this is a one of the 12 central paradoxes: things that are known to be opposite of what they seem[1], which is related to the very general concept of counterintuitivity which is involved in a lot of the popular discussions on what makes concepts concepts.

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Sasha Rudensky, Norma Pospolita, 2013

It encompasses the concept of beauty/ugliness

different perspectives

a lot of artists, perhaps because beauty is a central concept to the discipline of art itself, choose to talk about this paradox in their work. This manifests in one of two ways: something that is usually considered beautiful presented in a way that makes it look ugly, for "example," a beautiful girl who for some reason is made to look ugly by either engaging in some sort of gross activity (ex. eating in a disgusting fashion), or else shown to be...Here are some examples

countless movie troupes are about this, as villains who are shown to be very beautiful on the outside but on the inside they are indeed cold and mean (ex. the queen/witch in Snow White), whereas the ugly person is often shown to be beautiful..

even pictures of women who are unsmiling - who look tired or are in a bad mood, are considered to represent the antithesis of the schema of beautiful girl and therefore are beholden to this paradox.

on the other hand, things that are known to be "ugly" such as trash, although it is not known to be specifically ugly but instead simply negative (disambiguated), are often presented or shown to be

beauty is int he eye of the beholder but I'd like to reclaim that by reassining value to that eye.

as you know all of these paradoxes are part of the i can't believe it's not butter concept in which things that appear to be a certain way are actually another. (there is a surprise inside)

don't judge a book by it's cover


  1. ↑ "things aren't always as they seem" - Alice, alice in wonderland

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