The Woman With Many Plans

 

It’s better to be interesting

than

to be beautiful.

Maye Musk

 

Reading A Woman Makes A Plan: Advice for a Lifetime of Adventure, Beauty and Success by Maye Musk kept me awake past my bedtime in admiration of this indomitable spirit.  She’s the woman I want to be when I grow up!  When we see women all dolled up, it’s easy to tell ourselves that she probably hasn’t been through the hardships we’ve had. Not so! Making a fresh start–often from scratch–and moving to nine cities in three countries over her adult life, Maye has had to pick herself up one extra time after circumstances had pushed her down yet again, holding her head high with positive attitude and the willingness to do whatever it takes to show up and make the best of whatever cards life dealt her.

She speaks of her parents who set the example of “Live dangerously–carefully.”  Her mother was another incredible woman who packed up five young kids with all their food/water supply to survive three weeks of driving in the African desert–their family adventure for eight summers. She reinvented herself as a prolific artist in her 60s to 80s after her beloved husband’s tragic death; then learned to make art on the computer at 94.  This reminds me to keep stepping forward in life with grace, to always embrace the new, and to be supportive of the decisions my young adults make for themselves.

At 71, Maye continues to make plans, sharing her accumulated wisdom from motherhood, modeling, and her other lifelong profession, nutrition. She explains her sensible guide to eating based on small healthy snacks/meals when you’re hungry so as not to stress your body with starvation. Plan ahead what to keep in your fridge and your day bag and be kind to ourselves on occasional indulgences, never punishing nor going to extremes with severe restrictions that are impossible to maintain. Best of all, pay attention to our feelings that goad us to eat mindlessly and understand what changes we need to make.

I want to be surrounded by people like her who don’t complain nor obsess about looks, who are unafraid of aging and wearing silver hair, people who keep themselves engaged doing interesting things and giving their best for the people they love and work with. I want to look to the future with enthusiasm, always eager to learn and have fun no matter what shows up and despite severe pain, setbacks and heartache.  I’m not planning on Mars so I’m thankful for the inspiration of your beautiful light on this earth, Maye!

Click on “Leave a comment” (top left) to share what you love about the woman you want to be when you grow up. (All photos on this page from Google Images.)

xoxox

 

 

 

 

 

 

xoxox

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© Sharon Birke

Managing Member, DoubleSmart LLC

201 697 1947

Sharon@PowerfulGoddess.com

www.PowerfulGoddess.com

Glamour Portraits of the Goddess in Every Woman

Fearless in Style

 

People often ask, “You have so much confidence.

Where did that come from?” It came from me.

One day I decided that I was beautiful then

carried out my life as if I were beautiful.

Gabourey Sidibe

 

Aside from Halloween, I don’t do therapy.  I am completely capable of boring myself with my own whining, obsessive worries, and  old stories that other people mistake to need resolution or absolution. I do all this with a journal because, unlike friends, pen and paper take it all in without compounding my complaints with worse versions of their own. Besides, if I had to dress and drive somewhere, I want to be the one charging for the hour. When it comes to overcoming fear and trepidation, this witch swears by these style tricks that thoroughly complements the essential broomstick:

Own one fabulous coat (or jacket.) When you have to run out of the house in pajamas, a long dress coat hides many sins while allowing effortless elegance.  Barbara Corcoran launched her real estate empire wearing the same red coat to all her client meetings.  This power coat was her biggest investment as a small town waitress starting a new and very foreign career in the big city. And when you’re done torturing yourself teetering on stilettos, find a comfy pair with an inch or two of sturdier heels with rubber soles that’s kind to your spine while still encouraging good posture.

Color is my coffee  Wake yourself up with a bright, light or white top. Color has healing properties, perks up your face and makes you smile when you see yourself in the mirror. There is one other reason why I don’t wear black: No one has died yet.

Perfect eyelashes   The purpose of having a daughter and girlfriends is to have people you can count on to glue on your lashes when you’re no longer capable of doing this yourself.  Whether it’s lipstick, a blowout, or a facial, indulge in whatever makes you feel better about what you’ve got. My life may not be perfect, but my fake eyelashes can be.

Wonder Woman  I love this film starring Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman.  She was no helpless Barbie Doll in real life as an Israeli citizen with the requisite military training. As Wonder Woman, she ventured out of her tiny cloistered island, overcoming great fear of leaving all that she loved behind to venture into the unknown for the sake of saving the planet. When I need a push to get out of my comfy world, to travel somewhere or to attend an event where I know no one, I dress well and coax myself with the thought that I can show up for just a wee little bit. I promise myself that I can leave anytime I feel like and dangle a treat as reward after. More often that not, I end up staying at the event for much longer and have a great time meeting or simply observing a different world and its people. Amy Cuddy shares a life hack to quickly boost your confidence through Power Posing.

Click on “Leave a Comment” (top left) to share how you say BOO! to fear.

xoxox

 

 

 

 

xoxox

Give the women you love the most unique gift

of elegant and timeless portraits with a

Powerful Goddess Gift Certificate

for a most memorable photo shoot for up to three people!

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© Sharon Birke

Managing Member, DoubleSmart LLC

201 697 1947

Sharon@PowerfulGoddess.com

www.PowerfulGoddess.com

Glamour Portraits of the Goddess in Every Woman

New Doors

 

Birthdays are good for you.

Statistics show that the people who have the most

live the longest.

Larry Lorenzoni

 

A very Happy Birthday to this Powerful Goddess of many talents and to all of us, summer beauties, as we welcome another year of opening doors for possibility, adventure, or simply enjoy the pleasure of seeing what’s always been in front of us with new eyes!

Excerpt from That Which You Are Seeking is Causing You to Seek by Cheri Huber:

Letting go allows us to see that we are never in control in the first place.  “Do you really mean that I have no control over my life?”  Not in the sense that we usually mean it.  You can write the script, but you’ll need a lot of cooperation for the play to go the way you’ve written it.  That’s a lot to expect, especially when you consider that everyone else has a script that doesn’t read anything like yours.

You can make plans, you can make decisions, you can make choices, but there’s no guarantee that things will go the way you expect or want them to.  When you can see that, when you can act without attachment  to the outcome, you are acting from the center that knows it does not control life, even as it knows it is life itself.

Letting go is releasing our grip on delusion, allowing us to see what is.  When we stop resisting what is, when we stop clinging to our beliefs and assumptions about how things should be, we open ourselves to the present moment.  Letting go goes hand in hand with acceptance.  One does not happen without the other.  Letting go is opening the hand.  Acceptance is what the open hand receives.

Click on “Leave a Comment” (top left) to share how you welcome a new day and an exciting new year!

xoxox

xoxox

Give the women you love the most unique gift

of elegant and timeless portraits with a

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© Sharon Birke

Managing Member, DoubleSmart LLC

201 697 1947

Sharon@PowerfulGoddess.com

www.PowerfulGoddess.com

Glamour Portraits of the Goddess in Every Woman

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Irving’s Woman

 

Clothes make the man.

Naked people have little or

no influence on society.

Mark Twain

 

Irving Penn and Lisa Fonssagrives

 

The month’s iconic birthday boy is Irving Penn, born June 16, 1917.  He spent 66 of his 92 years at Vogue, creating an unprecedented 165 covers—more than any other photographer in its history.  He is remembered for luminous couture compositions shot in natural light as much as his portraits that seemed to reveal hidden selves of sitters from famous celebrities, indigenous folks and people next door, to local tradesmen. For his iconic backdrops, he worked with a discarded theatrical curtain in the studio and random scenes around the streets of Paris.

It was at Vogue’s historic shoot of the Twelve Beauties, the first group portrait of the popular models of the era, that he met the fabulous woman considered to be the original supermodel who eventually became his wife and muse for 42 years, Lisa Fonssagrives. How can a woman resist a man who chooses her over several other lovelies?

What is most remarkable about this artist famous for his fashion portraits is that he didn’t even like fashion. He wanted to be a painter but when that didn’t pan out, his friend hired him to work at Vogue’s art department. When the reigning Vogue photographers of the time could not deliver the modern look that he sought to give the magazine a fresh look for the next generation of women, he picked up the camera himself, diligently applying his technical and artistic skills to successfully deliver his aesthetic. Aside from paid assignments, he constantly pursued his own personal projects shooting flowers, still life, etc. This is an essential practice to consider when we feel stuck and uninspired. Very useful, too, for those who are confused and made lame by the pandering philosophy of “follow your passion” when there’s no obvious passion in plain sight.

Click on “Leave a Comment” (top left) to share how you keep your heart’s fire burning.

xoxox

All photos on this page are from Google Images.

Twelve Beauties, Vogue 1947

 

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© Sharon Birke

Managing Member, DoubleSmart LLC

201 697 1947

PowerfulGoddess@me.com

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Glamour Portraits of the Goddess in Every Woman

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Nutcracker: Helen Mirren

 

I like the plot of

The Nutcracker–

not at all.

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

 

Photo by Zoey Grossman for Harpers Bazaar

‘Tis that season for the Nutcracker! Helen Mirren, one of the actresses I adore for style, substance, and fearlessness, has had a career spanning longer than my time on this earth. She continues to be hot commodity at 73 with Oscar winning roles ranging from Shakespeare, Hitchcock, sexpot, detective, grand dame, royalty and tough as nails villain in Disney’s latest The Nutcracker and the Four Realms.  

For a woman who has always drawn to a challenge, someone so seasoned and accomplished, you’d probably never imagine her saying “I consider myself a scaredy cat” but she admits, “I’m constantly nervous… always worried that I’m not going to do it right. But you have to just jump and then the adrenaline kicks in.” (Harper’s Bazaar October 2018)  How necessary for the young to hear such honesty! The rest of us easily assume we are the only ones capable of feeling inadequate and afraid.

I love opulence, period costume and strong women so I’m very much looking forward to seeing her next year as Catherine the Great on HBO.

Click on “Leave a Comment” (top left) to share your favorite woman of great style, substance, and a tough nut to crack.

xoxox

Photos below from Google Images

 

 

xoxox

Give the women you love the most unique gift

of elegant and timeless portraits with a

Powerful Goddess Gift Certificate

for a two hour photo shoot of up to three people!

 

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© Sharon Birke

Managing Member, DoubleSmart LLC

201 697 1947

Sharon@PowerfulGoddess.com

www.PowerfulGoddess.com

Glamour Portraits of the Goddess in Every Woman

Iconic Art and Beauty

 

Mona Lisa’s famous smile hints at

embarrassment that so many people

bother coming so far to see her

when she’s really nothing special.

Alison Pearson

 

Instead of another selfie, how fun would it be to recreate your favorite iconic artwork?  Harper’s Bazaar November 2017 features five unstoppable and trailblazing models in a tableau of iconic paintings. (Photographs by Pari Dukovic/Fashion Editor Anna Trevelyan)

Winnie Harlow as Mona Lisa

The Canadian model of Jamaican descent (above) helped demystify the skin pigmentation condition vitiligo. She knows what it’s like to have strangers make assumptions based solely on appearance.

Candace Huffine in The Birth of Venus

A top plus size model, Candace Huffine felt a special connection to the painting of the Roman goddess of love since she first set eyes on it as a teen. For her, the fashion world’s expanding parameters are merely a return to form, “I have a body like Venus, and it’s well past time we acknowledge this is a body type that’s always been beautiful.”

Hari Nef as Madame X

Transgender model and actress Hair New is an emblem of contradiction. In highschool, she wrote a paper on John Singer Sargetn’s famous woman in black and made one of her first trips to New York just to go to the Metropolitan Museum of Art to see this painting.

Erika Linder as Egon Schiele

Androgynous sexuality is Swedish model Erika Linder’s commonality with the Austrian painter Egon Schiele. This is her interpretation of Schiele’s Self Portrait With Peacock Waistcoaat. Erika continues to build her career as a menswear model.

Halima Aden in Girl With a Pearl Earring

As the first hijab-wearing Muslim model signed to a major agency, showing even a little sliver of skin and her pierced ears was something new for Halima Aden. The young woman in Dutch master Johannes Vermeer’s Girl With a Pearl Earring appears seductive precisely because of her restraint.

Click on “Leave a Comment” (top left) to share your favorite iconic artwork.

 

xoxox

 

Give the women you love the most unique gift

of elegant and timeless portraits

with  a Powerful Goddess Gift Certificate

for a two hour photo shoot of up to three people:

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© Sharon Birke

Managing Member, DoubleSmart LLC

201 697 1947

Sharon@PowerfulGoddess.com

www.PowerfulGoddess.com

Glamour Portraits of the Goddess in Every Woman

 

 

 

The First Woman of Dior

Fashion is what you’re offered

four times a year by designers.

Style is what you choose.

Lauren Hutton

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Photo courtesy of Vogue

Maria Grazia Chiuri is the first woman in the history of Dior to head the storied fashion house. Her runway inspirations bring together Flemish paintings, fencing, boyish girl themes with the talismans of house founder Christian Dior: stars, hearts, four-leaf clovers and tarot motifs. For someone who heads a trendsetting powerhouse, she wears no nonsense outfits possibly two days in a row, a testament to her pragmatism and tight focus on the work at hand.

In an industry where designers are notorious for last minute revisions, Chiuri is exceptionally calm in sticking to her original design from the first day it’s submitted to the pattern makers. She attributes single mindedness and zero drama in her work process to age and experience. Her runway dress rehearsals are organized and run ahead of schedule with few big pronouncements other than “Bellisimo!”

The staging of her runway is the opposite of theatrical, the minimalism calling attention to the details and nuances in her designs. She gave Dior a more female focus through the Instagram campaign “The Women Behind My Dress” which showcases the female employees and the warm family work atmosphere from its tailors to the PR team. Chiuri says, “I like women as they are. I don’t have an idealistic view of them. I want our merchants to dress a woman with a vision of what’s consistent with herself, not a brand.” And what’s her view on fashion’s cut throat competition? “You have to fight for what you really want in life. As in fencing, you don’t kill the other person—you touch the heart..” Evviva, Maria!

Click on “Leave a Comment” (top left) to share the style that’s right for you.

xoxox

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Photo courtesy of Vogue

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Photo courtesy of Harper’s Bazaar

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Photo courtesy of Valentino

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Photo courtesy of VS Magazine

xoxox

Give the women you love the most unique gift

of elegant and timeless portraits

with  a Powerful Goddess portrait session Gift Certificate:

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Sharon Birke

Managing Member, DoubleSmart LLC

201 697 1947

Sharon@PowerfulGoddess.com

www.PowerfulGoddess.com

Glamour Portraits of the Goddess in Every Woman

The Art of Style

You can have

anything you want in life

if you dress for it.

Edith Head

Jacqueline-de-Ribes-by-Avedon

JDR by Richard Alvedon

Who defines your sense of style when dressing for the holidays?  A celebrity, a designer, a brand? How do you filter through the noise of advertising and social media to choose what is right for you?

Jacqueline de Ribes, 86, French socialite and muse who reinvented herself as a designer, has graciously lent a few dozen evening  gowns from her wardrobe to the Met’s Costume Institute for inspiration. She is known in Parisian society for her elegance and style despite her strong belief growing up that she wasn’t beautiful. “I wasn’t brought up in a family that told me I was beautiful–quite the opposite. I had a problem with my nose. I thought it was too big and too pointed.” Her relationship with her mother was strained, assuring her for years that she could never learn to walk like a lady.

Encouraged by Diana Vreeland to embrace her adventurous spirit, Jacqueline’s insecurity was quelled by Diana’s advice “Jacqueline, don’t be afraid. Whatever you do, just remember: Follow your instincts and you’ll never be wrong.”

The dresses can’t tell her full story though. Jacqueline had an irreverent flair for extravagantly mixing and matching pieces, piling on accessories and even splicing together garments to reflect her mood. Because she dressed to please and express herself, Jacqueline’s wardrobe has a sense of individuality, consistency, and timelessness. Her ambition for this exhibit is to inspire people to embrace the freedom and confidence of self-expression through fashion, saying “You can be elegant and chic by being yourself.”

Harold Koda, curator-in-charge at the Costume Institute sums it up, “It requires a certain discipline to say: This is what’s good for me, this is who I am, and whatever trend is out there I am only going to buy to the extent I can use it to frame the best portrait of myself.”

Of course, a little money to spare for haute couture never hurts. 😉

Jacqueline de Ribes: The Art of Style is at the Metropolitan Museum until February 21, 2016.

xoxox

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How fun to be a fanciful belle of the ball!

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Though I’m not a fan of black, I love the lace and feather detail of this velvet piece.

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A sculptural one-shouldered gown from de Ribes’ inaugural collection as a designer.

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xoxox

Give the women you love the most unique gift of elegant and timeless portraits

with a Powerful Goddess portrait session Gift Certificate:

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© Sharon Birke

201 697 1947

Sharon@PowerfulGoddess.com

www.PowerfulGoddess.com

Glamour Portraits of the Goddess in Every Wife & Mother

China at the Met

Be not afraid of growing slowly.

Be afraid only 

of standing still.

Chinese proverb

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Couture inspired by Anna May Wong’s costumes in her Hollywood classics. Among my favorite pieces is this very easy to wear hot number with seductive tassels as shoulder straps and as a dramatic train sweeping the floor.

If you’re near Manhattan this weekend, get to the Metropolitan Museum early (or very late to avoid the crowds) and catch the end of their hit exhibit China: Through The Looking Glass.  Attracting more foot traffic that the Alexander McQueen exhibit a couple of years ago and even more than their King Tut exhibit in 1979, this latest feature of the Anna Wintour Costume Institute is a collection of haute couture influences flowing East to West and vice versa.

China as a collective fantasy began when it was still beyond the reach of most Western travelers. Chinoiserie by the best artisans, creatives and film makers have since perpetuated the myth of this land as one of wealth. elegance, mystery and romance. Sample the best of the best at the Met on its last weekend of display.  Museum hours extend until midnight this Friday and Saturday (September 4 and 5, 2015) and this exhibit closes on Monday, September 7th.

Dragon dress inspired by an imperial robe, John Galliano for the House of Dior

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Intricate embroidery and silk are among my favorite things!

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In the China Pavilion, a collection of John Galliano pieces for the House of Dior

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Haute couture in a forest reminiscent of the bamboo scene of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon

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A lotus flower ballgown by a Chinese designer

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Mao and Chinese calligraphy as design elements

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The Weight of the Millennium artwork made of porcelain shards by Li Xiaofeng 2015

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Glamour couture inspired by designs on Manchu robes

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Click on “Leave a Comment” (above left) to share what country captivates you best.

xoxox

Give the women you love the most unique gift of elegant and timeless portraits

with a Powerful Goddess portrait session Gift Certificate:

Buy Now Button with Credit Cards

 Sharon Birke

201 697 1947

Sharon@PowerfulGoddess.com

www.PowerfulGoddess.com

Glamour Portraits of the Goddess in Every Wife & Mother

Holiday Red Carpet

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade

and have a party with

someone whose life gave them vodka.

Ron White

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If I had a party animal husband or at least one who stays up past 8:00 pm, I’d know exactly where to go for glamour gowns and dresses.  It’s the very elegant yet cozy boutique run by Paula and Maria, a mother daughter duo, who personally attend to your particular taste and style. Their shop manager, Fern, is equally charming–all so fortunate to have daughters to create happy holiday memories with. There’s nothing like personalized attention and caring service by a loving family with great fashion sense.

This lace corset style top and most unique train skirt count among their favorite ensembles this season. Feel the warm welcome when you stop by to meet them and their handpicked collection!

The Engle Shop

102 Engle Street
Englewood, NJ 07631
(201) 568-1331

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© Sharon Birke

201 697 1947

Sharon@PowerfulGoddess.com

www.PowerfulGoddess.com

Glamour Portraits of the Goddess in Every Wife & Mother

How To Kiss Proof Lips

Beauty to me is about being comfortable in your own skin.

That or a kick-ass red lipstick.

Gwyneth Paltrow

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This is a good season as any to trade your Little Black Dress for red like this Powerful Goddess wearing her favorite!  If you insist on black, add chic confidence to your smile with a shade of scarlet. The better to be ready for the many hugs and kisses you’re giving and getting through the holidays!  

See which of these crimsons suit you:  Christian Dior’s 999, MAC’s Lady Danger, Obsessive Compulsive’s Stalker, NARS’ Cruella, Chanel Rouge Allure Velvet Luminous Matte No. 38, YSL’s Rouge Pur Couture Mats No. 201.  And here’s how to kiss-proof those pouty red lips:

Start by gently exfoliating your lips with a wet cotton ball and applying olive oil (blot out excess) for a smooth, flakeless canvas.  Shade lips with a soft pencil that matches the natural color of your mouth or preferred lipstick.  Outline the rim or your lips to create a bumper that helps minimize color bleeding.  Apply a coat of lipstick from the center of your mouth outward (use a brush, your finger, or apply straight from the tube).  Use a cotton ball to dab face powder and seal in color.  Reapply a second coat of lipstick plus powder and voila!  

 Ready or not–here I come with my own mistletoe!  Ho-ho-ho!

Click on “Leave a Comment” (above left) to share your favorite red.

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© Sharon Birke

201 697 1947

Email me

www.PowerfulGoddess.com

Glamour Portraits of the Goddess in Every Wife & Mother

xoxox

Mask of Perfection

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A serious Leica collector I love forwarded an article from their blog that makes you think.  It features these beautiful black and white portraits of young gorgeous women with pre-operative marks on their faces before procedures they’ve undergone in the pursuit of “perfection.”  They are subjects of a photo exhibit Mask of Perfection by Marc Erwin Babej, with Maria M. LoTempio, MD.  From the Artist’s Statement:

Mask of Perfection focuses on the complex and ambivalent relationship between the beauty we perceive subjectively on the one hand, and the plastic surgeon’s scientific, geometry- based standard of beauty on the other. 

The currently emerging ideal of beauty is unprecedented in that it is actionable, and that conformity to it has become widely available. Lips like Angelina Jolie; breasts like Scarlett Johansson; a butt like Kim Kardashian; less slanted eyes like a white woman; a wrinkle-free complexion like a cosmetics model? Available at a plastic surgeon near you. In other words, the emerging beauty ideal not only reflects changing taste, but represents a radical shift in the understanding of beauty itself. Conformity to an ideal of beauty used to be a daydream; now, it has become a line item on a shopping list. Whether this development is liberating or cheapens the concept of human beauty (or both at the same time) is a matter of individual judgment.

Click on “Leave a Comment” to share who decides what’s perfect for you.

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xoxox

Carnival of Animals at Bergdorf

Money, if it does not bring you happiness,

will at least help you be miserable in comfort.

Helen Gurley Brown

More than the Rockefeller Christmas tree (which is looking extra fabulous this year,) the spectacle I look forward to seeing when the holidays roll around are the windows of Bergdorf Goodman.

This year’s Carnival of Animals by David Hoey‘s team is a mind blowing flight of fancy with brass birds, animals made of intricately hand cut/folded paper, needlework and carved wood, fish made of gemstones and glass mosaics,  gowns with fur, fine beadwork, feathers, leather scales and diamond mesh by Alexander McQueen, Oscar de la Renta, Pringle of Scotland, Valentino and Celine.   With five windows overflowing with animals created by artists such as Sergio Bustamante and Brett Windham, my eyes did not know where to start and stop looking.   Here are a few details to whet your appetite.  Catch a glimpse of this fantastic vision before January 3rd.

Thanks to the countless artisans and artists who contributed to this monument of creativity and wealth–reminding us of other realities, an oasis from the obsession of “this economy.”

What riches (that money can’t buy) embellish the fabric of your life already?

© Sharon Birke

www.PowerfulGoddess.com

Photography for the Goddess in Every Wife & Mother

Powerful Goddess is a trademark of DoubleSmart LLC

Pompadour’s Grace

Often laughing, visibly less calculating, liable to burst out with unpredictable enthusiasm, she was like a breath of fresh air.  

Susan Griffin on Madame de Pompadour

From her ebullience, generosity, humor, and courage, I am certain I would have been charmed by this woman famous for being Louis XV’s favorite.  Beyond the shallow gossip of her status as mistress, Susan Griffin’s describes the depth of a woman who inspired a monarchy and this series of photographs:

Madame de Pompadour was able to negotiate the transformation of herself from commoner to favorite with uncommon grace.  In bringing a more informal and open manner of expression to Versailles, she foreshadowed what was to be a transformation not only of the court but eventually all of society.  Her displays of emotion, her frankness, her loud “forthright” voice, her free laugh, and her familiar language were at odds with standard behavior at Versaiiles.  The ladies in court only giggled or smothered their laughter and everyone habitually hid or dampened their feelings, even when what was felt was joy.  No wonder there was so much intrigue.  The atmosphere of constant jockeying for position that surrounds monarchies and indeed every powerful leader was only made more acidic by by the fact that anger could not be expressed openly.  Hence snide remarks, subtle inferences, small praise, dismissive gestures, indeed every possible form of passive assault characterized the social life of the court.  No wonder that Pompadour’s manner appealed to the king.

The painter Francois Boucher captured her ebullience well.  The spirit that enlivens her rose-cheeked face spills out into the room.  Rendered with colors that are vibrant and soft at the same time, her dresses appear less to hang than to ripple, and the same vibrant energy seems to bless all that surrounds her.  There was a strong concordance between her way of being and his way of seeing.  Not only did they prefer the same bright pastel colors, they both liked flowers.  She was an avid gardener and he embellished canvasses, tapestries, and vases with flowery forms.

As frivolous as both the painter and the mistress may seem today, together they invented an ingenuous version of grace, one that allowed them to erase conflicts that otherwise might have erased them.

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© Sharon Birke

www.PowerfulGoddess.com

Photography for the Goddess in Every Wife & Mother

Powerful Goddess is a trademark of DoubleSmart LLC


The Self Portrait



As in every endeavor in life, begin where you are.

In creating meaningful portraits, begin with what you know. 

 Sharon Birke

In planning a portrait session, take a blank piece of paper and block 15 minutes of uninterrupted quiet time away from people and technology.  In the middle of the blank page, write “I LOVE…”   Fill the rest of the page with random words, phrases or sentences that pop up.   No judgment!


Who are you at home?  At work?  When no one is looking?

What do you really like to do?

What are your favorite things?

 What makes you smile, cry, angry?

What do you love about your body?

What do you love about your personality?

What do you like about yourself?

What do you dream of?  Desire?


Post this page where you can see it often.   Allow your ideas to simmer and write notes on images inspired by your random list. Think about how you can shoot these images in a variety of candid or posed shots.

Can you vary your placement in the frame and

distance from the camera?

What do you want the background to say about you?

How can you make a portrait

without including your body in the picture?

Do you want to include other people or objects in the image?

What do you want the viewer to know about you

from what you don’t include in your image?



Here are more of my self portraits  to give you

ideas for planning your portrait session:


© 2011 Sharon Birke

www.PowerfulGoddess.com

Photography for the Goddess in Every Wife & Mother

Powerful Goddess is a trademark of DoubleSmart LLC


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