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Viral photos encourage moms to 'set aside the Barbie dolls, Disney princesses'

Published: Friday, Sept. 4 2015 1:31 p.m. MDT

Five-year-old Emma Moore, right, poses as women\'s rights leader Susan B. Anthony. (Jaime C. Moore) Five-year-old Emma Moore, right, poses as women\'s rights leader Susan B. Anthony. (Jaime C. Moore)

To celebrate her daughter Emma’s fifth birthday, rather than playing dress up in pink, puffy dresses, Texas photographer Jaime C. Moore captured her daughter’s special day by commemorating five women whose sacrifices and dedication made women’s lifestyles possible today. Moore consciously chose the women she did over popular Disney princesses because they lived real lives.

“I had been searching everywhere for new creative inspiration for her (Emma’s) 5yr pictures,” Moore said on her photography website. “I noticed quite a pattern of so many young girls dressing up as beautiful Disney Princesses. … Now don’t get me wrong, I LOVE Disney Princesses. … But it got me thinking, they’re just characters, a writers tale of a princess … an unrealistic fantasy for most girls.”

Five-year-old Emma Moore, right, poses as Amelia Earhart, who served as an inspiration to many as she became an iconic female aviator. (Jaime C. Moore) Five-year-old Emma Moore, right, poses as Amelia Earhart, who served as an inspiration to many as she became an iconic female aviator. (Jaime C. Moore)

Moore wanted her daughter’s birthday to be more meaningful than the princess frills that she found to be so prevalent on the Internet.

“It started me thinking about all the REAL women for my daughter to know about and look up to, REAL women who without ever meeting Emma have changed her life for the better,” Moore said.

She and Emma chose five women (because it was Emma’s fifth birthday) who “have beat the odds and fought (and still fight) for their equal rights all over the world.” In each of the five photographs, Emma dresses in similar clothing, has her hair done in a similar fashion, and poses like the original image of the woman.

The five women Emma posed as are Susan B. Anthony, Coco Chanel, Amelia Earhart, Helen Keller and Jane Goodall. Emma also has two images as herself, and she is wearing a pin that reads, “Emma for President 2044.”

Five-year-old Emma Moore, right, poses as Coco Chanel, who changed the world of women’s fashion. (Jaime C. Moore) Five-year-old Emma Moore, right, poses as Coco Chanel, who changed the world of women’s fashion. (Jaime C. Moore)

Moore believes that this photo shoot linking Emma to prominent women figures will help teach her daughter the value of the freedoms she enjoys.

“My daughter wasn’t born into royalty, but she was born into a country where she can now vote, become a doctor, a pilot, an astronaut, or even president if she wants and that’s what REALLY matters,” Moore said. “I wanted her to know the value of these amazing women who had gone against everything so she can now have everything.”

Moore posted the “Not Just a Girl” series on her photography website and Facebook page and received thousands of “likes” and hundreds of comments. At one point, her website stopped working because the server could not support the number of visitors it received. Moore is grateful for the positive feedback she has received from viewers.

Five-year-old Emma Moore, right, poses as Helen Keller. Keller, left blind, deaf and mute after a childhood illness, had tremendous communication obstacles to overcome. (Jaime C. Moore) Five-year-old Emma Moore, right, poses as Helen Keller. Keller, left blind, deaf and mute after a childhood illness, had tremendous communication obstacles to overcome. (Jaime C. Moore)

A post on her photography Facebook page reads, “I just want to say a HUGE THANK YOU for all the support and hundreds of beautiful messages! What a journey these last 4 days have been. I have had so many email/message requests for prints, posters and/or postcards of Emma’s “NOT just a girl” series.”

Commenters are impressed with Moore’s idea, as well as Emma’s portrayal of the women.

One comment on Moore’s photography website reads, “This child is the most perfect photographic model I can imagine. She mirrors the expressions of each of those women so perfectly that she appears to be either their younger selves or their actual daughter. Kudos to Mom for thinking of this project. Emma has a bright future, wherever it leads her."

Five-year-old Emma Moore.  (Jaime C. Moore) Five-year-old Emma Moore. (Jaime C. Moore)

Abby Stevens is an intern for the DeseretNews.com Faith and Family sections. She is a recent graduate of Brigham Young University–Idaho. Contact Abby at astevens@deseretdigital.com.

Copyright 2015, Deseret News Publishing Company