I think many women would agree that girls today have it even tougher than we did. Never mind glass ceilings and pay equity, I'm talking about the American perception of physical beauty as a measure of worth. Celebrities are plastered on the covers of tabloids, being shamed for having been caught on camera with (gasp!) cellulite, the magic of Photoshop has created an impossible standard in advertising, and the phenomenon of selfies and social media is manna for mean girls.
Don't get me wrong--we see more diversity in advertising than ever before and there are plenty of people trying to counteract the message that it's how you look that matters, I just want to see more of it and spread the word for my own ten-year-old daughter, and all the others. Strong is the New Pretty shows a different definition of pretty than what we've been taught. It's being wild, strong, kind, being yourself and I love it. Each section has photos and captions of girls showing the beauty of independence, kindness, resilience, joy...Here are a handful of samples from photographer Kate T. Parker's wonderful book:
Resilient is Strong
Strong is putting all your heart, mind, and effort into what you believe in. Your beauty will shine from this. -- Jordan AGE 15
Determined is Strong
The best part of being on a roller derby team is finding your inner strong. -- Isabel AGE 8
When you're determined, you can change the world by just being you. -- Ruby AGE 9
Kind is Strong
So many things are hard to do but when I smile, it seems like I can get through. -- Tatiana AGE 11
Independent is Strong
Ever since I was little Dad has been taking me backpacking. No phones. No one saying, "Be careful!" Just the two of us hiking in the woods, camping, talking about stuff. It's my favorite thing in the world.
--Emma B. AGE 11