My grandmother had lots of maxims. Some might call them proverbs or wise sayings. She shared them with my mother who would then share and explain them to us kids. We would hear them and they were part of us but we as with all things of value, they needed to stay with us for awhile until we learned their depth and validity.
I was talking to one of my students, a lovely bright-eyed Latina, and told her “Pretty is, as pretty does”. She said okay but I could tell that she didn’t really hear it. I asked her if she understood, she later confessed that she didn’t. I began explaining about my grandmother’s maxims. How they were illustrative of greater truth but had to be lived and experienced to bear the fruit of their contained wisdom.
“Pretty is, as pretty does” literally describes how pretty people (male or female) are only as pretty externally as their behavior matches. Just because you are appealing to the eye doesn’t make you beautiful. Your demeanor, personality and actions must align. Compare with the following proverb: