literally no different than people who give women shit for liking sports and video games, because you're enforcing your own perception of what women should be on someone who doesn't match it.
  • Rarity exists to inspire others to be confident in themselves and to improve themselves as people. In many interviews, Lauren reveals she intended Rarity to be the Element of Inspiration. The truth is that every group of friends needs a motivator, an inspiring figurehead, someone who will push everyone around them to better themselves, reach for their true potential, and be the best they can be. Rarity uses fashion as a tool to inspire people and convince them that they are beautiful, and that they simply need to unlock the potential within themselves in order to realize it. The dresses just kinda help them along.

In a society where little girls are constantly being raised to glorify the superficial, Rarity exists as an example of how you can create meaning out of meaninglessness, how you can rise above superficiality and transform your passion into something important and impactful. She exists as a paragon of the fashion world, someone who can engage in high society and yet still not compromise her personal integrity. And she exists to prove to little girls everywhere that just because you're interested in fashion doesn't mean you have to be shallow.

She was created by Lauren to be a deconstruction of the very stereotype you claim her to be guilty of. To make that claim is an insult to Lauren's vision.

Point of order: Cup Cake's maiden name was in fact Chiffon Swirl.

Do remember also that ponies do change their names, as seen with the former Chiffon Swirl becoming Cup Cake when she got married, and of course the unfortunately named Spoiled Milk becoming Spoiled Rich. For all we know Rarity was born into the world as Curvy Flanks, or Nice Flanks.


didn't Lauren say that the producers forced her to make Rarity a fashion designer cause of focus group testing and "reliability to it's audience" (which is probably why she irks me to this day)


Development and design

Lauren Faust was inspired to create Rarity by her childhood toy G1 ponies Glory and Sparkler.[2] Rarity uses Glory's color scheme, Sparkler's cutie mark and appearance, and some mannerisms of G3 Rainbow Dash, like the Trans-Atlantic English accent and a tendency to flip her mane and say "darling". She shares her name with a G3 pony who was voiced by Cathy Weseluck, who currently voices Spike in the new series. Concurrently with G4, a G1 version of G3 Rarity has been introduced in IDW Publishing's Transformers vs. G.I. Joe Issue #13. Rarity's tail is inspired by the hairstyle of the character Margaret Wade from the comic strip Dennis the Menace.[3]

Not so much, no. Rarity actually owes her fashionista roots and her accent to Rainbow Dash.

Now, part of her basic concept didn't make it past focus groups:

Rarity was originally the "Element of Inspiration",[5] but this was considered "too tough for kids to wrap their heads around."[6]

Inspiration actually would have made more sense, but she also does manage to embody Generosity.

Aah! I wasn't aware of either name change (Cup Cake's was revealed in season 7, according to the wiki, and I'm guessing Spoiled Rich's was as well), so thanks for pointing them out to me. This does change things to be sure, though without explicit canon confirmation that any given pony still uses their birth name, or has changed it at some point, it's mostly limited to the options available to fanfic authors and similar, and maybe headcanon explanations of why some ponies have multiple names.

I admit that I've grown a little tired of the Rarity that I find so often in fanfics: the cold, calculating mare, treating every conversation as a a burden that she must endure for some reward. So, the first part of this story had me bored. I've read about this Rarity too many times before for all the words about her to have much of an impact anymore.

Luckily, because it's your work, I kept reading.

No, passing helped me learn that.

At that moment, the meaning behind the rest of the story changed. Honestly, up until this point I thought that we were dealing with an older Rarity who was using magic to maintain her youthful image. To find out that she was changing her appearance for the purpose of passing, well, it certainly does put a different spin on things.

Well done.

This story was... wow. No words. I love what you do Cyne. Because you do it so well.

Gods this was beautiful.

So, because I'm the type of idiot who can't work anything out until he's beaten over the head with it: why did Rarity end the relationship with Twilight? She seems to think very fondly of her.

Well this was bleak... I take it nobody ever got Rarity into the diplomatic corps? I've always thought she'd make a fantastic ambassador :raritywink:

Great Prufrock reference.

I adore early Eliot. Despite what he might claim it is the personal honesty of the first poems that gives them power.

I'll also be super honest here and admit what a baby I am when I say that your writing makes me tear up for the fact that it's just so damn good. I love everything about your Rarity--everything. I look forward to reading more of your work.

Pretty much what several years of trying and succeeding in Canterlot has done to Rarity. Poor girl.

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