Originally posted on One Wig Stand:
“I Am More than My Hair” is an awareness/social-change photography project that focuses on the beauty of being bald and follows Alyscia’s first book “Feminine Transitions” featuring a series of portraits that reveal the natural beauty of women of diverse ages and backgrounds without make-up on. Alyscia’s work celebrates natural beauty while also inviting us to challenge what beauty – real beauty – means to us, even when hair is lost.
We reached out to Alyscia to find out more about her project and share her insight throughout this experience below:
1. In October 2013, you decided to make the cut and…
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Last week I received an email from an editor at HuffPost Women. She asked if I would be open for an interview about Feminine Transitions photo series. I thought to myself, “But of course!” After the Huffington Post article “Unretouched Portraits Illustrate 19 Bare, Bold And Beautiful Women” went live, I received a handful of emails and phone calls from other media outlets requesting an interview for their website. I am so grateful for this unexpected opportunity!
I would love to share a few of the articles with you. You can read Cosmopolitan, Daily Mail, and even IASK, a Chinese news source. You can also read the interviews on the media page of my website. Feel free to leave a comment in the response section after you’ve read it.
I am honored to have been awarded the 2015 Young Mother of the Year with American Mothers, Inc. Anyone who knows me personally understands that I am very passionate about my role as a mother, as any other dedicated mom. Although my children recognize that they are most important in my life, I’ve recently discovered that taking care of me first helps not only makes me be the best mother I can possibly be but also the best caretaker for myself.
You know how we women have that women’s disease? We tend to everyone else’s needs first then us whatever energy we have left to take care of ourselves. Yeah that disease! I learned to shift my priorities…for me.
This doesn’t mean that I still don’t tend to my families needs (it’s in my genes:). I just had to incorporate changes that gave me self-fulfillment. That sense of joy in doing what makes me happy. And I must admit…making them happy gives me joy as well.
I’m looking forward to meeting other like-minded moms at the convention on April 23-25, 2015 (two weeks from now) and giving my story behind why being a mom is important to me and why I do what I do as an individual, mother, wife, artist, author, activist…and my journey continues.
Want to join me? Register here.
My fundraiser for my upcoming project, I Am More Than My Hair, has 42 days left to reach my goal of $15,000. Please make a donation – no amount is too small – and SHARE with family, friends and social media platforms. Donate HERE!
I vividly remember questioning beauty at the age of 10. There weren’t any examples of little brown girls that looked like me on TV, magazines and definitely not on billboards. As I went through the early stages of puberty my body, as well as my mind, went through the transitions.
At the time, and for the first time, I questioned beauty. I wondered if I fit the picture of “pretty. As I was going through these changes an encounter with my aunty lead me to believe I truly wasn’t beautiful. It lead me to doubt my worth.
My aunty looked me directly in my eyes, as my face was full with pimples and discoloration, and said to me with her distinct Trinidadian accent, “You’re getting ugly.” Although my father made it a point to always tell me that I was beautiful, on that day my father’s words had no significance.
I allowed those three words to make me lose sight of loving myself unconditionally. My confidence crumbled in a few seconds.
Eventually, and as I went through adolescence, my father’s positive affirmations became constant reminders of my worth. Then I began to understand what the true meaning of beauty…and I was her.
Once I became a mother I found myself consistently reassuring my child of who they are and made a point to create a space of feeling comfortable in their own skin. I came to the realization that I do this with my children because I didn’t want them to be negatively impacted by outside influences as I was.
I do however recognize that they cannot completely avoid this reality. School and family can be the biggest influence of our own self-perception. Positive or negative. Regardless, I have faith that with the support of my husband and myself, our children can and will overcome self-doubt.
Through this journey I recognized I created projects that in some way are a reflection of my personal experience. In some way I believe I am speaking to the little girl inside me that was affected as a child. I unconsciously focus my photography to represent raw and unaltered (without Photoshop) beauty.
Through my photography I gave birth to photo books that celebrate the natural beauty of women and girls. The first being Feminine Transitions and my current project I Am More Than My Hair. In the near future my hope is to also create documentaries that reflect the same concept in a video format.
It’s a start on creating positive change and it’s a blessing for me to be a deliverer of a healing revolution.
I Must Confess… 2014 Was Not An Easy Year.
If there is one thing I know for sure, it is that 2014 was not an easy year for many of us. Personally, I believe that keeping disappointment to ourselves does not bring forth healing change. Being honest does. Honesty opens connections.
Either way, I leave 2014 behind and look forward to positive change in 2015. I wholeheartedly see abundant opportunities and I’ve done my best to put things in order that has created personal growth. In that, I wish you many blessings and changes for the better in 2015 and beyond..
Peace & Blessings,
Photography Book Talk with Alyscia Cunningham
When: January 9, 2015 7:30pm – 9:30pm
Where: College Park Arts Exchange Old Parish House
For more info: http://www.cpae.org/node/606
On January 12, 2015 I will launch my Kickstarter campaign for my upcoming book, I Am More Than My Hair: Bald and Beautiful Me. I really need your help to spread the word. Want to see a sneak peak? Click here to view the draft version of my campaign.