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Strength Is a Common Thread

July 30, 1998|KATHRYN BOLD

Who's the ideal woman? It takes all kinds, according to those who routinely encounter Orange County women from all walks of life. Each saw the ideal woman differently. The most common characteristic cited among the group: her strength.

* Dr. Tandra Cadigan, a Newport Beach OB-GYN and member of the Neiman Marcus fashion board: "The ideal woman is very comfortable with who she is because there isn't just one ideal. The most important thing is to be happy and content with who you are. The ideal woman feels she's the best she can be, and that makes her more powerful. That gives her an inner strength."

Her ideal: Frances Marion, Oscar-winning playwright. "She was artistic, passionate and brilliant. So many women got their fame from a man. She wrote her last book at age 83. That's my kind of woman."

* Elaine Cali of the Anaheim/Orange County Visitor & Convention Bureau: "The ideal woman has the drive and independence of Barbra Streisand, the humor of Bette Midler, the courage of Eleanor Roosevelt, the grace of Audrey Hepburn and the compassion of Maya Angelou."

* Roger Canamar of Notorious Model Management in Santa Ana: "The ideal woman should have a sense of vulnerability, a sense of strength and of style. She's feminine but strong. In today's society that femininity has been lost. As a modeling agent, I see a lot of girls who aren't very feminine. They're very boyish. . . . Social graces are a lost art, and we need to get them back."

His ideal: Audrey Hepburn. "She was a woman of confidence, style and elegance. She was giving, and she faced the world in an honest way."

* Consuelo de Chozas, Newport Beach etiquette consultant: "The ideal woman is someone pleasant to be around. She makes everyone feel good. It's not related to how she looks. It's good gestures, good posture. She has a strength from within."

Her ideal: Barbara Bush. "Unpretentious but elegant."

* Jose Eber of Jose Eber Salons Inc.: "She's someone very sure of herself, who accepts herself as she is. Too many people are harsh on themselves. They hate this and they hate that. The ideal woman may not have the perfect hair, body or face, but she loves herself. Beauty is an attitude. You can tell it just by the way a woman walks. It's who you are on the inside."

His ideal: Barbara Walters. "She's strong, she accepts who she is and she's attractive."

* Penny Elia of Trademark Marketing & Graphics, Laguna Beach: "In our society, we've placed a lot of importance on appearance. It's done women a lot of injustice. The people I'd want to emulate are not celebrities. They're teachers who would go the extra mile. The ideal woman is someone who could unlock my mind to a different side of something."

Her ideal: "My first-grade teacher. She was really tough but taught us so much. I even liked the way she ate her cookies."

* Charles Staley Martens of Seche International, a cosmetics company in Rancho Santa Margarita: "The ideal woman can be a great mother and create and maintain a career on her own. She looks at family as a partnership between a man and woman. She shares herself with the community. She gets to have it all. People only limit themselves."

His ideal: Eliza Szonert. "My fiancee. She's open, loving and peaceful."

* Sandra Young of Womens Focus, a career-development company in Tustin: "The ideal woman needs to be strong, assertive and have a good sense of humor. She needs to bounce back, because it's tough out there. She's ethical and passionate about something. She doesn't just let things happen to her."

Her ideal: Meg Ryan. "She has all those qualities."

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