Gowns and baseball gloves: Woman’s photos inspire girls to ‘do it all’

MOULTON, AL (WHNT/CNN) - It took one conversation at her daughter's softball practice to inspire a photographer to do something that's resonated with thousands of people on social media.

Heather Mitchell is a mom to two daughters and owns a photography business.

"I just hope Paislee learns to love the game (softball) this year," she said of her 8-year-old. "This is her first year; I feel like she's athletic."

It was another mother's response that left Mitchell feeling unsettled: "'Ahh, she's not athletic, she's a girly girl.'"

"I like to dress up in high heels and fancy dresses, but I also love to play softball," Paislee said.

Mitchell said she thought about what the woman said that night, playing it over in her head.

"I thought, 'Why does she have to choose? Why can't she be both?'" she said.

She decided to show her daughter and other girls could be both with a special photo shoot - crowns and gowns mixed with balls, bats and gloves. The pictures and their message went viral.

A photographer wanted to show her daughter and other girls they could be 'girly' and athletic with a special photo shoot - crowns and gowns mixed with balls, bats and gloves. (Source: HMP Couture Imagery, WHNT, CNN)
A photographer wanted to show her daughter and other girls they could be 'girly' and athletic with a special photo shoot - crowns and gowns mixed with balls, bats and gloves. (Source: HMP Couture Imagery, WHNT, CNN) (Source: HMP Couture Imagery, WHNT, CNN)

"We have this voice to say, 'You, little girl, can do it. Nobody can tell you that you can't do it,'" Mitchell said.

With an audience giving her a new platform to showcase, she decided she wanted to do more.

"We had a lot of feedback on our first post that we didn't have diversity, but it was paid sessions," Mitchell said. "It wasn't models that we chose. So today, we get to choose."

In a follow up photo shoot - girls of all kinds came together to show everyone just how tough they can be.

Whether you're a little girl adopted out of the foster system, born with a partial arm or even fighting cancer, girls from all walks of life are all beautiful and all athletes.

"Whatever life has thrown at you - there's no limits," Mitchell said. "You dream. If you believe that you can do it, and you work for it, you can do anything you want."

Because you can do it all.

Posted by HMP Couture Imagery on Friday, April 12, 2019

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