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Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 1st day of Eating, Yr 22
The Neopian Times Week 101 > Articles > The Great Beauty Contest Pic Heist

The Great Beauty Contest Pic Heist

by stoneman3x

BEAUTY CONTEST - There is something sinister going on in the Beauty Contest. And if there's something shady going on Neopia, you can bet I'll be a part of it. I mean... I'll be a part of getting the bottom of what is going on. So hold onto your Meerca propeller hats because I am about to uncover the biggest robbery in the history of Neopia -- "The Great Beauty Contest Pic Heist"! I'm not talking about people "borrowing" pictures from other people to use in the Beauty Contest. I am talking about real-live-actually-disappearing off-the-face-of-Neopia art theft!

I first noticed that pics were disappearing from the Beauty Contest about five weeks ago. A 10 year-old friend of mine had entered her pet into the contest and arm-wrestled me for my vote. I lost. But the day after I voted, I went back to see how she was doing out of sheer boredom. I noticed that two pets that had been above her on the vote board had vanished without a trace. I was stunned.

My first instinct was to report this crime to the proper authorities. I wrote an e-mail to ChiaPoliceStation@NeopiaCentral@Neopets.com and got this reply back:

"Dear Very Concerned Neopian Citizen;
Thank you so much for bring this matter to our attention. We really appreciate you alerting us to this serious problem. If you had not written to us, we would never have known that you are a total idiot and you need to be avoided at all costs. Do not bother us again or you will be squashed like a Grakle Bug and turned into Dung Jelly. Have a nice day.
"

Although it seemed to be a very friendly response, I had a sneaking suspicion that the Chia police were busy trying to solve important mysteries like who was wearing the blue grass skirt at the Gadgadsbogen Festival, and wouldn't be investigating this Beauty Contest thing any time soon. So I knew that it fell to me, as a concerned Neopian Grakle Bug Dung Jelly, to track down these nefarious art thieves. So, fearlessly and without regard to safety, knowing that there were evil, desperate characters involved, I sent someone ELSE undercover into the Beauty Contest. My Krawk.

After a week of watching the Beauty Contest like a hawk-eyed Eyrie, my Krawk found out who the art thieves were. Invisible Neopets. I always wondered what in Neopia would possess anyone to paint a pet with an invisible paint brush and now I know. They do it so they can do sneaky things all over Neopian without anyone noticing. Of course, since they are invisible they are probably jealous of all the others Neopets who are lucky to have a decent picture drawn of themselves. Invisible pets rarely have decent pics of themselves in the Beauty Contest. So this is some sort of a revenge scheme. The art thieves wait until you are busy doing something else and then snatch your pic out of the Beauty Contest so your pet can't getting any votes. If your pet can't get any votes because there is no picture to vote on, your pet can't win. Isn't that the most sinister thing you ever heard of?

Of course, I never actually SAW them steal any Beauty Contest pics, being invisible and all, but I know when they do it. So at least I can tell you when they do it so you can protect yourself.

They steal your pic when you're occupied on the chat boards.

These sneaky see-through guys wait until you're posting on every other conceivable Neopets chat board BESIDES the Beauty Contest board. They figure you're so busy dodging angry messages and monitor warnings about begging for Beauty Contest votes on the wrong board, that this is a great time to zip in and steal your Beauty Contest pic. So the best way to totally throw off these pixel purloiners is to actually post all of your Beauty Contest messages on the Beauty Contest board and nowhere else. Since this is a totally radical approach, the thieves will be confused into thinking you are setting them up to trap them and leave you alone.

I guess these invisible pets are not only jealous of all the spiffy-looking pets in the Beauty Contest, but they seem to be jealous of their friends too. It must be really hard for invisible pets to make friends. So if your friends are also posting messages on the chat boards asking people to vote for YOUR pet, even if it is the Beauty Contest board, the vaporous vandals will get really mad that you have so many nice friends and steal your Beauty Contest pic out of spite. So my advice is to tell your friends to stay away from the chat boards and not post messages about your pet being in the Beauty Contest so that the art thieves won't know that you even have friends.

They steal your pic when you're occupied trading votes.

The art of stealing a pic out of the Beauty Contest so that it no longer even exists, rests on perfect timing. The GIF grabbers and JPEG hijackers wait until you're off in another account to do their dirty deed. One of the ways they know you're not around to guard your Beauty Contest pic is when they see you offering to trade a couple of votes for one kind of species. In order for you to trade more than one vote per species, it means you have to have more than one account. The thieves know that means you will have to go hopping around to other accounts in order to trade more than one vote per species. That's when they steal your pet's picture. A great way to protect yourself from pic snatchers is to simply stay where you are and not trade more than one vote per species. Invisible robbers really hate it when people do unpredictable stuff like that.

They steal your pic when you're occupied trading other stuff.

The moment you offer to trade someone a codestone or a Faerie or something else for a Beauty Contest vote, the foggy filchers know you're going to be digging around your safety deposit box for awhile. That's when they rush in faster than a Cybunny with his tail on fire to steal your picture. I guess they are not only jealous that your Neopet has a cool pic and lots of friends, but they are jealous that you have a lot of stuff to give away too. So don't give anything away for a vote. Not only does this keep the thieves from knowing you're busy in your safety deposit box, but it keeps them from knowing all the neat stuff you have too.

This is also a good reason not to post messages on items you have in the Trading Post advertising your pet's Beauty Contest entry. Descriptions like, "My Ixi is sooooooo cwute! Pwease vote for her! Huggles!" on a wet snowball or something in the Trading Post sends the art robbers the same sort of "I'm busy elsewhere and I have lots of stuff" kind of message. If you only advertise in your guild or on the Beauty Contest chat board, there is a good chance the art thieves will pick on somebody else. That's a real bonus for you. If they steal somebody else's artwork, you have less competition. Cool, huh?

They steal your pic when you're occupied in your Neomail.

Because these art thieves are painted with an invisible paint brush, I guess it's easy for them to slip a spy into the Neomail Post office. For some reason, if you send someone ONE Neomail asking them to vote for your Neopet, the BC bandits don't spot you in your Neomail. But if you keep sending the same person a vote-begging Neomail over and over again, the Neomail spy-thieves somehow notice you're really busy and trot off to take your picture.

Another way they seem to know when you're busy in your Neomail, is if you unintentionally intimidate other Beauty Contest contestants. You know, saying teasing stuff like, "If you don't withdraw your pet, I'm going to make up lies about you and report you!" Or if you try very energetically to convince people to vote for your pet by sending Neomail like, "If you don't vote for my pet, I'm going to hack into your account and put all of your pets in the pound!"

I'm not sure why the art thieves notice these kinds of Neomail more than any other kinds, but they just do. So until I can figure out why, maybe it would be safer if you Neomail everyone in Neopia just ONCE asking for a vote and try to keep it friendly.

They steal your pic if your pic is way too awesome for words.

The art thieves seem to like really amazing pictures. They will steal certain pictures just because they like them so much they can't live without them. Or maybe they are just plain envious of your superb drawing skills. There are several types of pictures they can't seem to keep their invisible paws off of:

They like anthro pics. If you aren't sure what that means, anthro pics are pets that are drawn to look very human. But they don't like just any old kind of anthro pics. GIF grabbers like the ones that not only look human, but either have no clothes on or the clothes they do have on don't really seem to cover anything.

They like party pics. Being shady creatures without morals, the art thieves seem to really enjoy pictures that are shady and immoral too. If your Beauty Contest pic just happens to have a bit of alcohol, drugs, blood gushing everywhere, pets... ummm... petting... or anything else you might expect to see in an adult-oriented movie, there's a VERY good chance that the invisible pic pirates will like it so much they can't resist taking it.

They like popular pics. The ones they really really like are the ones that appear on another person's petpage or user lookup but you have borrowed for your Beauty Contest entry. They especially like the pics that are borrowed from the Art Gallery.

They like custom pics. The moment the art thieves realize that you have paid someone to do your picture for you, they haul your pic off to their own little private invisible gallery.

They like mystery pics. They think the pictures that are in the wrong species category are extremely funny. For example, if your pet is a Techo and you have a Beauty Contest pic of your pet as a Koi, your pic will probably be the first one the art thieves grab.

I guess the only way to slow down these pic snatchers is to not zap your Neopet with the Lab Ray just before or during the Beauty Contest. Drawing your own pic instead of borrowing one or paying someone for a pic seems to help keep your Beauty Contest entry from disappearing too. And it definitely helps if the pic you make is not too human, or at least not too graphically human.

I wish I could be of more help to all of you future Beauty Contest entrants. Unfortunately, these sinister art thieves are too tricky, not to mention too invisible, for the Chia Police and the Defenders of Neopia to bring to justice. So for the time being we just have to be on our guard and take the proper precautions to keep these evil fiends from stealing pics from the Beauty Contest. But at least we know they are out there, lurking in the shadows, ready to pounce on innocent, unsuspecting BC contestants. Which is probably why my Krawk is no longer speaking to me.

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