Photographer Kate T. Parker’s photoseries, Strong is the New Pretty, has resonated with parents right around the world. Showcasing her daughters and their friends’ natural, joyous, carefree, ‘un-staged’ character, the photos are a celebration of true beauty – candid, fun and full of life.


Gaining viral following internationally, Kate’s images invite us to rethink the notion of  ‘pretty’ – especially in an age of selfies, ‘belfies’, likes and follows, where pre-teens and teens compete for social media following through provocative, staged and filtered images of themselves.


water breakKate says, “It is a series of photographs showing my two young girls, as well as their friends, just as they are — loud, athletic, fearless, messy, joyous, frustrated. I wanted to celebrate these girls as they are, not how females are expected to be. I wanted to celebrate them, just as they are, and show them that is enough. Being pretty or perfect is not important. Being who they are is.


“Initially, this project started as a desire to record my daughters and the memories of their childhood, as well as practice with my camera and different lighting situations, environments, times of day, etc.


“After about a year or so, it organically grew into something different. The images changed. I started to see patterns and recognise 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 favourites. After seeing this, I started to shoot with that in mind.


DSC_4553Kate T. Parker Photography“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. There’s a lot of pressure for girls (and women) to look a certain way, act in certain manner, and I wanted to let my daughters know that who they naturally are is enough.”


We’re completely in love with Kate’s philosophy and her stunning photographs. Check out the May issue of haven for more on Strong is the New Pretty, and share your favourite pics of your kids in all their untamed, energetic, messy glory at www.facebook.com/havenhub.


All photography credits to © Kate T. Parker.

Courtney Robinson

Courtney Robinson  

Courtney Robinson is a Gold Coast mum, passionate foodie, whole foods recipe creator and personal trainer certified in holistic digestive health and nutrition. Follow @athletist_ or visit athletist.com.au for recipes, workout tips and training hacks.