Butterflies can’t see their wings. They can’t see how truly beautiful they are, but everyone else can. People are like that as well.
Butterflies have excellent vision. Similar to birds, butterflies are able to see in the ultraviolet spectrum; unlike birds, butterflies have the broadest spectrum of color vision known to exist in the animal kingdom. A compound eye is located on each side of the butterflies’ head and is made up of many little eyes pressed together into one. The tiny individual eyes are called facets, and are made up of six sides. Thousands of facets make up the two compound eyes. Unlike human vision, where we see one image, butterflies see thousands of small images at a time. Underneath the facets is a crystal cone that extends inwardly and forms a transparent rod. When light enters this rod, it has already been reversed twice, making its’ rays parallel so that light enters the rod in a straight line. Compound eyes aid in seeing into the UV, detecting movement, and seeing varied colors. The side location of their eyes enables them to see in different directions at one time, useful in detecting predators. However, butterflies cannot see detail from a distance and can only recognize the fine patterns of other butterflies from a few feet away. This would mean they are capable of seeing their own wings.
So basically this is one of those supposedly profound quotes that tries to make a point while being based on really shitty information and thus falls apart. Surely they could have found an analogy that doesn’t fly in the face of basic scientific observation if they wanted to send the “you’re more beautiful than you think” message..