I'm looking for a pejorative word that describes one who cares only about their own, and others' appearances, and cares nothing for personality to the point of obsession. Something that fits in like: "The son had inherited his mother's ______". Shallow is not the word I'm looking for - it wouldn't exactly fit in that sentence (and shallowness seems a bit awkward).

Vanity is the closest word I have to a fit, but it only describes an excessive care of oneself, and not others.


3 Answers 3


I think shallowness is just fine, but here's an alternative:


1 the quality or state of being superficial


"The son had inherited his mother's superficiality."

  • ‘Brittle superficiality’ might be good in the op’s sentence - giving the sense of the superficiality being a shell, like an eggshell that might break, if you pressed it just a little.
    – Jelila
    Nov 13, 2018 at 22:35

Would facileness work?

Reference: https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/facile


..."to the point of obsession", huh?

I suggest...

vestiphilia (unnatural attraction to clothing)

Or if you're willing to berate them further:

cacophobia (phobia of ugliness)

Sorry, I can't find exact definitions that satisfy your requirements, but given the suffixes, the meanings are self-evident.

What I can provide, however, is evidence of usage:

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