Entrepreneur, Author, and Filmmaker in Washington, DC
My name is Alyscia Cunningham and I am an entrepreneur, author, filmmaker and photographer. I was born in Tacoma, Washington, where my father served in the Army for several years. My two older brothers and I are first generation Americans, my parents being from the Caribbean island of Trinidad & Tobago.
After my mom suffered a stroke, my family and I moved from Germany to Corona Queens, New York, where my maternal grandparents relocated from Trinidad. One of the biggest attributes I've gained from her mother is her determination. I cannot recall a day that she ever used her stroke as an excuse. Paralysis on the left side of her body didn't stop her from doing anything on her own. This determined characteristic was instilled in me at a very young age because of my mother's example.
I've always attributed my father's positive affirmations about my strength and beauty, to the work I've produced. Without my fathers' influence my journey in loving myself as who I am, despite the media's portrayal of beauty, would have been a very difficult road. In spite of the experiences I faced, which created me to question beauty, my fathers' words were a huge encouraged when it came to appreciating my authenticity.
Through film and photography I challenge beauty standards. I promote our natural beauty because I believe the media does a good job of focusing on our insecurities and the bombardment of ads in the media proclaiming that their appearance without enhancements is inadequate or faulty. My portraits are unaltered by Photoshop and reveal women as they are naturally, without the façade they put on for others.
Professionally, I am also the Founder of Her House Media and the CEO of Uprising Builders, LLC. As an artist I've contributed to National Geographic, Discovery Channel, America Online and the Smithsonian Institution. After the success of my first book, Feminine Transitions: A Photographic Celebration of Natural Beauty I became one of the FrontLine Voices for Stop the Beauty Madness, a campaign focused on changing the dynamics of beauty globally. I continue my contribution to social change with my documentary film and photography book, I Am More Than My Hair.
I also co-organizedReel Momsin partnership with Women in Film andVideo.My goal is to continue producing documentary films and photo books. With the completion and direction provided through the Horror/Psychological Thriller workshop with Sundance Institute, I plan to also write and direct Horror films.