“Are you a sporty girl, or a girly girl?” “Tara is always playing soccer, she’s such a tomboy…” “Erica doesn’t do sports, she’s too much of a princess for that.” We’ve all heard conversations like these, putting little girls firmly into boxes before they’ve even had a chance to find out for themselves what kind of person they are. Who’s to say that girls can’t be anything and everything that they want to be?
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Alabama-based photographer and mom Heather Mitchell had a lightbulb moment recently while chatting to another mom at her daughter’s softball practice. “My youngest daughter is 8 and she is trying softball this year for the first time,” Heather said.
“We were at practice a few weeks ago and I was talking with the other moms. I was saying that I hoped Paislee learned to love the game because she was athletic. One of the moms told me that she was not athletic that she was a girly girl. I couldn’t sleep that night. All I could think was, ‘why does she have to choose?’”
“I played every sport my school offered and wore lipstick to every game,” Heather continued. “So the next day, we went to the studio and created her shot. I seriously only spent about three minutes shooting because I knew exactly what I wanted.”
“I posted them to my personal Facebook and had tons of requests so we added two days to our schedule and they sold out in one hour. So I added two more days and they sold out too. These photos were my daughter and some of the girls from the first day of shoots. I have three more days next month!”
The resulting shoots have since gone viral, being shared almost 200,000 times, as the world has discovered that these girls can truly “do it all.”
“Our daughters do not have to choose,” Heather said. “My parents taught me that I could be anything I wanted growing up. I didn’t realize until I was much older that everyone is not that blessed.”
“It is important for girls to know that there is no box. They can be girly and athletic. Artsy and smart. Whatever they dream, they can achieve. ”
What do you think? Did you have to ‘choose’ when you were a child? Do we subconscious put our kids in unnecessary boxes sometimes? Let us know in the comments!