Emma Moore turned 5 this year. To mark the occasion, Jaime Moore, her mother and a professional photographer, snapped portraits of her in dress-up clothes.
But she wasn't dressed like a Disney princess. Moore dressed her daughter as real women — strong women, including Susan B. Anthony, Jane Goodall and Helen Keller.
Moore re-created photographs of the famous women, encouraging Emma to mimic their poses — down to the very expressions on their faces.
"I'd been searching everywhere for new creative inspiration" for her daughter's fifth-year portrait, Moore says. "No matter where I looked, so many ideas were the how-tos of how to dress your little girl just like a Disney princess. Don't get me wrong, I love Disney princesses, but they're just characters, a writer's tale of a princess, and it really got me thinking about the real women for our girls to look up to."
One goal was to get her daughter wondering about these women and what they achieved. They picked out the costume pieces together, and Moore told Emma all about each one.
"She was very engaged in it, which is great for a 5-year-old," Moore says.
Emma's favorite was Amelia Earhart, followed closely by Jane Goodall. Moore says she loves her daughter's expression in the Earhart portrait.
"I took the shot while we were cheering, 'Emma, you just flew a plane by yourself over the ocean!' In her eyes, I just see so much pride and confidence."
Moore says 5 is a fun year for Emma, who is starting to think for herself and form her own opinions about the world. For Halloween, Emma chose to be a combination of Queen Elizabeth and Merida — her favorite Disney princess — from the movie Brave.
During the shoot, Emma was shocked to learn that no woman had yet been elected president of the United States. So she and her mom decided that for her final portrait, she'd dress as herself — as president, a role model of the future.
SCOTT SIMON, HOST:
Emma Moore turned five this year. And to mark the occasion, Jaime Moore, her mother and a professional photographer, snapped portraits of her daughter in dress-up clothes. But she wasn't dressed like a Disney princess, but instead real women, strong women, including Amelia Earhart, Susan B. Anthony and Helen Keller. Jaime Moore joins us now from member station KUT in Austin, Texas. Thanks very much for being with us.
JAMIE MOORE: Thank you so much for having me.
SIMON: And why'd you want to do that?
MOORE: It really all started with her five-year portraits. I'd been searching everywhere for a new creative inspiration. And no matter where I looked, so many of the ideas for the how-tos of how to dress your little girl - dress like a Disney princess. And don't get me wrong - I love Disney princesses. But, you know, they're just characters, a writer's tale of a princess. And it really got me thinking about the real women for our girls to look up to.
SIMON: Were you hoping that your daughter would ask questions like, well, who is this Amelia Earhart?
MOORE: Yes, exactly. We had so much fun picking out the costume pieces and for each woman's portrait, we would tell her about each incredible woman, 'cause she was very engaged in it, which is great for a five-year-old.
SIMON: Yeah. With respect, isn't the point of dress-up to play?
MOORE: It is. But I think at the same time, you know, five is such a fun year. She's beginning to think for herself, and with her own opinions and questions about the world around her. But, you know, I think every day of the week we discuss Hello Kitty, we talk about Disney princesses - her favorite right now is Merida. It's just something one day to do a little bit different.
SIMON: I especially - I keep coming back to Amelia Earhart because I love that photo of her. How did you do that and how did Emma react?
MOORE: That was actually the very first portrait that we did. And honestly, learning of Amelia Earhart seemed to be her favorite, although Jane Goodall was a close second. And personally, I love her facial expression in the photograph. I took the shot - well, you know, we were cheering, Emma, you just flew a plane by yourself over the ocean. And in her eyes I just see so much pride and confidence.
SIMON: Yeah. I have joked for years that our daughters dress as Angela Merkel and Aung San Suu Kyi for Halloween. So, I'm wondering what Emma might be for Halloween.
MOORE: She has an outfit that she chose that is a dress. She actually chose it because she was learning about Queen Elizabeth at the time and that's what we all decided that she would go as. And now she's changed it to Merida as well. So, she's going to be both.
SIMON: So, like, the back is Queen Elizabeth and the front is Merida, or how is she...
MOORE: I, I guess so. She's a very creative and independent girl herself.
SIMON: Well, Happy Halloween.
MOORE: Thank you.
SIMON: Jamie Moore is a photographer and a mother in Austin. You can see her photos of Emma on NPR.org.
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SIMON: And this is NPR News. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.