8 Hilarious And Heartwarming Photos Of Young Girls

by Erika W. Smith

Tired of seeing overly posed, styled and photoshopped images of young girls, photographer Kate T. Parker, who’s also a mom of two daughters, set out to challenge that with a collection of photos of girls age 5 to 18. Compiled in a book titled Strong Is The New Pretty: A Celebration Of Girls Being Themselves, the photos show young girls taking part in their favorite sports, classes, clubs and activities, accompanied by smart, inspiring, cute, and just plain hilarious captions. In the introduction, Parker writes:

I wanted to show my girls that beauty isn’t about being a certain size, or having your hair done (or even brushed, in their cases), or wearing a fancy outfit. I wanted to combat the message the media sends to women every day. I wanted my girls to know that being themselves is beautiful, and that being beautiful is about being strong. […] It’s my goal with these images to inspire girls and women to be their best selves, to challenge and test their limits. We are all constantly bombarded with societal messages about how women and girls should act or look and be, and processing them in a healthy way can be hard even for a 40-year-old mother of two who knows better. I worry about what my girls and their friends are exposed to and how their opinions of their bodies and selves are being shaped by the internet and TV and magazines. I want these images to combat those negative voices that tell us we’re not good enough or thin enough or whatever enough. Because we are far more than enough! I wanted these girls to be able to hear their own voices through these images, and to inspire them to use them and continue to use them. Loudly.

We’re excited to share a few of our favorite photos from the book below:

27 KekaiKekai, age 12: ‘I love the speed when I skate. I feel very alive and present — feeling fluid and going fast is fun.’

36 SabrinaSabrina, age 6: ‘I love water polo and I can lift just one eyebrow and I speak Farsi and play tennis and I can make people laugh by making funny faces. And I taught my little sister, Penny, to read when she was 3.’

56 Syd copySyd, age 8: ‘I tried to bulldoze my little brother, but my mom said no.’

63 Jane F copyJane F., age 6: ‘Did you know that this dinosaur ate only plants? ROAR!’

92 Kami copyKami, age 11: ‘Some people don’t think dance is a real sport, but it takes a lot of strength to master the technique, it takes time to make improvements, and it takes passion and dedication to reach your goal.’

120 Isabel copyIsabel, age 8: ‘The best part of being on a roller derby team is finding your inner strong.’

241 Emme copyEmme, age 7: ‘I have juvenile arthritis, and I don’t like when I need to use my wheelchair. But when I do, I’m in control and don’t need anyone to push me.’

Strong is the New Pretty 2Don the cover is Emme, age 9: ‘I was really scared for my first triathlon. my mom took this shot of me the night before and told me that even though I was afraid to race, to try to look tough and fearless. I did, and when my mom showed me this shot, it made me believe I could be as tough as I look.’

More from BUST

This 8-Year-Old Skater Shreds Harder Than Anyone you Know

Harsh Crowd Is A Riot Grrrl Band For A New Generation

Here’s One Way To Empower Girls 

You may also like

Get the print magazine.

The best of BUST in your inbox!

Subscribe to Our Weekly Newsletter

About Us

Founded in 1993, BUST is the inclusive feminist lifestyle trailblazer offering a unique mix of humor, female-focused entertainment, uncensored personal stories, and candid reporting that tells the truth about women’s lives.

©2023 Street Media LLC.  All Right Reserved.