Let’s All Support Each Other On Instagram by Cassi Young-Paxton
Instagram has done a lot to propel the beauty industry in the six years since its launch, and there’s no question that hairdressers have made tighter connections by posting on the platform. But there are also some downsides to social media—the trolls, the mean comments, the ease of copying a photo and reposting it elsewhere.
A lot of hairdressers probably sometimes feel frustrated about the darker side of Instagram, so when we received this letter from Cassi Young-Paxton (@cassiyoungpaxton), an educator for Unite and a 2016 #ONESHOT finalist who shared her thoughts about social media, we felt compelled to share it with all of you.
Cassi shared her thoughts on two Instagram issues that many hairdressers have—check it out, and let us know what you think!
I’ve thought long and hard about how to write about this subject, and honestly wouldn’t have, if it weren’t for the encouragement of many that I do so. These are two things I feel that we, as a hairdressing community, need to address.
First, if you don’t have something nice to say, don’t feel compelled to say anything at all. I cannot believe how many times I’m scrolling through Instagram and a company, a brand, or even a stylist I follow posts something that I think is questionable. There is some amazing work out there and then there’s stuff that makes me cringe—stuff that’s just not my taste.
But guess what: I don’t find it necessary to stop and post how dreadful I think it is. As I write this, I can’t think of another industry that is so snarky or hateful toward each other. I mean, if a painter doesn’t like someone else’s work, you don’t see them go on their page and make nasty remarks. You wouldn’t see this in writers, and let’s be honest, we hate when musicians do it to each other (think Kanye vs. Taylor). But why? That is truly the question isn’t it? Why do you feel the need to post hateful things on someone’s hard work, something they shared and are clearly proud of? Do you think these comments do anything other than make the artist feel horrible? This is not the definition of constructive criticism. Telling someone their work sucks or that you hate it is not constructive. And then—why is your page set to private?
Second, if it’s not yours, don’t post it. If you do, credit the work. If you don’t know whose it is, say so. For example: “Hey look at this incredible piece of art I love and want to share. Not sure who to credit, if it’s yours let me know. ;D” (<- isn’t everything better with a smiley?).
You might be thinking that I should watermark my work to avoid reposts without credit—and I think that’s a good point. But we shouldn’t have to do that. And a lot of my work is the result of a collaboration with other artists, often done by volunteers with the hopes of getting published or just to build our books to get paying gigs. Who gets to watermark the image if we all gave up our time and effort to get this end result We all give equally—that’s why we tag the world when we post. It took a village.
I don’t know what the answer is exactly. All I know is that we have to have each other’s back. It takes a village here, too. If you see someone post work and you know it’s not theirs, say something, let them know. Most times it’s a simple mistake easily fixed. Sometimes you need your village to back you up. We’re all artists and we should be supporting each other.