I’m sure you’ve heard the old saying, “keeping up with the Joneses,” right? This popular saying refers to you, figuratively speaking, trying to keep up with, or “one up” the people around you. Arthur R. "Pop" Momand created a comic strip, Keeping Up With The Joneses, in 1913. The comic strip showed the McGinis family struggling to try to keep up with their neighbors, the Joneses. The strip ran for 27 years, from 1913-1940. That’s a long time. However, what is even more impressive is the fact that truer words have never been spoken, when it comes to us as a society today.
There is this pressure that lingers over me to constantly create and share the most amazing hair color and hairstyles that anyone has ever seen. The pressure exudes from me. No one is ordering me to do anything, but I feel it. Do you feel it? I literally cannot keep up with the Joneses. The Joneses for me are all of the social media hair superstars. I’ve been very vocal about my love/hate relationship with social media. Over the last few weeks, I’ve been hating it because I personally have felt insecure. When this feeling comes over me, I reflect on my abilities as a human. I’m laughing as I’m typing this because I am currently not feeling this way, but it’s the truth. I start to think that I should probably retire because I’m not really that good a hairstylist. Then I see all of these perfect, beautiful, magical images of hair being posted and shared thousands of times by the same perfect, beautiful, magical hairstylists and I think to myself, I’m a loser. Now, I know that this isn’t the case. I’m clearly not a loser. I mean, hello, I have over 12,000 followers on Instagram — ha, ha, ha! (If you don’t know me personally, then you may not realize that the sarcasm is being laid on pretty thick!)
I had an epiphany last week as I decided to paint the characters of The Suicide Squad on wefts of hair. As I finished the outline for Harley Quinn, I realized that I didn’t want to spend hours hunched over, painting it. At that exact moment, it felt like a chore and not a fun project. Why? Because I was putting pressure on myself to create something to put on my social media channels. I think most of us can relate to feeling like when we have to do something, we end up not wanting to do it. The fun is taken out of it. I stopped what I was doing and texted my friend Melissa about how I was feeling. I told her that I was done “trying” — trying to come up with something just to post. She called me and we discussed how we both have been feeling the exact same way. (You babes probably know Melissa on Instagram as @roguehairstudio. She and I have never met but had an instant connection because we share a lot of the same feelings and attitude towards social media.)
I came to the conclusion that I am going to continue to do what I love without the pressure — the pressure that I put on myself to keep up with the Joneses. The minute I decided that, I felt an immediate sense of relief. I felt relief because I don’t need to add nonsense pressure on myself when there are real issues around me that need to be dealt with. My insecurities will come and go, they always do. I may change my mind about wanting to create something just to post, but at this moment, I am going to try to focus on why I chose this profession. I chose it because it’s my passion. It always has been. Way before social media made me feel like I wasn't anything in this industry unless I had hundreds of likes on my photos and 100,000 followers.
So the question is: do you feel like you have to keep up with the Joneses? If you do, ask yourself why and be honest with yourself. I felt like I had to because I’m insecure at times. I’m positive that I will try to keep up with them again, but for now… piss on them.