When Heather Mitchell — a mom and the photographer behind HMP Couture Imagery — was told by another parent that her daughter was not athletic and was just a “girly girl,” she decided to set the record straight. She wanted to prove to not just her 8-year-old daughter, Paislee, but to girls everywhere, that they can “do it all.”
So she stepped behind the camera and created something beautiful. Using her daughter as the subject, she illustrated that you can wear dresses and do the stereotypical “girl” thing while also being great at softball — or anything else, for that matter.
The mom explained the inspiration for the photoshoot to PopSugar, saying, “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?'”
The next day, it wasn’t difficult for Mitchell to create a powerful image. She had such a strong vision for the photo she wanted to create — both how it would look as well as the statement it would make.
“The next day we went to the studio and created Paislee’s shot,” she said. “I seriously only spent about three minutes shooting because I knew exactly what I wanted,” she told PopSugar.
The mom then posted the image to Facebook:
And she got an overwhelming response. So she decided to offer her services to other parents so their daughters could also get involved.
The photos that came out of it are beautiful and empowering:
She called the series “Because You Can Do It All”:
It’s a great illustration of feminine strength:
And it truly embodies the idea that girls don’t have to conform to any ideas of what a girl “should” be:
Instead, they are free to be themselves:
The mom hopes that her daughter and all little girls can learn something valuable from this:
“I hope [my daughter] learned that she does not have to choose,” the mom told PopSugar. “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. I hope that every little girl that sees this series can see that there is no box, whatever their dreams are they can achieve!”
This isn’t the first time a parent has come up with a creative way to prove to their daughter that there is no “right way” to be a female. Back in 2017, a mom’s list of “don’ts” for her daughter went viral on Facebook, and for good reason — they aren’t restrictive in the slightest:
Empowering statements like these are so important for girls and women everywhere. Thanks, moms, for the reminder that girls really can do it all!