SILVER SPRING, MARYLAND—Local filmmaker and author, Alyscia Cunningham, is on a mission to spark social change, and her hard work is paying off. The Living Now Book Awards recently recognized Cunningham for her new book powerfully titled I Am More Than My Hair: My Outward Appearance Does Not Define Me.
“It's an honor to have my book recognized as literature that enhances the quality of our lives,” stated Cunningham. “When I think of the title ‘Living Now,’ what first comes to mind is the idea of giving birth to a concept, or way of life. If a reader can walk away, after reading my book, feeling empowered I've done my job.”
Cunningham’s book focuses on female hair loss, including women living with alopecia areata. The autoimmune skin disease often results in bald, patchy spots throughout the scalp. I Am More Than My Hair features 138 portraits of 46 women and the stories of their experience with hair loss, as well as women who cut their hair in solidarity of a loved one.
“When people read my book, I hope that they see beauty differently. I want them to think outside the box and challenge the narrative we've been taught about beauty. From the time we are young, girls are pressured into a set belief of beauty standards. Hair is certainly high on the list,” explained Cunningham. “I also want readers to understand that alopecia, the umbrella term for hair loss, can affect anyone, not only those who've undergone chemotherapy.”
For the eleventh year in a row, winning books like Cunningham’s were chosen by The Living Now Book Awards for their ability to enrich readers’ lives, provide spiritual inspiration, and promote global sustainability. I Am More Than My Hair, which has also evolved into an inspiring documentary by the same title, is one of this year's 92 award-winning books dedicated to changing the world, one book at a time, according to awards director Jim Barnes.
“I appreciate everything that this award stands for. My intention for creating social-change, through my art and authorship, is resulting in the positive impact in the world that I hoped for,” stated Cunningham.
And it’s certainly the motivation she needs to continue her positive message of body image in every project that she tackles. In fact, from now through November 8th, Cunningham’s photography will be on display at the Betty Mae Kramer Gallery as part of the exhibition titled “Boundless” which challenges the norms of personal physicality and standards of beauty. The gallery is located at One Veterans Plaza in Silver Spring, Maryland. More details can be found at this link.
To learn more about the Living Now Book Awards, click here. I Am More Than My Hair is currently available on Amazon.
ABOUT ALYSCIA CUNNINGHAM: Based in Silver Spring, Maryland, Alyscia Cunningham is an entrepreneur, author, speaker, filmmaker and photographer with contributions to National Geographic, Discovery Channel, America Online and the Smithsonian Institution. After the success of Cunningham's first book, Feminine Transitions: A Photography Celebration of Natural Beauty, she continues her contribution to social-change with her new book and upcoming documentary film, I Am More Than My Hair: My Outward Appearance Does Not Define Me. To learn more about her, visit: http://www.alyscia.com.