Kate T. Parker is endeavoring to bring new meaning to our notion of what is beautiful in young girls. Parker’s remarkable new photo collection, Strong is the New Pretty captures her daughters and their friends in moments of fun, silliness and yes, even intense sport. This is certainly a departure from your typical dainty and delicate little girl image we have become so accustomed to.
The collection of images show her two daughters and their peers sauntering the forest, hopping over water sprinklers, making forts, hanging on tree branches and even playing with a dog. Images that make you yearn for that carefree spirit of youth again. “I wanted to celebrate these girls just as they are,” said Parker. “Not how females are expected to be. I wanted to celebrate them, and show them that is enough.”
Strong is the New Pretty are candid images of two robustly active daughters and their friends, a powerful photography series that showcases their confidence and strength, and redefines what it means to be a girl in her youth. Parker, who is from Atlanta, Georgia was influenced to create the series while going over pictures she took of her daughters Ella, nine, and Alice, six, while engaged in sport activities or socializing with friends.
“The project became about capturing my girls and their friends as they truly are and how that is OK -not only OK – but worthy of celebration,” she said. “There’s a lot of pressure for girls – and women – to look a certain way, act in [a] certain manner, and I wanted to let my daughters know that who they naturally are is enough.”
When Parker initially began taking picture of her girls, her intent was to simply document their childhood, while practicing certain photography techniques and methods. It was about a year ago that the project began to transform into something more. “The images changed,” said Parker. “I started to see patterns and recognize that the images where the girls were authentically captured were the strongest images. The images that showed the girls as they genuinely are were my favorites.”
As far as her two daughters are concerned, Parker says they are quite unaffected with being photographed, and she likes it that way. “I don’t want them to have their worth tied up in images, and the less they care about them, the better.” Perhaps it is this attitude of being oblivious to the camera that brings the special qualities to Strong is the New Pretty. It is an example of human interest photography at its finest.
See the rest of Parker’s work here.