The character is a picture of deer with big antlers.
Ancient Chinese thought that the antlers are pretty, beautiful and gorgeous. The character emphasizes the beauty of antlers
The bronze script of character Pretty is
It is similar to the shell bone script.
The big seal script of the character Pretty is
The clerical script of the character is
The traditional song typeface of the character is
The simplified song typeface of the character is
which is just antlers. I think that the simplification is reasonable.
Its Pinyin is Li4.
The shell bone script of 美 is
which is a sheep.
They are almost exchangeable, and many times people say 美丽 - put the two together to express Beautiful. However, there is a very subtle difference between the two characters: 美 is more general, including beautiful, kind, elegant, etc. 丽 is more focus on appearance: good looking, young, pretty, etc.