Mom Dresses Daughter Up As Historical Badass Ladies, Is Awesome

Vanessa’s Team Pick:

Did you know that a thing parents do is take photographs of their kids? I know, a wild and wacky concept. I guess a parenting trend right now is to dress your kids up when you take photos of them on their birthdays, which actually sounds so fun because think of the possibilities! You could dress your child up like a puppy. Or a burrito. Or a cat dressed up as sushi. The options are endless! (I’m kind of jk, please no one call child protective services re: the emotional well-being of the children I do not currently have). But apparently most parents out there are not interested in dressing their little girls up as edible animals, and are instead sticking with the ever original ~*~DISNEY PRINCESS~*~ theme. Yawn.

But! But but but! Mom and photographer Jamie Moore bucked the trend, and the results are fantastic. Jamie seems to be less cynical and eye-roll-y than I am about Disney princesses, acknowledging “their beautiful dresses, perfect hair, gorgeous voices and…ideal love stories,” but she didn’t want to dress her daughter up like one for her 5 year photos. So she picked five influential extraordinary women from history and dressed her daughter up as them instead. The result is adorable amazing photos plus an inspirational message – this mom wins the internet this week, according to me, and I work at a parenting magazine by day so my opinion is very valid and important.

Here are my favorite images from the collection; you can see all the photographs and read Jamie’s full blog post here.

oh hey jane goodall! via

oh hey jane goodall!

…It started me thinking about all the REAL women for my daughter to know about and look up too, REAL women who without ever meeting Emma have changed her life for the better. 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. I wanted her to know the value of these amazing women who had gone against everything so she can now have everything. We chose 5 women (five amazing and strong women), as it was her 5th birthday but there are thousands of unbelievable women (and girls) who have beat the odds and fought (and still fight) for their equal rights all over the world…… let’s set aside the Barbie Dolls and the Disney Princesses for just a moment, and let’s show our girls the REAL women they can be. – Jamie

this is the future via

this is the future

If someone offered to photograph you as your favorite badass historical woman, who would you choose?

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Vanessa is a writer, a teacher, and the community editor at Autostraddle. Very hot, very fun, very weird. Find her on twitter and instagram.

Vanessa has written 404 articles for us.


  1. Cutest thing, but all very white. I don’t know if that could be easily reconciled w/r/t dress up- but it is a shame to have no role models of colour included.

    • i thought that too, but like you said i’m not sure how the mom could have handled it differently — i think it would be awesome if this became a series including many different little girls, dressed as a full spectrum of strong wonderful historical women who changed the world. that’s why i asked who everyone else would want to dress up as — i hope to learn about some new women who aren’t even on my radar, perhaps!

      • It would be totally awesome if this became a series!!! Just please don’t put your kids in blackface. :/

        • yes x 10000 re: blackface…i would hope that’s a given but i know it isn’t for everyone :/

          • Furthermore… I’m trying to think who I would have wanted my five year old biracial self to be dressed as, and I’m coming up short. Lena Horne maybe… But I think that would turn out a little too “toddlers in tiaras”

          • i can’t think of my ideal either! it’s kind of weird. like maybe i want to dress up as riese because she is my feminist queermo hero? but as a five year old? not sure.

          • Your 5-year old self could have been a mini Nefertiti or lil fist raisin’ Angela Davis (esp with your hair! a baby ‘fro and dashiki shirt would have been dope).

    • Q: In the theme of having a white girl dress up as WOC, would it even be necessary for her to “augment” her appearance to look like them? I mean, Emma didn’t have her hair dyed white or her face tanned to look like Jane Goodall – it’s just a matter of posing with similar clothes. That’d be a safe approach without the icky area of “is this blackface? am I being racist by giving my little blonde girl an afro?”

    • I just need to play devil’s advocate really quickly (and I need everyone to know that’s what I’m doing).

      What if this had been a child of colour, with a particular and clear ethnic/cultural background, who then dressed up only as influential people who shared that heritage?

      I don’t know the answer right now, but it’s a question I’d like people to think about… Because I know I will be!

      • “I wanted her to know the value of these amazing women who had gone against everything so she can now have everything.”

        She’s trying to teach her daughter about the importance of woman’s history, historical women come in many forms, hence the desire for diversity. Now a colored girl, lets say of African American decent representing her heritage is a completely different field of history. because now you’re leaning towards Black history, and to be disappointed in the lack of Caucasian acknowledgment for the progress in the African American/ Black community is like saying you’re disappointed in the lack of recognition the men that helped and supported the woman’s rights movement are receiving.

        • I know we’re not there yet, but I wish that Black history, or Chicana history or whatever ethno-specific history there is was not separate for anyone. And I know we’re talking about a pattern of dominance and subordination… But all the troubles.

          Can it be the future yet?

        • Also, intersectionality is a thing. I reread your comment, and I think that this is implying that if I dressed up as a white woman: Women’s History, but if I dressed up like a mixed race latina: Mixed Race Latina History…

          I hope that this is not the case, and that there can be a blurring of lines between these concepts.

  2. there was this girl that dressed up for a different influential woman-character for more than a (school) year and wore the outfits she came up with to school everyday. she was about 8 or 10, i think. not sure you guys wrote about her here? i forgot her name but she was super badass too. should look that one up..

  3. Also, Coco Chanel was a nazi. I know this woman probably didn’t know that, but just a head’s up. Coco Chanel was a nazi. Can we please stop admiring her?

    • Plus, not even getting into the whole whitewashing mess of these choices, I find it ironic to say that princess culture places too much value on female beauty and then to include a major player in the fashion industry.

      This is an awesome starting point for what could be a good project. It reminds me of when Sotomayor wen on Sesame Street and explained that “princess isn’t a job description”. Hell. Yeah.

  4. When I was in 5th grade my awesome Mommy made me a costume so I could be Eleanor of Aquitaine at school. I went on Crusades (k, that was racist but I was 10 so I didn’t know that), ruled my own goddamn duchy, tended the wounded, divorced, and traveled. Also I taught the neighbor’s granddaughter how to touch herself, but that was unrelated.

  5. Ahhhhh this is almost what I did for my fifth birthday party way back when! I had a western themed party because my class was supposed to dress as pioneers for the spring musical about a month beforehand, and my best friend (at the time. we stopped talking after an unresolved conflict in which she totally stole my chocolate pudding) got me sick with strep throat so I had to miss it. So I pretended I was Laura Ingalls Wilder.

  6. This is AWESOME.

    I vote for Elizabeth Blackwell, who was my childhood hero. Also any/all badass ladies of science. Rosalind Franklin? Lise Meitner?

  7. I totally had a phase of wanting to be Jane Goodall when I grew up! But then I decided to go for the Ginette Neveu thing instead. That was all around high school though… when I was 5 I don’t think I thought much about growing up, I mostly just wanted to play legos.

  8. This is too cool.
    Theres a few photo’s of me and my Mum from when i was small that I’d like to re-create with ym daughter. Not quite the same BUT.

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