A photographer mom shoots portraits of girls in sparkly dresses and sports equipment because YES.

This one's for the girls who know you don't have to chose between sparkles and sports.

For too long, girls have been sent the message that they have to be either/or. You're either a girly-girl or a tomboy. You're either into sparkly princesses or sports practices. From the early days of childhood, we're told in bold and subtle ways to squeeze ourselves into separate boxes.

But those boxes are bullspit, and most of us know it. Girls don't have to choose between feeling beautiful and being badass. We can be both at the same time.


Perhaps that's why a portrait shoot shared by HMP Couture Imagery showing girls dressed up in fancy dresses and sports equipment has gone insanely viral. The shoot is called "Because you can do it all," and in just a few days it has already been shared 175,000+ times.

HMP Couture Imagery

The woman who photographed the shoot says a comment from a fellow mom sparked the idea.

Heather Mitchell, the photographer from Alabama who runs HMP Couture Imagery, told Upworthy how the portrait shoot came about.

"My youngest daughter is 8 and she is trying softball this year for the first time," said Mitchell. "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."

HMP Couture Imagery

"I couldn't sleep that night," Mitchell continued. "All I could think was, 'Why does she have to choose?' I played every sport my school offered and wore lipstick to every game. So the next day we went to the studio and created her shot."

Mitchell says she only spent about three minutes shooting because she knew exactly what she wanted to create. After she posted the photos of Paislee to her personal Facebook page, she got a ton of requests from other parents for the same kind of shoot. After adding two days to the schedule, they sold out in an hour—and the requests just keep on coming.

HMP Couture Imagery

Mitchell hopes that girls see these photos and realize that they don't have to choose one identity.

The idea that crinoline and cleats can't exist in the same mental space is silly, but common. Girls (and boys for that matter) can love pretty things and kick butt at sports. They don't have to be one thing or the other.

"My parent taught me that I could be anything I wanted growing up," Mitchell told Upworthy. "I didn't realize till I was much older that everyone is not that blessed."

HMP Couture Imagery

These photos are an excellent reminder to questions our assumptions and not place unnecessary limits on anyone—and an empowering example for girls who don't fit neatly into a socially constructed box.

"I hope that every little girl that sees this series can see that there is no box," says Mitchell. "Whatever their dreams are they can achieve."

Because you can do it all.
Posted by HMP Couture Imagery on Friday, April 12, 2019
Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
True

Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

Keep Reading Show less

When "bobcat" trended on Twitter this week, no one anticipated the unreal series of events they were about to witness. The bizarre bobcat encounter was captured on a security cam video and...well...you just have to see it. (Read the following description if you want to be prepared, or skip down to the video if you want to be surprised. I promise, it's a wild ride either way.)

In a North Carolina neighborhood that looks like a present-day Pleasantville, a man carries a cup of coffee and a plate of brownies out to his car. "Good mornin!" he calls cheerfully to a neighbor jogging by. As he sets his coffee cup on the hood of the car, he says, "I need to wash my car." Well, shucks. His wife enters the camera frame on the other side of the car.

So far, it's just about the most classic modern Americana scene imaginable. And then...

A horrifying "rrrrawwwww!" Blood-curdling screaming. Running. Panic. The man abandons the brownies, races to his wife's side of the car, then emerges with an animal in his hands. He holds the creature up like Rafiki holding up Simba, then yells in its face, "Oh my god! It's a bobcat! Oh my god!"

Then he hucks the bobcat across the yard with all his might.

Keep Reading Show less
Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
True

Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

Keep Reading Show less