Feminist Photography Project Teaching Girls About Real Role Models


Have you ever wondered why little girls grow up wanting to be a princess, then a popstar, then a reality star as they hit adulthood? Because these are the imagery of women that dominate the media and saturate our senses from a young age. It is difficult for anything else to get through, including positive messages about body image, and realistic role models.

A photographer from Texas, Kat Carey, and marketing manager Cassandra Yerdeni, both from San Antonio, decided it was time to take the power back into their own hands and be the change for young girls everywhere.

They put together a super rad photography project which was aimed at teaching girls about real life female trailblazers, feminists, and women who changed the world. They dressed up young girls as female heroes and icons.

The list includes human rights activist Malala, painter Frida Kahlo, actress Audrey Hepburn, photographer Annie Leibovitz, Mother Teresa, first lady Michelle Obama, scientist Marie Curie, Ellen Ochoa the first hispanic woman to go to space, Coco Chanel, poet Maya Angelou, civil rights activist Dolores Huerta, Sonia Sotomayor the first hispanic US supreme court justice, British primatologist Jane Goodall, American Indian icon Sacajawea, the first female pilot to fly solo across the Atlantic ocean Amelia Earhart, and of course feminist icon Rosie the Riveter.



The idea is to inspire the next generation with real life role models from all walks of life, and to encourage them to value more than just physical beauty.

In other words, the types of messages that should be taught in school, but sadly aren’t part of any formal curriculum, so it is up to everyday women like Kat and Cassandra to ensure girls are taught the right type of self-esteem and confidence lessons from a young age.

The series of photographs is called ‘The Isis Project: Empowering Girls through the Celebration of Extraordinary Women‘ where they are inviting girls infant-aged through to 18 to submit themselves to the project to be photographed dressed up as a pioneer woman from around the world.

Each photo is accompanied by 140 characters (enough for a tweet!) which is a description of the heroine pictured.



“We want to empower girls to emulate women who’ve made a contribution to society,” said 27 year-old co-founder Cassandra to the Daily Mail, who is also mother to a 2 year old daughter Lily.

The women chose the name Isis after the famous Egyptian goddess of rebirth, who is also a strong symbol of femininity, just like this project.

They got the idea for this project after seeing another mom and photographer Jaime Moore who dressed her own daughter up as a series of female role models throughout history, in 2013. She had the same idea of wanting her daughter to grow up with a healthy sense of success outside of what pop culture forces down our throats.

Each month Kat and Cassandra hold photography sessions in their Texas studio and photograph the girls who want to be part of the project. The girls get to choose who they want to dress up as, and so far the most popular women are Michelle Obama and Frida Kahlo.



“Girls deserve to feel good about themselves and know that showing some skin or being ‘pretty’ is not the only way to be rewarded. There’s nothing wrong with owning your own sexuality or being good-looking, but women should be praised for more than just that,” says Kat.

“We should be praised for our talent, minds, skills, heart, and strengths. We want this project to be a form of education – opening up new role models and great women to look up to,” she adds.

While their mission is to inspire as many girls in San Antonio and elsewhere as much as possible, even just affected one life is worth it to the team.

“We would honestly be happy to achieve as little as empowering one girl to know that her worth is not measured by her looks.”


Some of the infants in these pictures are ridiculously cute! And beyond that, it is inspiring to see how many girls want to participate in a project like this. It shows us that there is a real hunger for more than what the media has to offer.

We have a duty as female citizens of the world to rise up, and use our power for positive change. We have the capabilities to affect lives for the better. We don’t need to always buy whatever the world is selling us, because most of the time it is a cheap imitation of the real thing.

Real women don’t need gimmicks, fame, fortune, or just physical beauty. The real heroes and role models are the pioneers who stretch the boundaries, open hearts, open minds and make the impossible possible.










  1. This is adorable! Love it.

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  3. Pingback: Mother Creates Instagram Series Of Her Daughter Dressed As Famous, Influential Global Women - GirlTalkHQ

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