To become a better artist, we need to develop a fine tuned insight into human behaviour. It doesn't matter at what stage of your career or what position you hold in the beauty industry. Fact is, communication and learning to read people and situations are super important to your success.
Why do I say this? It's no secret that the beauty industry is notoriously known as the bitchiest. With a high staff turnover rate and training organisations pumping out grads like there's no tomorrow, communication is a fundamental skill when working with the public and within industry.
So, does this "mean girls" behavior just exist in salons? Hell no. Even if you are a lonely freelancer, it is still very easy to get caught up in the schoolyard tactics. With the emergence of social media and online engagement it is now more ruthless and prolific than ever before.
For example, there are many great "battles" or back and forth bitchfests that go on between big names. YouTube videos, facebook groups, blogs, twitter, instagram, they all have been used to peddle this childish behavior for all to see. So why do people do it? Aren't they afraid of reputational damage?
Surprisingly it is actually a clever marketing tool aimed at gathering support, engagement and then using it for finally selling their commodity.
And it works. It's dirty, but it works.
Just like three lanes of a busy highway slow down to gawk at a roadside commotion, the same thing happens when the virtual shit hits the fan. If things are quiet, these people will create the drama by either poking a stick at an easy target ( it may be shitposting, bagging out someone else or playing the victim to some kind of injustice) or by just making it up. Drama is a form of entertainment with many onlookers becoming emotionally invested and engaged. Many choose to take sides. When they do, that person is very powerful, they have an engaged audience willing to back them up and believe everything they say - a marketers dream!
Playing the victim for attention makes people choose that side without questioning the validity of original circumstances. Many artists will intentionally bag out others and chop down their perceived competitors to make themselves look better. I personally find such behavior revolting and sometimes it's very subtle but you need to be objective to see it.
It's not just happening between artists, it's wider than that. It's happening with trainers and artists. In many cases I know of, they start to bag out every brand of a particular product only to quietly release their own version of said product (private labelling mass produced slapped with their name on it). They sell to everyone by proclaiming that they know everything about that product, everything on market is shit and theirs is amazing.
Likewise in the training business where I've seen disgusting behavior of some trainers that boast to the rooftops about how amazing they are, only to publicly rant about how students are complaining about not achieving big results, tear them to shreds blaming them for their own failure and if they failed it was because of the students lack of commitment, were not truly invested and probably didnt follow everything the trainer said.
I find this behavior really disgusting to blame your students for their lack of results rather than looking at the methods being preached. More often than not its a bunch of wishy washy inspiration you can do it if you really want to coaching that is bound to fail bundled with over exaggerated promises of success and bought referrals/testimonials.
Likewise with artists, accusations of plagiarism, of being superior and claiming to be the original happens regularly without anyone knowing a clue about intellectual property, ownership and innovation and what it really means.
My advice to up and coming artists and seasoned career long beauties is to not join the audience, don't gawk, recognize conflicts of interests, and don't look up to or defend anyone like their word is gospel. Don't be played like a fool. Be better and rise above it all. They are not your competition, and those like you are your equals. We should all support one another to be better. Just like the highway traffic - just keep moving along.