Martine Zoer has been a long-time challenger of gender stereotypes for children. In 2014, she used Kickstarter to launch her children’s clothing company, Quirkie Kids, which specializes in T-shirts with gender-neutral and stereotype-busting slogans and graphics.
Afterward, she found that some people were confused about her mission.
“I kept explaining that it’s our tees that are gender neutral, not the kids who wear them. That’s when the hashtags #stillagirl and #stillaboy were born. As in, a boy who wears pink is #stillaboy and a girl who likes dinosaurs is #stillagirl.”
Enough people started using the hasthtags that Zoer created the @stillagirl and @stillaboy Instagram account to feature the images. For boys, the pictures show everything from jumping in a cape to playing with a doll, sniffing a flower or giving a hug. For girls, the photos often show girls exploring and being adventurous.
“Yes. Girls are sugar and spice, but they are so much more,” Zoer told HuffPost. “We share images of girls being strong, confident, and capable. I love images of girls with dirty feet, climbing trees, or playing with bugs.”
Now, Still A Girl is teaming up with professional photographers across the country to offer photo shoots that focus on capturing that same spirit, and the message that there is no one right way to be a girl.
“Instead of focusing on looks and pretty outfits, the photographers seek to capture real girls and real moments ― a genuine smile, a silly face, a bold look,” Zoer says.
The results are photos that attempt to show girls at their most confident moments. Interested parents can find participating photographers on the Still A Girl website. And Zoer says so far the response has been great.
“Parents love the sessions because they show their daughters that real beauty comes from being yourself…. whatever that may be. In turn, girls are empowered because they learn that true beauty comes from the inside; you just have to be you.”
She adds, “Photography is such a great way to not just tell, but show girls that they are beautiful just the way they are. Images are powerful and a single, gorgeous image can affect how a girl sees herself.”
Keep scrolling to see more photos.