Be Confident, Be Wild, Be Fearless, Be Resilient, and Be Yourself. Those are all characteristics that make up Kate T. Parker. The author of Strong is the New Pretty is redefining what strength is.
When you hear the word strong, what do you think of? Do you picture a boy flexing his muscles, or a football player making a tackle? How many of you picture a girl kicking butt on the soccer field, raising her hand in class, or facing her fears by holding a snake?
Nowadays, the characteristics our society values sometimes dictate how girls should act, look or be. With the book Strong is the New Pretty, Parker is sending a message and changing the narrative: “Strength means many things and is revealed in many ways.” In this beautiful 200 page book, girls from around the country showcase the strength that lies inside of them.
“I want these images to combat those negative voices that tell us we’re not good enough or thin enough or whatever enough,” Parker said. “Because we are far more than enough.”
In Parker’s book, she highlights 200 girls from around the United States as they display their strengths. These images show the world that strength and beauty have no bounds, and it can really come in all forms.
“Strength isn’t always loud and feisty,” Parker said. “Strength can be in the face of a musician creating music because it is inside of her. Strength can be changing tables in the lunchroom because your friends weren’t actually your friends.”
Parker, a mother of two daughters and a photographer, was once very much like the girls highlighted in this book. When Parker was seven years old, all she wanted to do was dominate on the soccer field like her brothers.
At that point, Parker was not focused on conforming to society’s expectations, but rather on optimizing her own performance. In fact, Parker cut off all her hair when she was in second grade. She didn’t worry about what others thought, because she wanted to make sure her ponytails did not get in her face as she was running on the soccer field trying to score a goal.
Now, Parker’s goal is to teach her daughters and other girls that they should not be afraid to be 100% themselves while changing the perception of what it means to be strong.
“Wild girls should be allowed to be wild,” Parker said. “Introspective girls should be allowed to be quiet. Funny girls should be allowed to be funny. Girls should be allowed to be who they are.”
Photo Credit: Twitter