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I AM MORE THAN MY HAIR

"I am not my hair, I am not this skin, I am not your expectations, I am the soul that lives within."
India Arie

From the time we are young, girls are pressured into a set belief of beauty standards. Hair is certainly high on the list and is often labeled as our "crown and glory." Where does this notion fit for a girl with alopecia (the partial or complete absence of hair from areas of the body where it normally grows; baldness)?

I Am More Than My Hair, is a documentary film and coffee table book that redefines beauty standards in relation to female hairlessness and captures the stories of girls and women who've lost their hair due to medical conditions.

As with Alyscia's first book Feminine Transitions, I Am More Than My Hair is art created for social good. Read One Wig Stand article about Cunningham and her project.

THANKS TO OUR INDIEGOGO SUPPORTERS!

Thanks to the many contributors who helped raise $3,228 for Cunningham's documentary film! We offer gratitude to:
Romaine Waller, amw.engagetheworld, cmclymer, Monique Boea, Janet Evans-Watkins, Steven Hutchinson, Trista Hendren, Shay Ensley, Steve Carlson, Kelley LeBlanc, Dale Hill, Jacqueline Thompson, Jaimee Todd, Mwheelock, Thomas Smith Jr., Karen Ruckman, Dayal Mohamed, HC Slavic, Ann Marie Brown, Rebecca Weiss, Allison Weiss, Beverly J Gordon, Chuck Tyler, Barbara Scharf, Paula Zitzelberger, Sharmila Karamchandani, Florence Navarro, April North, Cathy Forthuber, Alison T Cunningham, Betty Rose, Patti Hilliard, Jen Price, PrayHERS, Michie Prentiss, Jameelah Fernanders, Donna Emanuel, Mary A Marshall, Delver Charlery, Kimbirly Mack, Melanie Wise, Immani Hood, Michele Strong, Charisse Carney-Nunes, Vernom Alexander, Biao Yang, Marsha Fortenberry, Mumbi Carter, Michelle Myaing, Jen Hanlon Ash, Angela McCrae, Nelson Serieux, Amanda Brandon, Colleen Waterston, Leslie J Gray, Erwin Joseph, Colleen Copple, Amy Pilot, Sarah Johnson, Vee Davis, Yvette Davis, Wendy Jacobson-Simon, Heather Lo Duca, Suzie OGorman, Marie Lirette, Catherine Stahl, Janice Aarabi, Ilianna Luna, Dawn Moore, Kweli Bennett-Powell, Fernee Peters, Kwesi, Donald richards, Isaih Fleming, Sammy Garraway, Andrea Andrew, Kwame M., Marvin T. Jones, Kwesi S., Donald R., Doretha Robinson, and 8 anonymous contributors.

I Am More Than My Hair trailer from Alyscia Cunningham on Vimeo.

Support Cunningham's efforts to raise awareness about female hair loss and Donate to the Fundraiser for her upcoming documentary film and coffee table book, I Am More Than My Hair. We ask for your support in helping to raise $186,000 for the production cost of Cunningham's project.

This project is fiscally sponsored by Docs In Progress, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. All donations are tax-deductible.

If you wish to make a donation by check, please make the check out to "Docs In Progress" and note the title of the project in the memo line. Checks may be mailed to:

Docs In Progress
801 Wayne Avenue
Suite G-100
Silver Spring, MD 20910-4493

If you're interested in sponsorship opportunities, Contact Us for more details.

ALYSCIA'S STORY

On October 24, 2013, I cut and donated my then fifteen years of locs, for a Big Chop to Stop Cancer event. To be honest, I've wanted to cut my hair for a few years prior to this day. Despite the constant headaches and head colds after going swimming (the thickness of my hair makes the drying time lengthy) I continued to hold onto to it. I had to remind myself… I AM NOT MY HAIR.

Before doing the Big Chop, I blogged about my forthcoming endeavor. Some of the feedback I received wasn't very encouraging. After all, people always knew me with long hair and thought the "look"might not be a good fit. I'll be honest and say I did question myself, going back and forth in the mirror, covering the front of my hair to visualize what I would look like.

For the first time, I experienced some serious fear and doubt about myself. Whispering quietly within, "I wonder how I'll look without my hair? " Very similar to the feelings of the women in Feminine Transitions, who had a difficult time being photographed without make-up. Allowing yourself to be vulnerable is not as easy as I thought.

Although it's a different situation, the idea is similar and I connected with the emotions these women experienced. Regardless, I decided that no one else, including myself, was going to change my mind and I happily shaved anyway.

Strangely enough (it must be Divine order) I kept bumping into women who lost their hair and couldn't imagine the feelings that come with involuntarily loosing hair and the assumptions that people make before getting to you.

Then the idea for I Am More Than My Hair was born.

Given my experience, I am also including women who cut their hair in support of or tribute to a loved one.

This project is made possible through the support of:

Arts & Humanities Council of Montgomery County Logo Docs In Progress Logo