Girls are confident, loud, fearless, and carefree. They are also thoughtful, creative, resilient, and determined. They are all this and a whole lot more. That’s the message behind Strong is the New Pretty ($18, amazon.com), a powerful book containing more than 175 portraits of girls doing what they love (whether it's ballet, playing music, or wrestling)—and owning their strength.
The pictures of these badass little girls in all their glory will make you want to reconnect with your own inner kid. And that is exactly what photographer Kate T. Parker hoped to accomplish: "I want these images to combat those negative voices that tell us we're not good enough, or thin enough or whatever enough," writer photographer Kate T. Parker in the book's introduction. "Because we are far more than enough!"
Scroll down for seven of our favorite inspiring photos from the book.
"I was really scared for my first triathlon. My mom took this shot of me the night before and told me that even though I was afraid to race, to try to look tough and fearless. I did, and when my mom showed me this shot, it made me believe I could be as tough as I looked." —Ella, age 9
"Some people don't think dance is a real sport, but it takes a lot of strength to master the technique, it takes time to make improvements, and it takes passion and dedication to reach your goal." —Kami, age 11
"I wish every day was like this." —Caroline C., age 10
"When I am in the air, I feel like I am flying. At the end of a jump, my mind is completely clear." —Abigail, age 17
"In wrestling, girls have an advantage. The guys think less of you until you are face-to-face with them." —Rachel, age 11
"We are undefeated and plan on staying that way." —Olivia J., age 9
"I love the speed when I skate. I feel very alive and present—feeling fluid and going fast is fun." —Kekai, age 12
Excerpted from Strong is the New Pretty: A Celebration of Girls Being Themselves by Kate T. Parker. Copyright 2017 Workman Publishing. Used by permission of the publisher. All rights reserved.