You can say that I value someone's appearance (or look) over intelligence (or brain)

But how to say that in a general way?

In my country we would translate as "appearance vs substance". Is there a correspondent idiomatic word in English?

  • 1
    The phrase "address the value of X" doesn't go quite well with the word "stupid", and I'm not sure about your intended meaning. My best guess is you this girl is the speaker of this sentence you wanted to phrase. Perhaps, she might want to say "I value my appearance (or my look) over my intelligence (or my brain)." Commented Mar 6, 2014 at 19:31
  • Yes, but if you speak in a very generally way appearance and look are already general, while intelligence is specific to human. What is a more general synonym? I will edit the question
    – Revious
    Commented Mar 6, 2014 at 20:00
  • appearance and substance are not opposites...
    – Flimzy
    Commented Mar 6, 2014 at 20:59
  • @Flimzy: I needed to say that most of people look only to the appearance, they don't go deep, they don't care about the real functionality of stuff. Something like this.
    – Revious
    Commented Mar 6, 2014 at 21:57

1 Answer 1


A common phrase is "form over function." It's not usually used to relate to people, though, but the values of those who design things:

The architect of this house clearly valued form over function.

This would mean the house was beautiful, but impractical to use for whatever reason.

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