What Does the Famous Phrase ‘Beauty is Only Skin Deep’ Mean?

Did You Know?

It is stated that the paintings ‘A Wife’ in which the stated phrase became first used became the very reason that brought about the murder of Sir Thomas Overbury, its writer. That our society is enthusiastic about beauty isn’t truly something that desires to be pointed out. It is a reality this is turning clearer and clearer with each passing day. In fact, the fashion and beauty industries thrive on the truth that a good deal of importance is positioned on looking stunning, proudly owning makeup, garments, and other add-ons to appearance lovely, and encouraging humans increasingly to comply with the fit.

All this, whilst the adage ‘beauty is only pores and skin deep’ is watching us proper within the face. This word, the only one that is starkly adverse in view to the thriving fashion and makeup enterprise that encourages external splendor, poses a question this is really worth searching into―is external beauty really essential? However, earlier than we tackle this very loaded, philosophical question, a better and extra specific know-how of this phrase desire to be brought into the photograph. This is precisely what we can do in the following Buzzle article―we can assist you in apprehending what this word method is, what its origin is, what it signifies, and what we are to take from it.

Origin of the Phrase

The earliest usage of this time period is stated to be recorded within the paintings titled ‘A Wife’ (occasionally, ‘The Wife’) by using Sir Thomas Overbury in the yr 1614. In this work, Overbury has listed out the virtues that a man has to look for in a woman earlier than he marries her. He uses the time period for this reason―”All the carnal splendor of my wife, Is, however, skin deep.”

While many finishes that this work turned into a comment on his very own wife, professionals and students opine that the paintings became brought out to act as a caution to his buddy, Robert Carr, who turned into having an affair with a married girl―Frances Howard, the Countess of Essex. This painting changed into alleged to warn his friend about the type of woman that the countess become and discourage him from continuing with the affair.

Meaning of the Phrase

While the phrase has numerous interpretations, the maximum easy, ‘beauty is only skin deep which means is that bodily beauty is constrained most effective to that―the outside splendor. It has nothing to do with internal splendor, in that that means it does not affect the inherent goodness or features.


The time period, consequently, additionally implies that just because someone is physically stunning or attractive, it does no longer assure that he might be a perfect character at coronary heart as nicely, or that his splendor will mirror in the goodness of his character, his deeds, or his nature―that wherein lies actual beauty. In reality, the opposite ought to simply as well be real―a bodily attractive person might be a rotten man or woman at heart, and someone who is simple-looking ought to have a coronary heart of gold. In that to mention that bodily splendor does now not decide a person’s really worth or price, and no one needs ever to be judged based totally on their physical form on my own.

The term additionally warns us towards equating bodily splendor with internal beauty and facilitates us to consider that physical beauty is just that―pores and skin-deep. It starts with evolution and ends there. This word can also be interpreted in the manner that a person’s individual and character are more critical than his bodily appearance. Because, as a person ages, his physical splendor fades, however, his strength of man or woman and goodness now not most effective lasts, but receives stronger and stronger and leads him genuine splendor.

Similarities had been drawn among the sentence ‘Don’t decide an e-book using its cool’ and ‘Beauty is best pores and skin deep,’ the standards of which might be basically identical. The outside cover (physical beauty) can by no means decide what lies inside. A man or woman may be wonderful but disrespectful, suggestive, or rotten at heart. And people could alternatively be with a person who is good at coronary heart and respectful of them instead of a stunning person. After all, how someone makes the opposite feel is more essential than how they look.

This word is used pretty typically inside the daily context of conversations properly. That is why there are several costs formulated with this subject in thoughts. These costs act as a reminder for people to recognize what’s more critical, bodily beauty or inner splendor. While they want to look pretty or beautiful with the help of makeup or garments isn’t always an incorrect exercise, one needs always to remember that that isn’t always what genuine splendor is fabricated from. True splendor is what someone’s persona and nature echo; thus, if one has this philosophy firmly in location, irrespective of how much the fashion or makeup enterprise flourishes, it could by no means update actual splendor. Not in reality.


Jeremy D. Mena
Alcohol geek. Future teen idol. Web practitioner. Problem solver. Certified bacon guru. Spent 2002-2009 researching plush toys in Miami, FL. Won several awards for exporting tar in Libya. Uniquely-equipped for managing human growth hormone in Libya. Spent a weekend implementing fried chicken on the black market. Spoke at an international conference about working on carnival rides in Miami, FL. Developed several new methods for donating jack-in-the-boxes in Edison, NJ.