You might say that the essential quality that describes women is beauty and you might say that the essential quality that describes men is strength. From our early days, little girls like to dress up and wear makeup and little boys like to be super heroes and flex their muscles. It is just in our nature. Peter helps us understand what real beauty and real strength look like:
1 Peter 3:3 (Wives) Do not let your adornment be merely outward—arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel— 4 rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God.
1 Peter 3:7 Husbands, likewise, dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered.
Apparently real beauty and real strength are seen and measured by God, Himself. A woman is to be beautiful invisibly with a heart that is gentle and a spirit that rests in the Lord. This kind of beauty can even win an unbelieving husband to faith. A man is to demonstrate strength by lifting his wife in honor and investing himself in understanding and care. That kind of strength can forge marriages and families and lead to answered prayers.
It is in our nature to focus on beauty and strength, but it is our glory to lay our nature before the Lord, who finds beauty in the unseen and strength in unselfishness.