The Power Of She

See The Power of Confidence Through A Photographer’s Eye

December 26, 2016

The Power of She is a movement inviting women and girls to come together to lift each other up and realize our limitless potential. Alone we are strong, united we thrive. In this story, we’re proud to introduce you to one mom who’s helping girls everywhere discover the Power of Confidence.

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Kate, an Atlanta-based photographer, doesn’t tell her daughters to smile before snapping a photo. Her Strong is the New Pretty series encourages girls and women to “be strong, be yourself, be honest, and celebrate who you are.” And it’s working. Her 11-year-old daughter, Ella, when asked to describe herself says, “I am amazing!”

Watch their story about the Power of Confidence, then read on for more about how these ladies are proving what beauty really is. As Kate says, “We spend so much time beating ourselves up for not being this, or looking like that, and we fail to see that our power, our beauty, comes from what makes us unique.”

Q: Kate, you’re sort of going against the “norm” when it comes to how you photograph your girls. What was your inspiration for focusing your photography on “strong girls?”

KATE:
The project grew from this vast collection of images I had taken of my daughters. I noticed the images that resonated most with me were the ones where the girls were 100% themselves. Not smiling for the camera, or posing, or doing anything other than what they were already naturally doing. As parents, we always encourage the kids to be themselves. I knew that I had hit upon something really meaningful to me, as a woman and mother, and thought others might relate.

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Q: Why is it important for you to encourage them to be active, and to be leaders who are not afraid to speak up?

KATE:
We must know our voice. We have a responsibility to use our voice. It is imperative that we teach our girls that what they have to say, what they think, and what they believe is worth sharing. More than that, it is worth shouting!

Q: Your Strong is the New Pretty photo series inspired you to partner with organizations like Girls on the Run and The Bully Project. Why was it important for you to take the message even further?

KATE:
I feel like I have a responsibility to share this message as far and wide as it can go. The messages that girls receive on a daily basis are so different than what we want them to hear. They see/hear that beauty is a size, hairstyle, or outfit, and that’s just not true. Joining forces with organizations that have a similar message is what this is all about.

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Q: You coach your girls’ soccer teams, too! How do you approach coaching in order to uphold your mission values of Strong is the New Pretty?

KATE:
I love coaching these girls. Go Blasters! I coach with my college soccer teammate and best friend, and we love that we can be the examples of women who know the sport, know how to coach, and who are invested in them. I firmly believe if you don’t ever see what’s possible, you can’t dream it. Our philosophy is all about teamwork, working your hardest to be your best, and being a good sport. We want these girls to love the game and to grow with it. There are so many wonderful things to learn from being part of a team.

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Q: Ella, how do you feel when you see the photos your mom takes of you?

ELLA:
I feel really strong when I see powerful images that my mom took. My mom’s pictures are proof that I can do anything I set my mind to, like beat a boy in a race or try something new.

Q: In your interview, you said, “Girls can be unstoppable.” Can you tell us about the last time you felt unstoppable?

ELLA:
I feel unstoppable all the time. This weekend I won my first ever soccer tournament and I felt amazing and proud of myself. It was so awesome.

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Q: Is there a photo your mom has taken of you that you love?

ELLA:
The image of me before my first triathlon is my favorite. I was really nervous before that race and wasn’t sure I could finish, or even start. But that picture made me think that maybe I could. I looked so tough and ready.

Q: Alice, one of the messages your mom wants to represent in her photos is “be yourself.” How would you describe yourself?

ALICE:
I like to think I am nice and funny. Also, I think I am a good singer. I have freckles and am silly.
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Q: Do you think seeing yourself in strong poses in your mom’s photos makes you feel more confident in life?

ALICE:
It doesn’t really make me feel more confident since I am already confident, but I like that it might show someone who isn’t confident that they can be.

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Q: Is there a photo your mom has taken of you that you love?

ALICE:
I like the one where I’m in the middle of a bunch of leaves blowing around, and I am laughing and screaming.  I like it because I am in my soccer clothes, and I love to laugh and scream.

Q: In your interview, you told us about some boys that said you couldn’t beat them, but then you did. Have there been other times you were able to prove how strong girls can be?

ALICE:
I did yesterday in STEAM (science technology electronics art math) class! I couldn’t lift something and I asked a boy to help me and he said, “That’s why I’m glad I’m not a girl.” It made me mad. But today, the same boy asked me to ask our teacher when he was afraid to ask for help, and I did it.

Q: Why did you want to share your story for the Power of She campaign?

ALICE:
Because I want people to know how strong I am.

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Read more stories celebrating the Power of She and the women who are uniting to lift each other up, or get advice from Kate on how to take “Be Yourself” photos like hers.

1 Comment

  • Reply Sarah Schall January 5, 2017 at 7:20 am

    I love this story and seeing the young, strong girls show off their true self. Thank you Kate for using your gift to highlight girls and cultivate an appreciation for how they were created.

    As a former teacher and coach who is passionate about building girls confidence I love hearing of others who creatively support tweens and teens in demonstrating their strength! I created a similar program here in NC called Inside-Out Strong. Its a guide to empower girls in building up their heart, mind and bodies while they identify who they are and strengthen that from the inside out. I love to do it with teams, clubs and especially Moms and Daughters together so that they both learn and bond through the strengthening process…true team effort!

    Thank you Athleta and Kate and your girls!

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