Real beauty isn’t about being a certain size, acting a certain way, wearing the right clothes or having your hair done in a particular style. Real beauty is about being your authentic self and owning it. In her new book, photographer Kate T. Parker has captured the real beauty in girls aged 5 to 18 who are fierce, funny, adventurous, assertive, loud and creative.
Here is some of their wisdom:
“Being mentally strong is ten times harder than being physically strong. Mental Stamina comes from the heart… and the mind.” Catherine, 13.
“My nana wrote this on my cast to remind me to be brave and strong. I already knew that.” Maddie, 7
“I was really scared for my first triathlon. My mum 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 mum showed me this shot, it made me believe I could be as tough as I look.” Ella, 9
“We worked really hard.”
“I give it my all, always, even when nobody is watching. Mum says that is what integrity is all about
.” Parker, 10
“When you train really hard for a long time on a certain skill, and you finally do it right, it makes it all worth it.”
“The best part of being on a roller derby team is finding your inner strong.”
“The open water out on the lake is my paradise. I got my boating licence to do just this with my best friend.” Mackenzie, 13
“Summer is a time when I just don’t care what I wear as long as I am cool.”
Edited extract from Strong Is the New Pretty: A Celebration of Girls Being Themselves by Kate T. Parker (Workman Publishing), out now