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16th Apr 2015

How one mum is teaching her daughters that strong is the new pretty

"Who they are is just perfect"

Sive O'Brien

This mum has an important message for her daughters. She wants them to grow up knowing that who they are is “just perfect”. That they don’t need to have their hair done or have matching clothes, or even be clean, to be loved or accepted. That being themselves – “their silly, adventurous, frustrated, happy, LOUD, athletic, fierce, funny selves” – is enough.

The Atlanta-based photographer is enforcing this message with a series of empowering images called Strong is the new pretty, which she wanted to show the boldness, strength and beauty in her girls. And they do.

As the mother of a daughter, I hear this mum’s message loud and clear. My little girl is only 15 months but I already see the emphasis that other people put on her looks, rather than her character. Yes she’s beautiful (not biased), but she is also kind and strong and has a fantastic ability to create an extraordinary mess in under a minute (seriously, it’s a skill), among other things that I am incredibly proud of, and I want her to grow up knowing that her looks don’t define her.

Instead of featuring clean faces and matching outfits in a sea of pink, the gorgeous and realistic photographs in this project show Kate Parker’s daughters and their friends being messy, strong, happy and just being themselves. Empowering stuff.