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  • Very few of us are what we seem.

  • The appearance of well-being, status, power, and prestige creates well-being, status, power, and prestige.

  • I think how you look is the most important thing in the world. If you look cute, you are cute; if you look smart, you are smart, and if you don't look like anything, you aren't anything.

  • To be a king and wear a crown is more glorious to them that see it than it is pleasure to them that bear it ...

    • Elizabeth I,
    • "The Golden Speech" (1601), in Frederick Chamberlin, The Sayings of Queen Elizabeth ()
  • ... it is a curious fact, but one which all experience owns, that people do not desire so much to appear better, as to appear different from what they really are.

  • Acting a part is not always synonymous with lying; it is far more often the best way of serving the truth. It is more truthful to act what we should feel if the community is to be well served rather than behave as we actually do feel in our selfish private feelings.

  • [We] talked on about household forms and ceremonies, as if we all believed that our hostess had a regular servants' hall ... instead of the one little charity-school maiden, whose short ruddy arms could never have been strong enough to carry the tray up-stairs, if she had not been assisted in private by her mistress, who now sat in state, pretending not to know what cakes were sent up; though she knew, and we knew, and she knew that we knew, and we knew that she knew that we knew, she had been busy all the morning making tea-bread and sponge cakes.

  • You labor under the hallucination that I felt merry when I wrote all that nonsense! Not a bit of it; it's a way I have, when I can't find a razor handy to cut my throat!

    • Fanny Fern,
    • in Joyce W. Warren, Fanny Fern: An Independent Woman ()
  • ... like other potentates with a long habit of arbitrary authority, she covered her perplexity with a smart show of decision.

  • Some folks mistakes all they see for all there is.

  • Conventionality is the tacit agreement to set appearances before reality, form before content ...

    • Ellen Key,
    • "The Conventional Woman," The Morality of Women ()
  • Reality has changed chameleonlike before my eyes so many times that I have learned, or am learning, to trust almost anything except what appears to be so.

    • Maya Angelou,
    • in Mari Evans, ed., Black Women Writers (1950-1980) ()
  • A man of fashion does not like to be reckoned poor, no more than he likes to be reckoned unhappy. We none of us endeavor to be happy, Sir, but merely to be thought so; and for my part, I had rather be in a state of misery, and envied for my supposed happiness, than in a state of happiness, and pitied for my supposed misery.

  • When my daughter looks at me, she sees a small old lady. That is because she sees only with her outside eyes. She has no chuming, no inside knowing of things. If she had chuming she would see a tiger lady. And she would have careful fear.

  • She had ... the over-alert look of a ventriloquist's dummy.

  • We tend to tell strangers what we think will make us sound good. I myself, to my utter amazement, informed a telephone pollster that I exercised regularly, a bare-faced lie.

  • If you are being run out of town, get in front of the crowd and make it look like a parade.

  • It's easy to make money. You put up the sign Bank and someone walks in and hands you his money. The façade is everything.

  • ... he was declaring the ardour of his passion in such terms as but too often make vehemence pass for sincerity ...

  • ... there is no fire without smoke but there is often smoke without fire.

    • Christine de Pisan,
    • 1404, in Thelma S. Fenster and Nadia Margolis, trans., The Book of the Duke of True Lovers ()
  • ... the essence of vulgarity seemed to lie in the pretence at being or the attempt to be, something that one really was not, with the resulting lack of ease and dignity and taste.

  • ... affectation hath always had a greater share both in the action and discourse of men than truth and judgment have ...

  • ... Vermer tried a pass at me, after giving me lunch one day, and later had tall tales to tell, but that is not uncommon among inferior men. He was only one of a long series of males, who for one reason or another, to boost their own ego, find it satisfying to boast of what they have not achieved.

  • You'd pass me on the street/ As well, a 'normal,' / Someone who traded / In her essentials for / A look of haunted / Responsibility.

  • ... people's desires are in proportion to their lifestyle ... Houses can lie as easily as humans.

  • Here's what a lot of the media want us to believe: One day, we'll get everything right about our appearance. Our hair will look fabulous, our skin will be smooth and crease-free, men will have perfect six-pack abs and we'll be three sizes smaller than we are now. We'll look so good we'll have made over not just our looks but our lives.

  • Having the right image — the way people see you — is crucial to getting what you want from work: respect, raises, promotions, good working relationships, and an easier time of it all around. This holds for everyone in the workplace, but the 'right' image is particularly essential for women because they have to overcome the handicap of being the 'wrong' sex.

    • Janice LaRouche,
    • in Janice LaRouche and Regina Ryan, Janice LaRouche's Strategies for Women at Work ()
  • ... in politics as in life, what is known is not necessarily what is believed, what is shown is not necessarily what is seen, and what is said is not necessarily what is heard.

  • Appearances are not held to be a clue to the truth ... But we seem to have no other.

  • He longed to make a mark, or, to express it more vulgarly, cut a figure. Now, fortunately or unfortunately, the number of figures which can be cut in the world is practically unlimited; the only difficulty is to cut precisely the kind of figure one would wish.

  • There is more here than meets the eye ...

  • The longer I stay in the States, the more I understand how important it is to smile and seem like a nice guy. Like Ronald Reagan. Your image seems to count more than what you do.

  • It is a fact that you can make an audience see nearly anything, if you yourself believe in it.

  • As usual she had a deceptive air of perspicacity.

  • Now, see there. Just because I'm wearing my Super-Dike sweatshirt, you think I'm a lesbian. I guess if I were wearing a string of pearls, you'd think I was an oyster.

  • ... dealing with loss and heartache doesn't make you stronger. It only makes people think you are.