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Inner vs. outer beauty

Updated on May 31, 2012

What is more valuable, the looks or the inside?

Beauty is a term that defines the level of attractiveness of a particular object, being or aspect. When we pass by a car dealer, we see many cars, but some are particularly attractive over others, and we say they are beautiful cars. We know that a car that may be attractive to one person does not have to be so for another person. The aspect of attractiveness or beauty is therefore a relative perception.

The very same thing happens when we talk about people, but it is more complex in the case of us. A car, as in the stated example, or a house, or another particular inanimate object is fully physical. We humans are constituted by mainly three “realms” that combined form the complete person: physical, emotions and spirituality. Physical appearance of humans is what we call “external appearance”, while spirituality is a form of “internal appearance”. Since emotions are based mostly by genetics and what we learn, emotions are a kind of “hybrid” between external and internal appearance.

Before I go and describe more about the three, it is important to know that today, we live in a world that has been, unfortunately, focused in the outside appearance of people. Both how they look and how they behave, but their true essence is of no importance in terms of general societal perception. As you can see in the media, women are hailed by their physical appearance- their face, their body, their smile, their hair, and their projection. The same happens with men, it’s all about looks. We live in a society where different social problems seem to be on the rise, and we must ask ourselves: Are we going somewhere by worrying and looking only on the outside, or are we in real need to look for what is inside the people to help grow a better future for the newest generations?

Outer beauty: Physical appearance

Humans are described generally in terms of looks by being either beautiful (elegant, handsome, pretty, gorgeous, sexy, etc.) or ugly (awful, horrendous, unattractive, etc.). There are people who are described to be “average”, which is a medium term between beauty and ugliness. (All the words I used inside the parentheses are “harsher/better” or “lighter” forms of expressing when a person is beautiful or ugly). But let’s go now to the truth: although it is true that some people are generally considered beautiful or ugly by a majority of people, there is always a level of relativity depending on that person who considers the person either ugly or beautiful. Attractive people tend to have a higher level of relativity, because some people may find “less attractive” what others consider attractive. In the case of unattractive people, others can look at other aspects of an unattractive person that may “suppress” that physical appearance of the person. For example, that person may not be physically attractive, but may be a very courteous, nice and smart, so that person may have an advantage over those who are attractive but not as nice or courteous. In other words, that unattractive person will have a high value depending on their inside appearance. Depending of the culture, the description of a perfectly beautiful person lies on characteristics that are all “temporary”, because age tends to decay the person’s physical appearance- hair color, hands, face, body shape, eye color, hair length, etc. Unfortunately, the inside appearance of an attractive person is of lesser importance in general- they will always stand up by their physical appearance first. In some cases, if the attractive person is also attractive on the inside, it will be praised, but only by those who are not that sexual and are educated enough to understand that sex is not everything in the world.

Outer beauty: Attitude

While most standards consider the attitude or mood of a person based on their inner or inside appearance, attitude can be considered part of outer beauty because it “adds” to or “subtracts” from the physical appearance of the person, and is a way to know more about the inside attributes of that particular person. A beautiful woman (physical appearance) looks much more beautiful when she smiles and talks softly; a beautiful woman can “scare” a person away if she is always swearing and looking bitter or angry. The attitude of a person can take a strong part on opportunities for people who are generally looked at by their physical appearance first, although it is also of high value for those who are not physically attractive.

Inner beauty: Emotions and feelings

In the Latin American world we have a saying: “The luck of an ugly woman is desired by the beautiful woman”, it simply describes what I stated before- an ugly person (or unattractive) is not looked at by their looks but at their abilities, mind, and “inner” attributes like being courteous, nice, hard-working and confident. There is no “outside” attributes that works as an obstacle to look at what really matters. In romance, it is the same- an immature man generally likes beautiful women and does not care about their attitude or behavior. More mature men (mature in terms of experience and knowledge, not age) look for serious relationships and focus more on the inside. They don’t care about the physical appearance of a woman at all after they meet the true essence of the woman they look for. They care about their attitude, their self-respect, and would easily discard a beautiful, immature woman in favor of an unattractive, mature and with high self-esteem woman. After all, as people age, all of us lose physical attractiveness and end up focusing on the beauty that does not pass away- the inner beauty. It is very, highly important that people learn to focus more on their inner beauty, by being nicer, happier, smarter, more grateful, and develop a high self-esteem. Sex is a temporary act that lasts only a couple of minutes, and people generally get tired of temporary affairs that have no serious commitment. It is not that is bad to take care of the physical appearance and it promotes a better health, but to only focus on it and abandon to take care of the inner beauty, which gives space to arrogance, bitterness and frequent anger and negative aspects to grow within the person, is a very big mistake that is projecting now, as you can see, in a society infested by divorces, broken relationships, unemployment, and all forms of social problems.

Inner beauty: Spirituality

Depending on a person’s preference, a religion or a form of faith helps a lot in developing a high self-esteem and aids to keep the inner beauty healthy. Muslims have the Qur’an, Christians have the Bible, Jews have the Torah and the Moses’ laws, and different religious people have their own codes of moral behavior. You can choose to either follow a moral code by means of serving God or doing it only for the world to become a better place, but it is very helpful to learn to know the limits in terms of respecting others and keep honor. If done the right way, without falling into religious fanaticism and intolerance, a person who knows how to please God will keep from focusing on the wrong things or from doing them.

Now, can a person have a good balance between inner beauty and outer beauty? Yes, but unfortunately, in general, it is not the norm. Many people take care only in one of them, and most of them care on the outside. But yes, there are people who are attractive in all forms, while others are unattractive both in the outside and in the inside. What can make some people bitter and unattractive in the outside? That’s material for another hub. But the inside needs more care than the outside; the outside, no matter how hard we work to keep attractive, and no matter how many inventions to “rejuvenate” are out there, it decays with time. The inside never decays unless it is abandoned.


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    • Oztinato profile image

      Oztinato 2 years ago from Australia

      Another topic which doesn't get enough attention in today's world. Hollywood has played a terrible role in this show pony stuff. I have theories as to why an Aryan form of beauty still won out in World War 2 even though they beat the Nazi eugenics philosophy. Look at the Hollywood heroes and heroines and you'll see blonde Aryans that Hitler would have approved of.

    • profile image

      aaliyah 4 years ago

      miley cyrus we don't need your comment and u can use it too on ur self

    • profile image

      Mansoor Ahmed 5 years ago

      the factt is that only heaven know inside of a person fully. A human can see & feel from outside only and so to be pragmatic, outside beauty is the starting point.

    • profile image

      Miley Ray Cyrus 5 years ago

      Inner beauty is what we need more than external beauty , not rhat we no need beauty we must be having a character to be in this world.

    • unknown spy profile image

      IAmForbidden 5 years ago from Neverland - where children never grow up.

      Inner beauty is what matters most. But nowadys, society has declined inner beauty..they don't care anymore if you're smart or kind or hardworking.. sometimes, its sad people don't get chances :(

    • harshad2011 profile image

      harshad2011 5 years ago from India

      Nice topic. Really interesting