Strong is the New Pretty

I’m the oldest of three girls—three very loud, very independent, very pigheaded strong, very passionate girls. I mean not that I’m proud of my sisters or anything (they’re pretty special).

This summer marks my one-year anniversary of college graduation (read: one-year anniversary of flying the coop for real and actually needing to function as a real adult who spends her paychecks on boring things like water and electricity while still somehow managing to avoid doing laundry as much as she did in high school), and the thing I find myself thinking about the most is how grateful I am to my parents for raising me and my sisters to be this way.

I don’t think I could have managed all the change, the pressure, the overwhelming shifts in the earth that come with moving out without the confidence my parents gave me and my sisters to know deep in our bones that being kind and being bold and being ourselves is not only a noble pursuit, but enough, worthy of love. I’m lucky.

I saw this photo series by Kate Parker this week and I’m blown away by how well she captures this idea. It’s called Strong is the New Pretty, and it is stunning. Truly.

From her artist's statement:

My girls know that who they are is just perfect. Being themselves is enough for us. And ultimately, for them too. We love them just as they are, loud, dirty, competitive…just like my parents loved me for being, um, the exact same way. I wanted this series of images to show their boldness, their strength, and the beauty in them, as they are. Strong is the new pretty.

All images © Kate T. Parker