Georgia-based photographer Kate T. Parker has a message for women and girls all over the world: “Strong is the New Pretty.”
That message also happens to be the title of her new book, which was released March 7. “Strong is the New Pretty” showcases 200 girls across the country just being themselves.
The book was fittingly released the day before International Women’s Day, which is also during Women’s History Month.
“I think it’s really important to celebrate it and bring awareness to this message that really needs to be heard.”
—Kate T. Parker
Parker said she was definitely aware and excited that her book, which focuses on empowering girls, was coming out during a month dedicated to celebrating the achievements of women.
The project got started when she began photographing her girls, Ella and Alice, every day.
“I noticed that the images that were the strongest and the ones that meant the most to me were the ones where the girls were being themselves,” Parker said. “For my girls that meant loud, dirty, messy and full of it. I wasn’t asking them to smile for the camera or change their clothes or really do anything. I just wanted to celebrate the girls as who they are.”
Parker said she then set out to capture that same confidence and strength in other girls, no matter what shape that may take.
Through her photos, Parker’s website notes that she hoped to “combat the messages the media sends to women and girls: that beauty is a hairstyle, a certain size or an outfit.”
“For me personally strong is not the absence of fear, but being afraid and doing something anyway.”
—Kate T. Parker
Instead, she wanted people to walk away viewing strength and confidence as beauty.
Parker said she’s noticed that girls start losing their confidence during puberty. Her hope is that this book reminds women of all ages that they’re amazing and can do anything.
In addition, Parker said she hopes women will then look at their daughters, help them figure out what is unique about them, and then “foster an environment where that’s their power.”
View the full story and video on Circa’s website.