Can someone help me understand the following proverb?

beauty is only skin deep but ugliness cuts clean through to the bone

I know it means something like true beauty is on the inside, but I want to understand it more "deeply"

closed as off topic by RiMMER, Andrew Leach, Barrie England, cornbread ninja 麵包忍者, tchrist Aug 31 '12 at 14:08

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  • This is rather off-topic as it doesn't fall into the FAQ categories of Word choice and usage; Grammar; Etymology; Dialect; Pronunciation; Spelling and punctuation. – Andrew Leach Aug 31 '12 at 11:41

I have often heard the expression that 'beauty is only skin deep'. I have not heard the other part to this expression: 'ugliness cuts clean through to the bone'.

If you were to paraphrase this saying, you could say: 'beauty is superficial but ugliness is much more deeply rooted'.

As you know, beauty can easily be destroyed but it is much more difficult to change something that is ugly.

  • Beauty is only skin deep, but this is just the right depth. No man wants a woman who has a pretty pancreas, a gorgeous gall bladder or a lovely liver. – user3847 Jul 17 '14 at 0:29

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