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
Photo by Louis Hansel on Unsplash
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This story was originally shared on Capital One.

Inside the walls of her kitchen at her childhood home in Guatemala, Evelyn Klohr, the founder of a Washington, D.C.-area bakery called Kakeshionista, was taught a lesson that remains central to her business operations today.

"Baking cakes gave me the confidence to believe in my own brand and now I put my heart into giving my customers something they'll enjoy eating," Klohr said.

While driven to launch her own baking business, pursuing a dream in the culinary arts was economically challenging for Klohr. In the United States, culinary schools can open doors to future careers, but the cost of entry can be upwards of $36,000 a year.

Through a friend, Klohr learned about La Cocina VA, a nonprofit dedicated to providing job training and entrepreneurship development services at a training facility in the Washington, D.C-area.

La Cocina VA's, which translates to "the kitchen" in Spanish, offers its Bilingual Culinary Training program to prepare low-and moderate-income individuals from diverse backgrounds to launch careers in the food industry.

That program gave Klohr the ability to fully immerse herself in the baking industry within a professional kitchen facility and receive training in an array of subjects including culinary skills, food safety, career development and English language classes.

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This article originally appeared on 12.02.19


Just imagine being an 11-year-old boy who's been shuffled through the foster care system. No forever home. No forever family. No idea where you'll be living or who will take care of you in the near future.

Then, a loving couple takes you under their care and chooses to love you forever.

What could one be more thankful for?

That's why when a fifth grader at Deerfield Elementary School in Cedar Hills, Utah was asked by his substitute teacher what he's thankful for this Thanksgiving, he said finally being adopted by his two dads.

via OD Action / Twitter

To the child's shock, the teacher replied, "that's nothing to be thankful for," and then went on a rant in front of 30 students saying that "two men living together is a sin" and "homosexuality is wrong."

While the boy sat there embarrassed, three girls in the class stood up for him by walking out of the room to tell the principal. Shortly after, the substitute was then escorted out of the building.

While on her way out she scolded the boy, saying it was his fault she was removed.

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One of the boy's parents-to-be is Louis van Amstel, is a former dancer on ABC's "Dancing with the Stars." "It's absolutely ridiculous and horrible what she did," he told The Salt Lake Tribune. "We were livid. It's 2019 and this is a public school."

The boy told his parents-to-be he didn't speak up in the classroom because their final adoption hearing is December 19 and he didn't want to do anything that would interfere.

He had already been through two failed adoptions and didn't want it to happen again.

via Loren Javier / Flickr

A spokesperson for the Alpine School District didn't go into detail about the situation but praised the students who spoke out.

"Fellow students saw a need, and they were able to offer support," David Stephenson said. "It's awesome what happened as far as those girls coming forward."

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He also said that "appropriate action has been taken" with the substitute teacher.

"We are concerned about any reports of inappropriate behavior and take these matters very seriously," Kelly Services, the school the contracts out substitute teachers for the district, said in a statement. "We conduct business based on the highest standards of integrity, quality, and professional excellence. We're looking into this situation."

After the incident made the news, the soon-to-be adoptive parents' home was covered in paper hearts that said, "We love you" and "We support you."

Religion is supposed to make us better people.

But what have here is clearly a situation where a woman's judgement about what is good and right was clouded by bigoted dogma. She was more bothered by the idea of two men loving each other than the act of pure love they committed when choosing to adopt a child.