General Question

ahro0703's avatar

Is beauty only skin deep?

Asked by ahro0703 (376points) August 26th, 2015

Beauty is a value that all societies pursue, and everyone likes to be around visually-appealing people. However, these days, people engage in risky behaviors to get good looks. Also, the concept of it is often infused with various personal beliefs. I personally think that beauty is only skin deep, but I wanted to know how many of you also think like me.

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13 Answers

elbanditoroso's avatar

I don’t think it’s an either / or question.

Yes – one’s personality and friendliness are important, no matter what they look like.

On the other hand, much of a person’s self-image (particularly women) is based on how they perceive what their appearance is. (Note – not what their actual appearance is, but what they think their appearance is). So to the degree that a person doesn’t feel good and comfortable about his/her looks, it affects his/her personality.

In an ideal world, looks would be completely irrelevant – in your words – skin deep. But we don’t live in an ideal world.

My thinking is beauty is a combination of looks and personality – but there is no set ratio (50/50, 40/60). Every person is different. Every combination is different.

Apparently_Im_The_Grumpy_One's avatar

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Even when the beholder is you.

Like @elbanditoroso said: someone could be physically unattractive by standard societal standards but still be attractive because their personality outweighs those superficial measurements.

Someones perception of anothers inner beauty can also outweigh that measurement.

”.. for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart…”

To be honest though, this is still sort of an ideal world mentality. It doesn’t always work that way.

stanleybmanly's avatar

That’s the rational truth, but of course there’s very little that’s rational when it comes to human beings on matters of appearance. It is pointless to pretend that those blessed with beautiful exteriors have no advantage over their “cosmetically challenged” peers. It’s one of those powerful realities that no amount of rational discussion will ever mitigate.

kritiper's avatar

Not always. Seldom, even.

sahID's avatar

Physical beauty (or lack thereof) is strictly skin deep.

Personality beauty (or lack thereof) extends deep into one’s innermost make up.

thorninmud's avatar

Actually, no. There’s a psychological phenomenon known as the halo effect in which attractive people are presumed to have other, unrelated personal qualities. So if you perceive someone to be beautiful, you’re likely to extend that positive appraisal well beyond their appearance. In that way, beauty extends beyond the skin.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

I have seldom met a drop dead gorgeous woman that was not at least somewhat mentally f’d up because of it. In my eyes average is more attractive because average girls tend to have their head on straight.

Inara27's avatar

@ARE_you_kidding_me, I’ve also found the same is true for guys. The “pretty ones” are not always pleasant to be around.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

Yes, and it is also fleeting. A person who is good looking hopefully realizes this early and works just as hard as anyone else to be wise and use any advantages their looks get them to bolster their lives later—because it won’t last. Robert Redford did that. Lauren Bacall, as well.

msh's avatar

It is sad when skin deep is as far as some can go. There is nothing ‘below’ it to bring forth.
I find it fascinating that when some are questioned about what they find attractive and alluring in others they encounter – invariably, the first and predominate reply is that the ‘person’s looks’ is rated #1.
I don’t believe that the genetic wiring from the beginning of the of the human species which aimed towards ‘picking the best genes for survival and propagation of the species’ etc., hoo-ha. It’s been used as an excuse for less positive P C qualities some people possess. Plus, humans have evolved past that point by now. “I’m not responsible- I’m hardwired via genes from relatives wwaaaaayyyyyyy back- gosh! I guess from the beginning of time!”......uh-huh. This and our appendix, right?

Cruiser's avatar

No…beauty is entirely subjective based on the society you are raised in and the many external influences one is exposed to from the time they were born. “Beauty” for one will often resemble the loving images of the positive impact ones parents has upon the child. Adults often choose a spouse based on the “beauty” and strength of their own parents. Beauty will also reflect the influence of the society they are raised in. IMO beauty is entirely subjective based on the positive and negative experiences we are exposed to. There are many things in other cultures I find repulsive that they find beautiful. In the end beauty is not simply skin deep but in the eye of the beholder.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

@Inara27 Yup, That little caveat knows no gender. I do feel that women get it worse though. Men don’t have to worry too much about stalkers and perverts.

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