In the 21st century, there are several characteristics of an ideal woman. Questions arise like those below:
Who is the ideal woman in the 21st century? What does she look like? What characteristics or virtues set her apart from others?
While there are three pivotal feminine archetypal women that I will focus on based on the below list, there are many more feminine archetypes that could be discussed. There is the Mother: a natural caretaker who is responsible and protective. There is the Queen, a true leader who is confident and loyal; and there is the Lover, who is a symbol of creation. Other notable archetypes include the Sage, the Maiden, and the Huntress. (Read more in this article).
Nineteenth century poets and authors describe whom the perfect woman is. According to William Wordsworth, “A perfect woman, nobly planned, To warn, to comfort, and command; And yet a Spirit still, and bright With something of angelic light.” Thomas Hardy also wrote, “The perfect woman, you see is a working woman; not an idler, not a fine lady; but one who uses her hands and her head and her heart for the good of others.”
For centuries women have faced evolving ideals of body image; the 21st century is no different. A woman’s ideal appearance is markedly measured by the entertainment industry, while the average woman’s image is noticeably underrated and largely unacceptable in these circumstances.
Dr. Gail Dines writes, “If tomorrow, women woke up and decided they really liked their bodies, just think how many industries would go out of business.”
But we must look beyond the outward beauty of women and examine the characteristics that make a woman an ideal.
- She is strong
“A really strong woman accepts the war she went through and is ennobled by her scars.” ~Carly Simon
A strong woman may speak her mind and tell it like it is. She doesn’t need help to create the life of her dreams. She learns from her past mistakes to succeed in whatever role she has.
- She is independent
“My mother told me two things constantly. One was to be a lady and the other was to be independent.” ~Ruth Bader Ginsburg
An independent woman knows what she wants and fiercely pursues it. While this trait may be a turn off to some men, an independent woman is like a lioness of a pride: a queen in her own right.
- She is loyal
“Loyalty means nothing unless it has at its heart the absolute principle of self-sacrifice.” ~Woodrow T. Wilson
The ideal woman is also loyal; with that loyalty, you can be certain that she will stay by her man. A devout mother, likewise, would also share this trait of loyalty, as the caretaker to her children.
- She is confident
“Nothing is more beautiful than a confident woman who doesn’t pretend to be something she’s not.” -Unknown
Think of a woman walking in stilettos. That’s her. She exudes her confidence in how she acts and how she walks. She walks with humility and takes strides to defend herself, if the need arises.
- She is passionate
Burn with a fire
Few can handle,
Yet none can resist.
A passionate woman can be fierce like fire, as poet Mark Anthony describes above. There is an intensity behind everything she does; she is an adventurous risk-taker and loves hard.
- She has a sense of humor
“A woman is dangerous when she is armed with beauty and a sense of humor, as she becomes irresistibly addictive.” ~Alfredo Cano
A witty woman is good company to keep. If she has a sense of humor, she is down to earth and conversations are comforting and real.
- She is intelligent
“We need women who are so strong they can be gentle, so educated they can be humble, so fierce they can be compassionate, so passionate they can be rational, and so disciplined they can be free.” ~Kavita Ramdas
Someone who has a competitive spirit and enjoys a challenge, she may be pursuing a career and redefining what success really means. Intelligence is a key trait in an ideal woman; it differentiates her from the rest of the pack.
- She is kind
“You is kind. You is smart. You is important.” ~Aibileen Clark, The Help
Kindness is an ideal; this personality trait defines how she interacts with peers and with family and friends.
- She is beautiful
“Beauty begins the moment you decide to be yourself.” ~Coco Chanel
A beautiful woman is unequivocally herself whose attraction is more than skin deep. Fashion mogul Coco Chanel knew that all too well.
- She has a wild heart
“Some days I am more wolf than woman and I am still learning how to stop apologizing for my wild” ~Nikita Gill
A woman with a wild heart is worth pursuing. She has an adventurous spirit; she won’t settle for less as she sets her sails for a new challenge, a new place; she will be unapologetic for her sense of adventure. Accept that.
- She is stylish
“Character. Intelligence. Strength. Style. That makes beauty.” ~Diane Von Furstenberg
A stylish woman knows the current trends, but adapts them to her personal style. It is more than how she may style her hair or wear a classy dress, being stylish is more of a perk of being the ideal woman.