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.
So I’m finally letting the cat out the bag. In a previous newsletter I mentioned I was working on a new project but didn’t give any specifics. And I’ve received tons of calls from friends and family inquiring why they haven’t heard much from me lately.
To tell the truth, over the past several months I have been in hiatus. Besides taking some needed time for myself, doing mommy duty and starting amazing entrepreneurship classes with Empowered Women International, I have been focusing on an upcoming photography book project.
Today I am SUPER EXCITED to announce to the world… I Am More Than My Hair: Bald and Beautiful Me!
I Am More Than My Hair is a photography book celebrating the beauty of baldness (bare headed). It includes participants who have lost their hair due to alopecia, cancer, trichotillomania or any other hair loss condition as well as those who cut their hair in support of a loved one.
On January 12, 2015 (changed date to reflect the criteria of a successful campaign and to give me more time to organize), I will launch a crowdfunding campaign for my upcoming book and I ask for your support in helping to make it a success by spreading the word. $25,000 raised will help me with the production of I Am Not My Hair as well as professional assistance with marketing, design, editing, layout as well as assistance from a publicist and administrative assistant. In other words…through my first book I’ve learned that hiring a professional is a tremendous benefit. And although I remain self-published, I am making some tweaks this time around.
As with Feminine Transitions, I Am Not My Hair is a social-change project paying tribute to the girls and women who’ve lost their hair involuntarily and to those who cut their hair in solidarity.
Through this journey I have noticed there is an undeniable radiance in bare headed females. In my opinion, attention isn’t drawn to them due to a lack of hair. Instead their features become more captivating. You truly see raw beauty as hair is not a distraction.
“The best way I can describe my experience is without the focus on hair you truly see the soul.”
Until then, expect a newsletter about my participation at EWI’s upcoming Artisan Food & Marketplace as well as other unique holiday gift ideas.
Please also share share this information with any girls and women that may be interested in participating in my project. My contact information can be found on my website www.Alyscia.com.
Peace & blessings,
Read my article on the Girl God’s blog website here.