Beauty is only skin deep


      • emphasizing inner character
        To highlight the idea that true beauty lies beyond physical appearance and is based on qualities such as kindness, intelligence, and personality.

      • not judging by appearance
        To remind someone to look beyond outward appearances and not make assumptions about a person's character based on their looks.

      • criticizing superficiality
        To criticize and discourage placing too much value on physical appearance and superficial qualities.

    Examples of Beauty is only skin deep

    • Despite her stunning appearance, Sarah lacked inner beauty and was a shallow person.

      This idiom means that a person's external appearance is not a reliable indicator of their true character or worth. In this example, Sarah's physical attractiveness is contrasted with her lack of inner qualities, such as kindness, intelligence, or empathy. The phrase "only skin deep" emphasizes that beauty is superficial and temporary, while true beauty or worth is more enduring and substantial.


    The idiom "beauty is only skin deep" is often used to convey the message that one's inner qualities are more important than their outward appearance. It is a warning against placing too much emphasis on physical beauty and encourages people to look beyond the surface.

    This idiom is commonly used in self-acceptance and body positivity movements, reminding people that true beauty is not defined by societal standards of physical attractiveness. It is also used to urge individuals to focus on developing their inner qualities, such as kindness, intelligence, and empathy, rather than solely focusing on their appearance.

    In addition, the idiom can be used to criticize and discourage superficiality. It serves as a reminder that superficial qualities are not a true reflection of a person's character and should not be the sole basis for judgement.

    Origin of "Beauty is only skin deep"

    The phrase "beauty is only skin deep" can be traced back to a 17th century proverb "all that glitters is not gold." This proverb was used to caution against judging something solely based on its outward appearance. Over time, the phrase evolved into "beauty is only skin deep" and was first recorded in Shakespeare's play, "The Merchant of Venice," in 1600.

    The idiom gained popularity in the 19th century when the American poet and abolitionist, Henry David Thoreau, used it in his book "Walden." It has since become a common phrase in the English language, often used to convey the idea that true beauty lies beyond physical appearance.