In a day where our culture is over-saturated with "idols" made up of reality stars celebrities, Oxygen hopes to promote a new type of role model with the new series Pretty. Strong. It isn't necessarily a new concept to see female athletes as role models — growing up, I had posters of soccer player Mia Hamm — but it is an anomaly in today's culture. Pretty. Strong. follows the lives of eight women on Chicago Bliss, a two-time champion team on the Legends Football League (the fastest growing all-female American football organization), and their lives on and off the field. In the exclusive clip, photographer — and former college athlete — Kate T. Parker had a photoshoot with the cast of Pretty. Strong., with the goal of promoting these women as the role models and strong athletes they are.
Breaking gender barriers is the name of the game with Pretty. Strong., since when you hear "football" you might not immediately think of women playing the sport. The women who make up the cast of the show live by the "work hard, play hard" mentality, while also successfully living well-rounded lives off the field (they have full-time careers by day, too). Parker, who once released the photo series "Strong Is The New Pretty", says that she sees girls (like her daughter or niece) dying and earning for strong female role models. The Chicago Bliss team seems like the perfect women to fill that void in young girls' lives.
Parker says she hopes that her images capture a side of the Chicago Bliss that you don't necessarily see on the field. The women featured are fierce, strong, beautiful, and overall, inspiring, certainly promoting the Pretty. Strong. message.
Watch the clip of the Chicago Bliss' photoshoot with Parker below, and make sure to tune into the premiere of Pretty. Strong. on Tuesday at 10 p.m. ET.
Images: Oxygen Media