photo: Kate T. Parker/ CNN

Photographer Kate T. Parker’s new book, “Strong Is The New Pretty: A Celebration of Girls Being Themselves” is showing the world just what makes girls look beautiful. (Hint: It doesn’t have anything to do with hairstyles and clothes.) What really makes girls (and women for that matter) look and feel confident and pretty is simply being themselves, even of that means getting dirty, angry, and loud.

Parker started out photographing her own daughters Ella (11) and Alice (8), doing what they love: riding bikes, swimming, and playing in the dirt. Basically, being themselves. In an interview with CNN, Parker explained that she wanted her daughters to understand that their passion and strength made them beautiful, not what they wore or how they posed, like the images and messages they were inundated with in the media.

Realizing there was a bigger story to tell, Parker travelled the country and photographed other girls whose strength was apparent in the obstacles they faced, from fighting cancer to playing football. The inspiring images of girls being strong which she captured, fill the pages of her newly released book. The photographs represent true beauty because they show the girls being who they really are, whether they are being wild or quiet.

“I wanted this book and its message to be a little oasis for girls. They can look at it and read it and see that they don’t need to change, add a filter or be someone or something else to be beautiful. They already are,” says Parker.

What do you think of Parker’s message to girls and women? Share your thoughts in the comments.