I learned a new saying yesterday, when I was talking to some teachers at one of my elementary schools, and trying to explain what a sinus infection is, without knowing the word. One of my teachers said "Bijin Hakumei" (美人薄命), and then explained it as meaning that beautiful women are frail. I laughed and denied the beautiful part, but then she said that she and I suffered together, so we both laughed more.
A beautiful woman is called "bijin" ( 美人)in Japanese. It's kind of weird to call someone a "beauty" in English, but it's not odd in Japanese. One of my town's catch phrases is even "Bijin no machi" (美人の町), which means a town of beauties.
But I digress. Sayings like "Bijin hakumei" are called "yojijukugo", or 4-character idioms. I always like learning them, because they are made up of only 4 kanji, but they carry a lot of meaning. It would be hard to express as much in such a compact way in English. You can read a few more "yojijukugo"