“When we saw the girls try on the clothes or images of such powerful women they did start standing a little taller and walking with a greater sense of confidence,” said Andrea Bastiani Archibald, the chief girl and parent expert at Girl Scouts of the USA. “Even when they took off the clothing, they continued it.”
Girl Scouts of the USA partnered on the project with Tricia Messeroux, the creator and photographer of Toddlewood.com, which is known for transforming everyday kids into celebrities as seen on red carpets of major awards shows.
Messeroux, who squeezed the Girl Scouts photo shoot in between her coverage of this year’s Grammy Awards and Oscars, said she was particularly thrilled to help with this project.
“I want to make sure our girls know that no matter what, you can still do whatever you want to do and don’t let anyone stop you,” she said. “That despite what happens in the world, stay focused, be determined, do what you want to do in your life for the better and you will be successful.”
The female leaders represented in the photo series also include Hillary Clinton, actress Whoopi Goldberg, Girl Scouts founder Juliette Gordon Low, designer Vera Wang, entrepreneur Madam C.J. Walker, astronaut Mae Jemison, singer Celia Cruz and the real-life women portrayed in “Hidden Figures” — Katherine G. Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson.
“The biggest thing in choosing these women is that we tried to be diverse as possible in industry and in race and culture,” Messeroux said. “We wanted to most definitely, especially with a project like this, make sure that all girls are represented.”
She described the Girl Scouts, all elementary age, as being “elated” during the photo shoot and said they educated one another on the woman they represented.
Girl Scouts of the USA is sharing the photos of the girls as female leaders on its social media accounts. The organization hopes the celebration of female leaders extends beyond the month of March.
“Women’s history should be celebrated year round,” Bastiani said. “This gives great, easy ways for families and troop leaders and educators around the country to enable girls to step into the roles and better understand the important impact women have on society.”
Speaking of the photo shoot, Bastiani added, “This wasn’t just a dress up day. The girls really came to understand the women’s accomplishments and appreciate them.”