They say not to judge a book by its cover, and while I know what that means, sometimes the whole reason the cover looks the way it does is so you can judge the book by it. At the same time, while the cover might tell you about something that’s in the book, it doesn’t always tell you everything. Some covers don’t give you much to go on, some covers give you everything at once. Whatever the case, there can be subtle nuances in the book that you would never know unless you opened it to read.
So can I judge a book by its cover or not? Yes and no. What about the metaphorical application? Can I judge a person by their appearance or not? Also yes and no, but in a much more precarious and even subtle way.
Humans have ways of presenting themselves to the world in the way they dress and behave so that they communicate something about who they are and/or what they like. Whether you realize it or not, you do this, too. It can be something as simple as wearing a t-shirt or accessories from your favorite movie or book, or something as complex as the specific way you wear things and how you walk and talk. The way you are on the inside has a tendency to show up on the outside. The way you think about who you are and what you ought to do can consciously and subconsciously influence how you present yourself to the world.
Sometimes people present themselves in a way to tell you that what you see is what you get. Sometimes people present themselves in a way so you can’t tell who they are on the inside. Sometimes we misinterpret what we see on the outside, whether that appearance is hiding the truth or not.
But whatever the cover, each person is still a story in progress. This is where we humans are less like books. A book is already done and the cover doesn’t change, but a person’s cover might change depending on where they are at in their story.