When Atlanta based photographer Kate T. Parker started taking pictures of her daughters, her intention was—as with any parent with a camera—to preserve memories. But after looking at the powerful images, she realized they had the potential to empower little females everywhere. “Strong is the new pretty” is now a project three years in the making that encourages young girls to rebel against societal stereotypes. And despite the fact that we wish the title of this project didn’t juxtapose strength and beauty (honestly, we’d just rather the term “pretty” stayed out of the equation), we love these images.
The photographs are perfect portraits of childhood: wild, dirty, and beautiful. Rarely do we see girls depicted with dirt on their faces and bruises on their knees, the way boys have been illustrated for centuries. By giving us a look into the lives of vivacious young females, unafraid of being “loud, dirty, (and) competitive”, and without bashing femininity, Parker’s collection challenges the word “tomboy” and begins to redefine “girl.” Parker’s daughters (ages 5 and 8) and their friends, who are all featured in the project, will undoubtedly grow into bold modern women who will (hopefully) one day rule the world.
This stunning collection makes us want to run and play in the dirt with these little monsters, and hopefully it inspires other girls to do the same.