beauty is (only) skin-deep

beauty is only skin deep

proverb Physical attractiveness does not equate to substance or character. Of course that gorgeous model didn't tip you—beauty is only skin deep, after all.
See also: beauty, deep, skin
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

beauty is (only) skin-deep

A lovely appearance has no relation to more profound good qualities. “All the carnall beauty of my wife is but skin-deep,” wrote Sir Thomas Overbury (ca. 1613). Of course this observation was hardly new, having been made by many ancient poets long before (Virgil wrote, O formose puer, nimium ne crede colori, “O my pretty boy, trust not too much in your looks”). Although only skin deep, observed William Cobbett (Advice to Young Men, 1829), “It [beauty] is very agreeable for all that,” whereas H. H. Munro (Saki) punned “I always say beauty is only sin deep” (Reginald’s Choir Treat, 1904).
See also: beauty
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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