Although perspectives on the perfect man and woman are constantly evolving and may differ from culture to culture, there are some common themes. The man should be the provider and the woman should take care of her looks and take care of the family. This is what Epoch Times reporters from Sweden to Islamabad discovered when they asked locals, “According the dominant values in your country, what is the ideal man and the ideal woman like?”
Eddie Orr, 30, Sales
An ideal woman would be loyal in a relationship, have wisdom-not only for textbooks, but also common sense and [has a beautiful] personality rather than face. As for ideal man, he must have good appearance, career, and money; it's tough to find though.
Sara Lidgren Ntini, 33, Activity Developer for Save the Children Sweden
The ideal man is stable and secure and self-confident. And tall. I don't know how to put it, but he is kind of fun to be around and knows how to carry himself in different situations. The woman, she's still valid is one that takes care of others, is thoughtful and motherly. She's always in a good mood, is warm and kind to everyone, leaving a good impression. The other picture's sharp, active, and good looking, always paying a little extra attention to her looks. She can easily do five things at once. I think of them as two different pictures, but maybe that's not right. I think there are these two kinds of ideal woman, but only one kind of ideal man. I feel this is how it is in society at the moment. Not plastic surgery, necessarily, but extra attention to looks. Both of these ideal women have to have a sense of humor, though. They must be able to take a joke; it's not allowed to get offended.
Sao Paulo, Brazil
Gloria Gil, 58, High School Teacher
[Photo: Gloria & Her husband, Plinio Gil, 65, Lawyer] The ideal woman is not the one that stays at home all the time. She goes out to work, takes care of the children and the husband, and manages the housework as well. Well, the perfect man, the girls nowadays are still waiting for the prince on a white horse. He is handsome, has a nice car and a beautiful apartment, and can provide everything to her, so that she doesn't need to do anything.
Shanique, 31, Animator
Seriously, the ideal man should have financial stability, whether we choose to admit it or not. In Singapore, everything involves money. Housing loans, phone bills, car loans, maid's pay, entertainment, kid's education, tax, petrol, etc. Without a stable income, there will be many future unforeseen problems. No doubt I am a woman who thinks that love matters more than money, but when come to reality, money still comes first. One word to describe an ideal woman would be 'capable.' She must be capable at work and at the same time, at home in the kitchen. She should learn to cook and know how to take care of herself as well as her family: husband, children, and parents.
Jeremy Brown, 32, Textile Designer
Well she has to be extremely smart, beautiful, very thoughtful, generous, likable of course, and all around a very good person, a good heart.
Yang Qinghua, 23, Masters Student
Males have to take responsibility, be honest, have a steady job, have a good family background, and have a sense of money. Women should be lovely, virtuous, be born into a regular family, be able to assist their husbands and educate their children, and help their family." Xu Mingwei, 23, Graduate Student in Electronics: "Apart from the above mentioned, men also have to be confident; females should be beautiful.
Paolo Bartolucci, 42, Martial Arts Instructor
In Italy, each person is very different one from another, but there's no difference in how a woman or man would answer this question. In general, Italians think that for all women and men now, the ideal is when we can recognize in another that special exact complementary person, similar to two pieces of a puzzle or perfectly fitting footwear.
Saima Khurram, 42, Housewife and Teacher
The ideal man is one who earns a good living and can provide for his family. The ideal woman is one who is slim, fashionable, can take good care of the children, do household chores, and put the man's family first, above her own needs. There are a lot of pressures on women in Pakistan, but I think in Western culture there is more pressure because not only does the woman have children and have to take care of the immediate family, but she often has to earn a living as well.
Alina Zareba, 27, Administrative Assistant
The ideal man is tall, resourceful, and rather young, but also tender, humorous, and intelligent. Besides these features, he also has everything else that's important: a home and good social standing. The ideal woman doesn't have to be beautiful or thin, unlike what the majority of girls the world over think. It is enough if she is warm and well-groomed. Most men appreciate culinary abilities in a woman. She must also laugh at a man's jokes and allow herself to be taken care of by the man. Most people in Poland value family ties, and on the basis of these formulate an opinion about their prospective spouse.
Look for the Global Q & A column every week, when Epoch Times correspondents interview people around the world to learn about their lives and perspectives on local and global realities. Next week’s global question: “When you were 6 years old, what did you want to be when you grew up?”