To Gild the lily describes the process of embellishing something that is already beautiful. Something pop culture often attempts to do (?).
Of course the lily is already perfect and needs no superficial embellishment to enhance it. The phrase originates from a passage in Shakespeare’s play King John (1595): “To gild refined gold, to paint the lily, to throw a perfume on the violet, to smooth the ice, or add another hue unto the rainbow, or with taper-light to seek the beauteous eye of heaven to garnish, is wasteful and ridiculous excess.”
In 1895, the Newark Daily Advocate used the phrase, “One may gild the lily and paint the rose…” and the idiom gild the lily was born.
‘The honesty of the original’
Without going overboard, or over-egging the pudding, discuss…