Ali on the Run Show Episode 146: Motherhood Mondays with Kate Parker, Author of Strong is the New Pretty

“It’s not a girl message, and it’s not a boy message. It’s a human message. It’s about celebrating who you are, whatever you are.”

Kate T. Parker is the photographer and author behind the best-selling books Strong is the New Pretty and The Heart of a Boy. Her message for children is profoundly simple: You, just as you are, are worthy. You don’t need to change who you are. Kids should feel strong and empowered being whoever they are. They should be accepted for staying true to themselves, whatever that looks like. Kate, a mom of two girls (Ella, 14, and Alice, 10) in Atlanta, GA, had a revelation a few years ago while taking photos of her kids. The photos weren’t stereotypically “pretty” and posed, and the girls weren’t sitting, smiling, wearing matching bows and dresses. They were messy. They were loud. They silly. And Kate wanted to make sure they always embraced that spirit. On this episode, Kate talks about the failure and rejection she experienced on the way to viral success, and talks about the moments when she knew the Strong is the New Pretty movement was making an impact. (They involve a Tweet from Emma Watson, and a DM exchange with David Beckham.) Kate, who is also a multiple-time triathlete and Ironman, opens up about what it’s like when your middle school-aged daughter is dealing with bullying or mean girls, and talks about what she’s doing to raise strong, confident children.

Thank you to Sweaty Betty for sponsoring Motherhood Mondays on the Ali on the Run Show! Go to and use code ONTHERUN for 20 percent off your purchase.

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What you’ll get on this episode:

  • On the highs, the worries, and the stress and loneliness of new motherhood (3:00)
  • All about Strong is the New Pretty (11:15)
  • All about The Heart of a Boy (35:15)
  • The story behind Kate’s Blended project (40:40)
  • Kate’s advice for raising confident children (42:40)
  • Kate looks back on what new motherhood looked like for her (45:15)

What we mention on this episode:

Strong is the New Pretty

The Heart of a Boy

Strong is the New Pretty Journal

Kate’s Disney campaign


Scary Mommy

A Mighty Girl on Facebook

Meaghan Murphy on Episode 113 of the Ali on the Run Show

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about ali

I’m the creator of the Ali on the Run blog and the host of the Ali on the Run Show podcast. I’m also a freelance writer and editor, a race announcer, a runner and marathoner, a mom, and a huge fan of Peanut M&Ms, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (way better than the first one!), and reliving my glory days as a competition dancer in the early 2000s. I’m really happy you’re here.
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