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More Than Meets the Eye: How to be Beautiful Without Being Good Looking

Meet Charlie, the leading man in the 1990s romantic comedy ‘Roxanne’. The first thing people notice about Charlie (played by Steve Martin) is his nose. You can’t miss it. It’s big — really big. Huge. One look causes people to stop in their tracks and stare. Clearly, he is not a “good looking” guy.

Of course, that’s not all there is to Charlie. He is also witty, talented, romantic, intelligent, sensitive and successful. People like him. But all his life, Charlie has believed his less-than-ideal looks were an immovable obstacle between him and romantic love.

Enter Roxanne (Daryl Hannah). She is a young astronomy grad student. Unlike Charlie, Roxanne is beautiful. She has come to town for the summer to gather data on a new comet she discovered. Charlie falls instantly in love with her, but keeps his feelings to himself. When it comes to romance, even he can’t see past the nose on his face.
Then we see the arrival of Chris, the new man at the fire department where Charlie is chief. Chris is tall, muscular, handsome — and catastrophically shy around women. When Roxanne shows an interest in meeting him, Chris convinces Charlie to do the talking, in letters and outside her window, under cover of darkness.

Soon Roxanne falls for Chris—or the man she believes him to be. In fact, while she is attracted to Chris’s appearance, he is quite shallow and as thick-headed as a brick. It is Charlie’s warmth and charm that she loves. The truth eventually comes out, and Charlie and Roxanne both wisely choose to see beneath the surface and recognize beauty where it really lives—on the inside.


‘Roxanne’ is a heartwarming story with an important warning for anyone looking for love: Be careful how you define beauty—in yourself and your potential partner. Our culture teaches us to place great importance on appearance, and there is nothing wrong with taking care of yourself and attending to your looks. But remember to spend as much time developing attractive qualities that come from your heart and soul.

Here are four ways to get started:

Love yourself.
Take inventory of all the intangible things you have to offer in a relationship. Chances are, you’ll see there’s a lot to love about you. Go ahead, admit it. Few things are as magnetically attractive as genuine self-assurance and quiet confidence. Simply put, we appreciate people who appreciate themselves.

Laugh often.
Victor Borge once said, “Laughter is the shortest distance between two people.” Here’s why: It throws open all the shutters and windows to your heart and lets your inner light shine. Give it a try—and notice how people are drawn to the warmth.

Live your life with gusto.
Passion and purpose in life are contagious qualities. Get about doing what you love, and you will attract others who’ll love you for it.

Let grace and kindness flow out of you.
The most beautiful people in the world have an inner warmth and generous spirit that spills onto those around them. We can’t resist drawing near to someone who is consistently gentle, compassionate, and accepting. These straight-from-the-heart qualities more than compensate for any physical shortcomings.

If nature gave you a body that will never appear on a magazine cover, don’t despair. You can be as beautiful as you want on the inside by cultivating qualities that far outshine external attractiveness. After all, that’s what any partner worth having is really looking for.