The Guest Blog: Beauty and the Beastie By Sharon Birke

Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it.  -Confucius

“What did you love about Maleficent?,” I asked my daughter after our very happy Father’s Day at the movies without the men.

“She’s very pretty!” she smiled. May we all be as easy to please!  Indeed, what’s not to love about a strong and beautiful heroine–albeit a villain, too?

Maleficent is the wronged and misunderstood woman in this revisionist-backstory fairytale. She suffers the deepest betrayal imaginable from the person she loves and trusts the most, the one with whom she shares her first “true love’s” kiss.  While it is mainly about bloodlust after being violated and stripped of our power, it is also about the journey of moving forward and making the most of what is.  I like how it reverses the pedestrian notion of true love, a necessary expansion of every child’s understanding of what real love can be.

Best of all, I love how it is a cautionary tale against quick judgments and our propensity to take every “victim’s” side.  Like King Stefan, it is human nature to choose the version of the story that makes us look good and pitiful.  It takes courage to notice that when we feel like “Woe is me!,” there is an angle of culpability we’re not admitting.  For in every beauty, there is a beast.  And in every villain, a heroine who can save herself.

Sharon is a glamour photographer who helps empower women to celebrate what they love best about their life and their bodies through fun, elegant, timeless, and sensual portraits. She love dance, reading and exploring corners of the world she’s never been (Myanmar this January). To read more of Sharon’s work, click here.


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