Usage Note on beautiful
Our evidence shows that when beautiful is used to describe physical beauty, it is overwhelming used of women or a physical aspect of a woman (such as her hair or skin). This hasn't always been the case: when beautiful first came into English it was used as easily of men as it was of women. Nowadays, handsome is the adjective of appreciation most commonly used of men.
The plural noun phrase beautiful people doesn't refer to the overall looks of the people mentioned, but rather the elegance and sumptuousness of their lives.
First Known Use of beautiful people
Seen and Heard
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