Singing, dancing, surfing, skating, running, and so much more! In her new photo series, Strong is the New Pretty, professional photographer Kate T. Parker captures young women in their true form. The book compiles photos of girls and young women from across the country chasing their dreams and passions. TFK Kid Reporter Caroline Curran talked to Parker about the photo series and how it came together.
TIME FOR KIDS:
What inspired you to create this photo series?
KATE T. PARKER:
As a mom of two young girls, I was really disappointed and frustrated with how I saw girls and women portrayed in the media. I wanted a chance to show my girls that they are beautiful.
What did you learn from photographing the girls in your photo series?
I realized that there is really not that big of a difference between how hard an athlete works to get ready for game day and how hard a musician works to get ready for a concert. Hard work is hard work, determination is determination, and strength is strength.
What do you hope viewers take away from your photographs?
PARKER: I hope girls and women embrace their individuality and differences, and use those things as their power.
The photo series features girls ranging from age 5 to 18. Was there a distinct difference when photographing different ages?
PARKER: There definitely was. The older girls were more aware of what their passions were and what they wanted to do. The younger girls were less embarrassed about being themselves.
The cover photo is very striking. How did you choose it?
PARKER: The cover image is actually of my own daughter, Ella. She was getting ready for her first triathlon, and was very nervous. I brought Ella down to my studio in the basement and asked her to show me how tough she is. Ella posed, and I showed her the picture. The photo captured Ella full of courage, strength, and bravery. The strength and confidence that was displayed in that image made us have no question about whether or not it should be on the front.
What goal do you hope to achieve through these photos?
PARKER: I hope that everyone who sees my photographs finds someone who inspires and moves them. Hopefully this small book with these amazing girls is just one little thing that will change the messages that girls and women see every day.
What advice do you have for girls?
My advice for girls is to trust themselves and their gut. Try not to let any other voices drown out your own and tell you that you’re wrong. Be kind to yourself. Let the voice in your head be a kind and encouraging one.