Makeup and Make Not

My mother’s idea of

natural childbirth was

giving birth without makeup.

Robin Williams

Comedy Central’s Amy Schumer parodies our beauty standards in this video “Girl, You Don’t Need Makeup.” We’re in on the joke if we admit how compulsively we submit to the judgment of others, particularly to the itinerant male gaze.

“You look better without makeup,” my husband used to tell me as a young bride and I’d stare back at him incredulously. I was blind to his point of view so his compliment bordered on ludicrous.

Having been raised with Western beauty as the ideal, my small eyes were the biggest thing I wished I weren’t born with. Kids with “normal” eyes teased, “Do you see half as much as we do?” My grandmother offered the best use of my first paycheck, “You should have slits done on your eyelids!” Too chicken for a cosmetic procedure my paycheck could not have covered anyhow, I piled on five layers of eye shadow each morning in a futile attempt to make my eyes look wider, bigger, less Asian. Several women in our family wore a similar patch of black eyeliner on the eyelids, mimicking that fold of skin our slanted eyes forgot to have. For most of my youth, no force on earth could have convinced me that almond eyes are beautiful.

Then my kids started rolling in. The second child was enough to make me feel sufficiently outnumbered and spread thin. Only two hands to get two kids dressed, fed and rushed to school? Something had to give! I lay down those makeup brushes in surrender.

Sixteen years later, it is now a mystery how I thought starting the day with heavy makeup was a bright idea. With three teens testing parental boundaries, small eyes see enough for me to handle. And will I swear off makeup completely?  Not likely! What’s the point (and the fun) of being a woman if we didn’t have options, my dear–and plenty of them!

In behalf of those who eschew makeup because they can, this Powerful Goddess glamorously bares it.  She is of that rare breed who firmly believes she is most beautiful without it.  Why, even the blind can see that! Ah-men.

Click on “Leave a Comment” to share how you honor your natural beauty. xoxox






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 © Sharon Birke

201 697 1947

Glamour Portraits of the Goddess in Every Wife & Mother

3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Mountain
    May 01, 2015 @ 15:55:35

    My dear Sharon as I read and watched my mind was filled with a myriad of thoughts ranging from fond memories of the past to anger. Here is just a bit of what I was thinking.

    Of course I’ve never seen a photo of you without makeup—I guess. But I totally agree with your thoughtful husband because there are a few of us men that think our Goddesses’ don’t need make up to be beautiful. My opinion goes for all women, less is better–none is you, the beauty that your are naturally. I love the natural beauty of women but I also know its not all about us. That being said do what makes you feel beautiful for yourself. Lucky men like your husband and I get to enjoy the beauty of our Goddesses’ however you choose to prepare for us.:)

    Asian eyes…that is a very special subject for me. Another Asian Goddess influence in my life once told me or asked me; what do you think of my —–y eyes? Sorry cant spell it out for fear of being considered raciest, which I’m not! I was taken aback and couldn’t believe what she said. She was being funny and silly of course but I’ll never forget that and when I think about it from time to time, it makes me smile. And yes, I love —–y eyes yours included Sharon Birke, beautiful eyes that see so big! 😉

    Goddess photo three is my favorite this week. A natural beauty and when I see a photo like this of a woman looking away it always makes me wonder…what are you thinking at that moment?



  2. Mountain
    May 06, 2015 @ 09:32:44

    In my earlier comment I mentioned anger without explaining. It was related to the thoughtlessness of kids in school and how they treat and effect their peers with words. We hear the sad stories of kids today. I guess the instances were always there we just didn’t hear so much before. When I was in Jr. high two situations were right in front of me. A boy I knew in my homeroom was very overweight and was constantly being tormented by two boys about his weight. I saw how it effected him. To put it mildly it pissed me off to the point that I had to do something without my friend knowing. I took the two boys aside and explained that it needed to stop. It did. The other was about a girl that had been severely burned facially and upper body. Our last names started with the same letter so we typically sat together (lucky for me) and became friends. I don’t think I ever overheard her being picked on but the potential was there and I know she was avoided by some, that was enough to be hurtful. I lost contact after Jr. high but remember how strong she was a true Powerful Goddess. I learned a lot from her about strength, I’m not sure I would have been able to face my peers as she did so matter-a-factly. I’ll always remember her.

    I felt I needed to explain and share.



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