I've been talking to quite a few friends about this topic. It surprised me how many of my friends and I struggle with jealousy. Being jealous is of course normal for everyone. It is an extremely common emotion. Yet, it is incredibly unhealthy.
In the industry of modeling, photography, makeup, ect., there is so much competition. There are so many people that the art of posing or holding a camera has become over-saturated. We are each constantly comparing ourselves to this person, or that person. We want to be better than them, or be as good as them. So often do we hate to see others succeed higher than us. When someone else in our same realm of art gets a paid job, works with someone on a higher level of talent, gets a new camera, lens, or makeup brush we've been dying for, and so on, that little green monster comes up from behind and turns us bitter. We get angry that that person is doing well while we seem to be struggling. Maybe you are not booking paid jobs. Perhaps you seem to be plateauing with your abilities and you are not sure how to get better. Maybe you are having a creative block (read my last blog post on creative blocks) and your ideas are just hitting dead ends. And while you seem to be at a stand still with your work, someone else looks like they are climbing that ladder of success faster than what you consider "fair".
One of my biggest envies in the photography world has stemmed from people being able to afford better equipment such as new lenses or computers. Due to not being able to work, I have not been able to purchase a new lens or a new laptop that I desperately need. I recently found out two of my friends got new lenses and I remember calling my mum and crying to her about how jealous I was and how I don't understand why people won't pay me for shoots so I can afford what I need. I was admittedly being a baby but at the time I felt so justified!!
Another jealousy I struggle with is being unable to drive my vehicle so that models and photographers would be more inclined to work with me. I see people driving all over the state, taking random photos on road trips to beautiful destinations. Seeing others have the adventurous life I crave so badly sparks this immensely unhealthy bitterness in me. Medical issues have stumped my growth to a slow crawl at times in this industry. I get so envious of those that are able to just jump in their cars, drive away, hike up mountains, etc., all to take gorgeous photos of gorgeous people. I remember spending so much time begging people to take me with them, even though I could not contribute to gas money for lack of any income in turn causing them to go off without me. I would get so emotional and angry, feeling that again, I was completely justified in feeling the way I did.
Sometimes I remember looking through someone else's work and wondering why the hell I was not as good as them. Why was I not known like them? Why was I not as popular? She just has a pretty face. She's just skinnier than me. She's not a model, she'll just get naked for photographers. He won't shoot me because I won't get naked. He/she is more popular than me because they met the right person at the right time. He/she is getting paid more often than me just because they can drive. They get paid jobs because I just SUCK. I am awful. They don't deserve to be successful when I work as hard as I do yet I am so low on the ladder. I'm nothing. I'm worthless. I have no talent.
Your thoughts spiral out of control. Jealousy makes you irrational and often even mean. It rips you apart. I cannot even express the amount of time I have wasted on comparing myself to others in this industry and spent my life feeling jealous instead of getting off my sorry ass and getting to work. The time I spent worrying about other people's success and talents could have been spent on improving my own talents and my own success.
When I finally sat down and thought about it, it hit me; Seriously, look how far I have come! Yeah, I don't have a new fancy computer or a fancy camera. Sure I cannot drive right now. Sure I do not have a typical Utah look.
BUT MY FREAKING HELL.
In just over a year and a half my talent has grown to a level I didn't think it would be at for years. People I have looked up to for a long time have been contacting me wanting to collaborate and follow my work. My style of work is becoming more accepted here in Utah because I stuck to who I was and didn't follow the crowd. I am making more money lately than I expected. Models and photographers I didn't even know knew of my existence are asking to work with me now. I am doing GOOD. And I am only going to get better.
You see, it's when I stopped trying so hard to have what others have, that I was able to appreciate who I, Alexandra, am and where I am in my journey.
I was able to recognize all the talents and blessings and qualities that I have inside myself. I was able to see that I AM succeeding. I AM talented. I AM worth it.
Jealousy in this industry is so common, but it is SO unhealthy. It is time consuming. Instead of wasting your time feeling bitter towards others in the industry, pick yourself off your couch, get off social media, and go out and freaking create. Stop sitting around feeling sorry for yourself. It is ugly and no one likes that. People don't admire and look up to people that don't pay attention to petty things.
People admire people that just create and share their art with the world with a smile on their face.
Let go of anger, bitterness, and envy. Go out there and focus on your own success. You are doing better than you think you are.
Photos of @juliafae shot by me