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Photographer Wants To Show Girls That ‘Strong Is The New Pretty’, Which Is Pretty Awesome

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Remember what it was like, being a girl growing up during those coming-of-age years? It was pretty awesome. Getting dirty and playing hard were two of my own favorite things to do back then. I wasn’t worried about makeup or headbands or what my clothes looked like (yet). I was just having fun, being a strong and crazy little girl.

When Kate Parker began her journey into photography, her young daughters naturally became her most frequent subjects, helping their mom learn her way around the camera and capturing the perfect moments. After awhile, she decided to use her photography to encourage her daughters to break free from girlish stereotypes and just be themselves. Kate wanted to demonstrate what it really means to be a girl growing up.

In the Pinterest Perfect Parenting World we live in (phrase coined by yours truly, feel free to use it… you’re welcome) where everyone’s kids (especially girls) look amazingly done up and more like perfectly accessorized dolls than actual children, Kate decided that style just wasn’t for her when it came to taking photos of her daughters.

“I didn’t want to shoot pictures like that. I didn’t want girls to think they had to look like that.  Whoever they were, however they were, was worthy of an image. Whatever they were was good enough. “I want to capture them before they lose that sense of ‘I’m so awesome.’ I wanted them to keep that as long as they could. You don’t need to be pretty, perfect or compliant to be loved.”

So Kate set out to simply take photos of her daughters “being themselves.” And honestly, the result is pretty awesome.  I looked at each of her photos and felt an instant wave of nostalgia for my young, girlish days of playing outside until the lightning bugs came out and swimming hard and fast until the sun went down. I wish we saw more photos like these.

Apparently most responses to the images are positive, with the exception of the occasional naysayer (naturally). And of course, taking daily photos of your kids isn’t every parent’s cup of tea. But that won’t stop Kate Parker, because she hopes her “Strong is the New Pretty” project inspires parents to find their own unique ways to capture their children’s lives. Parker says she wants kids to “see they can be strong in whatever they are and whatever they hope to be.”

Who can’t get behind that? Count me in.

(Photo: Kate T. Miller Photography)