To The Girls

What a wonderful life I’ve had!

I only wish

I’d realized it sooner.

Colette

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On Huffington Post, Nina Bahadur invites you to offer advice for girls as they travel the path to womanhood:

Author Courtney Summers launched the hashtag #ToTheGirls on April 14, the same day that her YA novel All the Rage was released. Her hope is that women will share their best pieces of advice to young women seeking guidance and affirmation.

In a blog post about #ToTheGirls, Summers urged her followers: “Take the opportunity to tell the girls you know — and the ones you don’t — that they are seen, heard and loved. Share advice. Be encouraging. Tell us about or thank the girls in your life who have made a difference in yours.”

Women on Twitter shared their best insight on confidence, romance, success, sex and more.

Click on “Leave a Comment” (above left) to add yours to my faves:

@SaraZarr : You don’t have to grow up to be a mom or a wife if you don’t want to. It’s ok to not have kids, not want to babysit, etc.

@HaleShannon  Find and stay near the people who make you feel possible, larger, worthy, interesting, excited, comfortable, confident.

@coracarmack  It’s never too late. To do what you love. To change your mind. To change your life.

@syntactics : “I’m sorry” is for when you’ve hurt someone. It’s not for when you’re asking others for respect or the right to take up space.

@FeministFists  You have the right to take back your consent at any time during a sexual situation. Even if he bought you dinner.

@elloecho  The mistakes you made do not shape who you are. They are NOT who you are. Forgive yourself, love yourself, and let them go.

@SarahDessen It’s okay if you don’t have everything together. Life is a process. Keep learning, keep loving. Keep on.

xoxox

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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

xoxox

Photography © Sharon Birke

201 697 1947

Sharon@PowerfulGoddess.com

www.PowerfulGoddess.com

Glamour Portraits of the Goddess in Every Wife & Mother

Power of the Pin-up

Her sexiness is natural and uncontrived,

and her exposure

is always accidental.

Dian Hanson, The Art of the Pin-up

Gil-Elvgren-Ive-been-spotted-pinup

Gil Elvgren, I’ve Been Spotted, oil on canvas

Mad Men ends this week… Sigh! Who will not miss Don Draper and Joan Holloway, the epitomes of sexy in the 1960s? Way before their decade, who summed up sexy?

Gallerist Louis K. Meisel of New York City shares his extensive collection of the beautiful coiffed women next door, in stockings and garter belts, or in dreamlike settings captured in oil paintings, watercolors and pastels. The pin-up girl is said to have been born of war, when President Woodrow Wilson’s Division of Pictorial Publicity decided on her as the visual stimuli to persuade men to join the World War I.  Both flirtatious and innocent, mischievous and sweet, was this well- or scantily-dressed woman persuasive or what?!

While pin-up is deemed as the objectification of women, it is also a testament to the quiet power of femininity, sexuality, and a woman’s freedom to choose.  It is a recognition that women are agents of change simply by making the most of what she’s got (and have we got a lot!) in courage, style, looks,  strength, compassion, wisdom, intelligence, charm, wit and humor. And may the softness of our curves lead mankind towards making more love than war!

The Great American Pin-up Girl Returns opens at the Louis K. Meisel Gallery in New York City today, April 2 to May 2, 2015.

Click on “Leave a Comment” (above left) to share what you love about pin-up. xoxox

Haddon-Sundblom-Pinup-with-dogHaddon Sundblom, Untitled (Girl with Dog)

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Vaughan Alden Bass, Sugar N Spice oil on canvas

Gil-Elvgren-Low-Down-Feelings-pinup

Gil Elvgren, Low Down Feelings, oil on canvas

Willima-Medcalf-Permite-Girl-on-Car-Creeper

William Medcalf, Permite Girl on Car Creeper, oil on canvas

 xoxox

Sharon Birke

201 697 1947

Sharon@PowerfulGoddess.com

www.PowerfulGoddess.com

Glamour Portraits of the Goddess in Every Wife & Mother

No Feet Left Behind

The one thing that can solve

most of our problems

is dancing.

James Brown

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Exasperated by the computer induced anti-social and sedentary lifestyle of my teens, I signed Mr. Highschool Senior for social dance classes last week. “This will make you famous with the girls in college!,” I assured him. Yet the minutes were long waiting for him to come out of that first lesson.  Was I just wasting time and money?  He finally stepped out of class grinning, “Dancing is fun!” Whew–Thank you, Goddess!

This week, by some fantastic coincidence, I heard about Dancing Classrooms: a 10 week (20 session) social development program for 5th and 8th grade children using the vehicle of ballroom dance.  The dance floor is, after all, a literal level playing field, doing away with the learning barrier between the gifted and talented and those with special needs. In social dance, every child is treated like a lady and gentleman, taught how to connect with and respect members of the opposite sex, given a safe environment to enjoy movement.

Kudos to teachers and school administrators who recognize that a developing personality thrives beyond grades and testing, that adding fun and engaging character education fosters respect and teamwork, affirming a child’s self-confidence with a sense of joy and accomplishment. All this while teaching good posture, considerate manners, and the importance of eye to eye contact with other human beings. They may even discover that their limbs have uses beyond being hunched over tech gadgets!

Social dance changes children’s perception of themselves and I love how the Dancing Classrooms program sets expectations that help elevate their outlook in life.  Thank you to Pierre Dulaine who founded this program in 1994 and the fabulous men and women who continue to make learning essential life skills fun and easy! I was totally impressed by the children who showed off what they learned in 10 short weeks at last night’s gala.

To donate, volunteer or partner your public school with the Dancing Classrooms program: http://www.dancingclassrooms.com/Page/About/

A closer peek through the lens of legendary NY Times society photographer Bill Cunningham

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You’re never too young or too old for fun on the dance floor!

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 A mighty proud 5th grade ballroom dancer

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Watch their video “Mad Hot Ballroom”

 Photos © Sharon Birke

201 697 1947

Sharon@PowerfulGoddess.com

www.PowerfulGoddess.com

Glamour Portraits of the Goddess in Every Wife & Mother

The Power of Vulnerability

Kindness to ourselves 

helps us

be kind to others.

Brene Brown

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This Powerful Goddess welcomed her wondrous new decade by exploring the breadth of her enough-ness while honoring the women in her family with their treasured heirloom jewelry. It is magnificent to witness a woman venture out of her comfort zone, daring to go where she has not been before, celebrating the many possibilities of her choosing.

Through this long wintry month of snowy blankets that barely melt, I am grateful to be reminded of the reason for the fallow season and the blessing of dark times. I wish you the best and bravest decade, Powerful Goddess! Thank you for touching my life with the books of Brene Brown and the power of vulnerability.  I shall always think of you each time I remind myself “I AM ENOUGH!”

Vulnerability is beautiful and necessary.

The courage to be imperfect,

to let go of what we think we should be,

the willingness to say I love you first,

 to do something or love someone with no guarantees,

to let ourselves be seen as we are,

to practice gratitude and joy, to say “I am enough.”

Click on “Leave a Comment” (above left) to share how you grow strength in your darkness. xoxox

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© Sharon Birke

201 697 1947

Sharon@PowerfulGoddess.com

www.PowerfulGoddess.com

Glamour Portraits of the Goddess in Every Wife & Mother

Send In The Clown

Housework can’t kill you,

but why take a chance?

Phyllis Diller

Joan Rivers’ live standup show was packed to overflowing last week.  It was my very first time to witness her firecracker mouth other than the few times I’ve seen her blast the hapless who walk down the Oscar’s red carpet on her watch.  I laughed in hysterical disbelief– How does she get away saying what she does?!

Having grown up in Asia and having given up TV since my kids started rolling in, I’ve only been recently “introduced” to two trailblazing comediennes through their film biographies:  Joan Rivers in “A Piece of Work” and Phyllis Diller in “Goodnight, We Love You.”  Their humanity and vulnerability impress me beyond their courage to say it like it is, holding no one and nothing sacred.  Like Phyllis, I want a life full of laughs and I want to be remembered for my kindness.  At the very least, I’ll settle for their high energy on high heels when I’m 80.

This series is dedicated to the clowns who dare say and do what we don’t.   May we always laugh out loud and be so bold!

© Sharon Birke

Book your glamour playdate with me!

201 697 1947

www.PowerfulGoddess.com

Photography for the Goddess in Every Wife & Mother

xoxox

Fools Rule

Assuming women can be altered cheaply, painlessly, & with no risk,  

is that to be what we must want?

Naomi Wolf

Aside from being an occasion to pull someone’s leg, April Fool’s is a good day as any to wonder what leg our beliefs stand (or sit) on.

The sculpture Contro Natura by Salvatore Crita (1828-1912) at the Pitti Palace in Florence makes my Inner Fool grin.  What IS against nature:  A pregnant nun or a woman who swears off her natural biological function?

In the Boboli Gardens, a giant reclining figure covered in blue bandages stares into the distance.  Why do we call it cosmetic or plastic surgery when it involves pain beyond mere cosmetics and human flesh isn’t plastic?

Closer to home in our land of anti-fat, Botero’s sculptures stand proudly curvaceous and unapologetic.  Who determines the “correct” size and shape of all women?   Who wields the power to define beauty and who profits from feeding our insecurities?

A skinny ballerina “sculpture” blows me a kiss, a wink and a smile.  She’s not telling who’s fooling whom.

What does your fool wonder about?  Find the comment link beside the title of this feature.

© Sharon Birke

201 697 1947

www.PowerfulGoddess.com

Photography for the Goddess in Every Wife & Mother

xoxox

Madame Butterflies Are Free

You cannot say to the sun, “More sun.”

Or to the rain, “More rain.”

Arthur Golden in Memoirs of a Geisha

Madame Butterfly’s latest run at the Metropolitan Opera ended last week fluttering on to other world stages, for who isn’t fascinated by the exotic?  Who isn’t intrigued by the mystery of the geisha?  Who doesn’t want a faithful lover who pines for our return–when and if we feel like it?

My young daughter tells her brother “I love you” and waits for him to reciprocate.  He–brothers being the way they are–rolls his eyes and she cries indignantly, “But he’s supposed to love me back!”

I assured her that loving someone doesn’t make him obligated to love you back.  And to remind them that childhood sibling squabbles are practice for dealing with their future spouses, I added, “Even when you’re married.”

“Ha!” My son laughed incredulous, “Even with my wife?!”

Yes, we are free to love as we choose.  And there’s no greater freedom than in loving simply because.

Special thanks to Mountain for the quote he shared in response to the “Love After Love” poem on this blog’s “Be Divine” page:

True love begins when nothing is looked for in return.  -Antoine De Saint-Exupery

© Sharon Birke

201 697 1947

www.PowerfulGoddess.com

Photography for the Goddess in Every Wife & Mother

xoxox

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