Photographer and mother Kate T. Parker is changing people's perception on what beauty means for young girls. Her new photo series "Strong Is the New Pretty" features images of her daughters and their friends playing around, getting messy, getting fierce and much more.
"I wanted to celebrate these girls just as they are," Parker told the online magazine Quartz. "Not how females are expected to be. I wanted to celebrate them, and show them that is enough."
The photo series is a testament to young female empowerment and strength. But it wasn't until a year after Parker starting shooting to improve her craft that she realized her artwork was documenting the "realness" that her daughters and their friends were showing through her photography.
"The strongest images were the ones showcasing the girls, as well as their friends, being 100 percent," she told Quartz. "I realized that this was something that might perhaps be missing in photography: a realistic depiction of little girls, not Photoshopped and looking perfect."
Parker's photos show girls comfortable in their own skin. No need for bows, dresses or frills. Just like the boys, girls can get down and dirty, too.
On an interesting note, Parker says her photo subjects are not much into her documentation, but that's just fine.
"I don't want them to have their worth tied up in images, and the less they care about them, the better," Park told Quartz.