Through a photo series shared on social media, this portrait photographer is sending an important message to young girls out there – that they can be whoever they want to be.
Heather Mitchell was at her eight-year-old daughter’s softball practice chatting with other moms when she received a bothersome remark from one of them about her kid.
“One of the moms told me (my daughter) was not athletic — that she was a girly girl,” she told TODAY Parents. “I couldn’t sleep that night. All I could think was, ‘Why does she have to choose?'”
During her school days, the portrait photographer from Alabama said that she “played every sport offered and wore lipstick to every game.”
Heather’s upbringing had a great influence on her views regarding the development of a person’s identity. She believes that the individual alone must be the one to decide who he or she wanted to be.
“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.”
After that statement kept her up at night, Heather was inspired to do a photo series that will show other girls that it’s okay to be both athletic and girly.
She took her eight-year-old daughter, Paislee, into her photography studio and took a few pictures of her dressed in princess clothes and tiaras while posing with softball gear. After sharing the photos on her personal Facebook account, she immediately got requests from people asking to photograph their young girls with the same theme.
People couldn’t get enough of Heather’s empowering photo sessions, that she was compelled to schedule additional shoots in the following weeks. She shared the photos on her Facebook photography page as well, writing: “Because you can do it all.” The post and its simple caption went massively viral, garnering 28,000 reactions and 200,000 shares.
Heather hopes that every young girl who sees these photos receive the message she’s trying to send.
“I hope that every little girl that sees this series can see that there is no box,” she said. “Whatever their dreams are, they can achieve them.”
That statement couldn’t be any truer. There is absolutely no reason for a girl to doubt herself and her abilities. Even though society can sometimes have a limiting view of what they can achieve, young females must have the courage and right mind to ignore the words of those who try to put them down and listen instead to what really matters – their own voice telling them that they can be whoever they want to be!