Beauty is only skin deep? – Guest Post by Teeni

Hi, my name is Teeni from the blog The Vaguerian Tea Room. First, I’d just like to say how honored I was that Annie asked me to do a guest post. I thank you, Annie, for giving me a different audience to try out a subject that has lately made me wonder how others feel about it. What I’ve been considering lately is beauty versus attractiveness.

We all know the saying that beauty is only skin deep. But also, we all have our own ideas of what beautiful is. I’ve often wondered about the words beautiful and attractive and what they mean to other people. According to, the two words are almost identical in definition, although attractive appears to carry a more sexual connotation.

To me, natural human physical beauty, always meant possessing physical qualities which made others desirous of them or to want to look like them. Again, everyone has their own opinion of what is beautiful. For instance, Angelina Jolie is often touted as the world’s most beautiful woman. Personally, I do think she is naturally beautiful but I don’t think she is the most beautiful woman in the world and that title just means nothing to me because each person has their own standards of beauty.

Now as far as what is I think is attractive for a human, here’s my thinking. I’ve always considered attractive to be the ability to make oneself appealing to others in a physical manner, the ability to attract, whether considered beautiful or not. For instance, Sarah Jessica Parker is by no means what would be considered a typical natural Hollywood beauty. However, I think she is extremely attractive – she knows how to play up her good features and always appears clean and is neatly attired. Angelina Jolie also shines in this category – when she wants to, that is. Sometimes she looks dirty and skanky to me (think back when she was with Billy Bob Thornton), but she cleans up wonderfully (most public appearances with significant other, Brad Pitt). And some people are both beautiful AND attractive, in my opinion, such as Aishwarya Rai.

But now, inner beauty, in my opinion, transcends the physical level. For some it is harder to find because we are so easily blinded by physical traits. Inner beauty would enhance any physical beauty and turn mere attractiveness into ravishing beauty. It’s like a glow that emanates from within, but becomes noticed by those around. It is something that grows the more you get to know the person because it has more to do with an attitude, a concern for others, a love of life. It’s a goodness that isn’t extinguished when the flame of youthful physical beauty dies out.

I can’t point out famous people who I feel have this inner beauty because I don’t personally know them. But there are a few that I suspect have it. People like Halle Berry, Drew Barrymore, and Jennifer Garner seem to me to be the type that would also be beautiful people underneath their outer beauty as well. Again, I don’t know for a fact that this is true, as I don’t personally know these actresses but they are an example of some that I think would be a pleasure to know and have as friends, not just to be pretty faces to look at. I try to consider how they treat others, and how they behave themselves when they don’t know they are being watched.

Whenever I see magazines and shows put together lists of people they feel are the tops, I always feel some people are left off or some just don’t even belong there. So I wonder how other people feel about this whole beauty and attractiveness thing, especially when so many pretty faces are in front of us in movies and on television and in advertising. I know I generally think of women when using the word beautiful but this could equally apply to men. What do you all think and what are your definitions of beautiful and attractive when considering people?

(thanks so much Teens for a great post)


27 thoughts on “Beauty is only skin deep? – Guest Post by Teeni

  1. Great post, Teeni! I agree with you about inner beauty transcending the physical level. It’s also something that should be considered more valuable than it really is. I mean, what’s the point of looking beautiful if you’re a nasty cow? The media often puts celebrities on a pedestal simply because of their looks, but I would love to read more about the things that make them beautiful on the inside. Because like you’ve mentioned, I am sure many of them DO possess that inner beauty, but we necessarily see it.


  2. What a beautiful attractive posts from a beautiful attractive guest speaker.

    Beauty to me is something which I feel. Its not neccessary what I see. I usualy see it in the eyes and smiles of a person – a glow. A beautiful radiant glow.

    I have to say for me when I see or feel beauty I find that the feelings come from somewhere in me, it has to for me to to reconize it.

    I use the word beautiful more than any other word I’ve ever used I think.

    Beauty is transcendable ( if thats a word ). I feel so beautiful today but you wanna see the state of me. I don’t look it. Hehe!!! I’m not very attractive I have to say. Maybe If I kept my mouth shut ……

    I think the Dali Lama is beautiful. I don’t think I’ve spelt that right.

    Thank you for this beautifuly attractivly written posts

    Smiles & Beauty


  3. PS !!

    I loved your explanation on inner beauty and Yes ! Drew Barrymore to me is SO Beautiful. I think it’s a freshness I love. I love her beauty in that film where she loses her memory and that bloke has to try to make her fall in love with him every day.

    Thats one of my favourite films. She’s beautiful and the film is beautiful.

    Thank -you again.


  4. Hannah: I responded to you at your comment on my site.

    Di: What a lovely comment. I only wish I were as beautiful and attractive as the girl in the photo! I like how you described “feeling” beauty – how true! That is how I feel also. And yes, to me, Drew Barrymore is a classic beauty as well as being extremely attractive. That film, 100 First Dates, I think it was – is also one of my faves! πŸ™‚

    Darla: Exactly!



  5. I always think about Jennifer Grey from Dirty Dancing. That nose job ruined her natural, unique “look” and career. I wonder if Ashley Simpson will suffer the same fate…


  6. Beauty, as the saying goes, is indeed in the eye of the beholder. I would surmise this would also apply to that of inner beauty. Take truth for example. Truth (and subsequently honesty) is an abstract notion. Some consider truth as a beautiful thing. It is pure and simple. But is that a proper assertion? Truth, in my opinion, is a blunt object. It can be held in high regard but it can also be used to club folks on the noggin. Ever know anyone who is brutally honest? Is it a beautiful thing? Perhaps, but as you see, it again is subjective. And furthermore, is truth ever irrefutable? Sorry, I digress into the existential. I simply submit that any attribute that one may find beautiful (or combinations of attributes) would not necessarily be found so by others.
    That being said; beautiful post.


  7. If you look at the film stars of today and compare them with Marilyn Monroe or Ava Gardner, today’s stars are not a patch on them!

    Which is odd, ‘cos today’s stars have access to so many more cosmetic procedures and products that previous generations could only dream of, however wealthy.

    Perhaps it is the charisma and even a bit of innocence that seems to be missing from today’s stars. Plus the acting tends to be very self-conscious in a much more egocentric look-at-me sort of way and the storylines, thinner.

    No one’s ever completely happy with their looks, but I guess I’m not too UNHAPPY! And the inner beauty’s working overtime to make up for any lacks on the outside!


  8. Casdok: I think both you and your son are beautiful, each in your own way. πŸ™‚

    Honeywine: Yeah, that’s funny. For Jennifer Grey it made her look too ordinary I think. For Ashley it seems to be working in her favor. So far, anyway.

    Ozy: I see what you are saying and I totally agree. To add to it, I have always thought people can be honest without being brutal and I find that is a beautiful skill worth practicing. I do try to practice this myself. I may not always be successful, but I try. Thanks for the great comment and also for the compliment. πŸ™‚

    Poet: It’s too bad I had to resort to stars to illustrate my point, but then, they are people most would recognize. LOL. I think you have something there when you say that charisma and a bit of innocence are missing from today’s stars. I much more appreciate a beauty I have to discover than one that is someone else’s idea flaunted in my face. Your inner beauty is doing a nice job! I have to go kick my inner beauty in the butt for being such a lazy slob. πŸ˜‰



  9. Great post, Teeni! Here is something else I think about… When I read blogs from people I truly like or admire, but have never seen, I often imagine them in my mind as attractive people, even if they have told me they are “ugly” or otherwise indicated that they are unattractive. Do you do this?

    And then, if you do see real pictures of them, does that change your opinion of these people? I think it is a strange feeling when I see a picture of someone I feel as if I know from reading what they have written but never seen before. But still it doesn’t actually change the way I feel about them. Often I think these people are more attractive to me from reading their blogs first than they would have been had I simply met them in person.


  10. i’m beginning to think more and more that beauty and attractiveness are so subjective, that i cannot really define them- at least not in any concrete way.

    However, i find that most people, physically speaking, have their own beauty unique to them. i don’t know if this is a combination of their inner workings and how those translate into actions coupled with some unique physical trait(s) or what, but when you mentioned Sarah Jessica Parker, this is what came to mind.

    i like what you’ve said about inner beauty though, and i think in our most basic selves, we all know what you’ve said to be true. This was a well written and thought provoking post. Thanks Teeni!


  11. Hi again – Can I just come back to this please. OH ! I love beauty. This post is beauty coz it’s making me feel all nice inside and when I feel like that I feel beautiful.

    I just want to give Audrey Hepburn a mention. She is so graceful and so elegant – it’s just how she moves and how she holds herself. I’m always in awe of Audrey Hepburn. She has a beauty of her own. We all have a beauty of our own don’t we. My friend is actually painting me a picture of her.

    Thank-you Tenni for the beauty and love.


  12. Birdpress: Oh, I know just what you mean! The one thing I like about blogging is it allows you to get to know people (or what they want you to get to know) without any physical prejudice. And if you are fortunate enough to get to meet a fellow blogger, at first there may be a little surprise when someone doesn’t match your mental image. But eerily enough, it only takes a short discussion with them to see their mannerisms and how suddenly everything starts to match up and they become even more endeared to you! πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

    C: I know what you mean about how hard it is to define beauty and attractiveness. Originally I had a different definition down as my own but when I reread my definition it really wasn’t how I had been feeling so I had to rethink it and write it more honestly. But my definition is not the same as everyone else’s and it is still subjective. But it makes it just makes it all the more interesting for me to see how others feel about it. I do agree with you that most people have their own beauty too. Also, nothing is absolute. Someone may have a particular beauty in the way they do things but may not be a particularly beautiful person as a whole, etc. This whole post has just made me think of beauty a lot differently and I now realize that it isn’t as “fluffy” a topic as I originally thought.

    Di: LOL. Of course you can come back to this. And how could I turn you down with a topic like Audrey Hepburn? Although I always thought she was just a hair too thin, I always have thought of her as being beautiful and attractive. She also comes across as intelligent, kind, thoughtful, and incredibly talented. Hmm. That makes me wonder again about the Poet’s comment and how the stars of yesteryear differ from today’s. It seems the older ones actually had personalities that came across but when I think of today’s stars it seems like we are so inundated with them and that they are many times just shallow one dimensional images of beauty but not truly beautiful. I’m not saying all stars fit this description but I am generalizing quite a bit here. Maybe we just have too many idols these days and could stand to be pickier. I don’t know. I always have more questions than answers. LOL.



  13. I’m going to use myself as an example. Sounds strange, but bear with me here. I was always a very shy and awkward child, and I was never the one to attract any of the boys. As a matter of fact, I had one lovely 13 year old male come right out and tell me to my face, he’d never consider going out with me because I was too butch! Through high school..nothing, interest from any of the boys. I did get the first young man that showed an interest..and then moved onto another long term relationship. But I never looked in the mirror and say a beautiful or attractive woman shining back at me. And I look at the rare photographs taken of me and think ‘Wow! I was seriously Plain Jane!’ Then I took a year to myself in my early 40s to really come into my own, and ended up meeting a fantastic man. Now I look in the mirror and I am always pleasantly surprised to see a beautiful woman smiling back at me. And I for the first time in my life I am completely relaxed in front of the camera, and again stare at amazement at who I see in those pictures. Moral of my story…to me beauty = 95% spiritual well being, 5% features.


  14. Urban Panther: That was an awesome comment! It takes some of us a lot longer to “come into our own” as you say. And I have to say that confidence (or maybe it is just finally the ability to not worry so much what we look like that allows us to concentrate on enjoying life more) and a smile always seem to add lots of beauty points. Also, when you feel good – spiritually and physically well, and are happy and content, the beauty must just be a part of that healthy glow from within because really who can help contain all that when they feel like they are basking in love and warmth? πŸ™‚



  15. I had to google Aishwarya Rai, and she truly is a beauty, but no necessarily someone I would be attracted to. With that being said there are people I have been attracted to, but that changed as soon as they opened their mouth. Sooo, while looks are important (but not all important) there’s way more to what makes a person attractive. And like you said with Angelina Jolie, I think she’s very beautiful, but I’m not really attracted to her. Anyway, that’s my two cents (worth of rambling). πŸ™‚


  16. Hi Teeni, fancy seeing you here! Great post, indeed.

    When I was younger I was always chided for liking the awkward, geeky guys. I saw something that everyone else didn’t – their intelligence, creativity, and depth of character – to me, that was their beauty and that made them attractive to me. To this day I still look inwardly – not outwardly – to find attractiveness and beauty.


  17. what a beautiful post about beauty teeni!

    beautiful can be another pretty face, one we see on fashion tv and mags. one who gets the attention in the street, and stands out in the crowd. but then again, who really cares?
    for me, real beauty comes from the inside that touches and reaches out to other people. beauty that glows from humility, honesty, peace of mind and inner happiness and contentment with life. people who inspire me to be a better person myself. πŸ™‚


  18. Great post Teeni.
    I wonder that myself. I mean in a world where everyone seems to find Johnny Depp gorgeous, I adore Jack Black. Go figure.
    For me attractiveness is definitely in personality. I find humor so sexy. But having said that would I date an ugly guy just because he was funny…no. Shallow huh?


  19. Peter Parkour: I’m glad to see that you aren’t one of the myriads of men who are swayed by looks alone. I like your mention of how your perception of someone who is beautiful to the eye can turn you off when she speaks. It just goes to show how truly important the entire package is and not just the outer shiny object that first catches your eye.

    2LazyDogs: Hi 2LD! Glad you found me here! LOL that you were always attracted to the geeks. I laugh but WITH you. I think you described it perfectly – you saw things in them that were attractive to you and those things were beyond the physical aspects. I think that is awesome. Also, the people who chided you should know that some guys who look geeky when they are younger go on to fill out wonderfully when they are older. πŸ™‚ Think of Anthony Michael Hall. From playing a little nerd to this:

    Odette: You said, “beauty that glows from humility, honesty, peace of mind and inner happiness and contentment with life.” I love that just the way it is. πŸ™‚

    Hay: It doesn’t make you shallow to not date someone you are not attracted to at all. You’d be shallow if you were only dating them to try and make yourself look cool. And just because you thought he was ugly doesn’t mean he is ugly to everyone. He could be a very nice person and just not attractive to YOU. I know you love Jack Black. But neither he nor Johnny Depp are that attractive to me. I prefer my Gary Sinise. **fans herself** Now that is a beautiful man. LOL.


  20. Attractive to me is a physical appearance that delights the senses. While true beauty is when the inner quality of a person shines through and creates an aura that makes the outer attractiveness glow.

    Awesome job Teeni.


  21. Evyl: I like your descriptions very much. This whole post has been very enlightening to me and I may have to tweak my definitions for myself a bit. Thanks for the comment and the compliment. πŸ™‚

    Kaylee: What? You? Speechless? LOL. I doubt that either you or I will ever run out of words. πŸ™‚



  22. I think our genes program us to see the packaging as the *main* event. Our wonderful minds offer us an escape hatch: we can choose to delight in the beauty of the ribbons and bows, and imagine the wonders of the gift we will find within.


  23. Gerry: Hmm – I can see that. I’m not sure if it is genes or if it is something we are conditioned to, but I totally see that the eyes get caught on something and then we anticipate finding good within too. Sadly, we don’t always find good within though. But I totally get you. Thanks for the comment! πŸ™‚


  24. Amazing post. You know, just once I’d like to see a magazine post a “Top 100 Inwardly Beautiful People” (or something catchier than that), and write about people who are sacrificing for others, etc. That would be nice to see.


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