‘What are you thinking this time? A fade? Tracks? Colour?’ Sometimes it’s just fun to suggest these new and different things so you can see the thought process tick across your clients face for just a moment. He didn’t fail me that day as the smile spread wider. ‘No, just a tidy up. The ‘preppy’ look works for me’.
Michael and Philip have been getting the same haircut with me for over a year now. Each visit I learn a little bit more about them, and continue to understand in a greater way why the look created represents them so well. Is it cutting edge fashion? No. Is it going to win me an award some day? Definitely not. Is it turning heads in the street for being so unique? Doubt it. What it does broadcast to the world around these men however is their character...shouldn’t that be my goal?
Plastered all around us are images of what is now ‘accepted’ by society. Images that if we transform our look into we will be considered current, cool and then naturally what follows is we are ‘valuable’. Why? Because then others want to be us, so we’ve hit the mark, right?
What if the mark we are aiming for is just a well planned distraction from the real task at hand?
It is a very sad fact of human nature that we are more comfortable when we are part of the pack then when we are standing apart from it. That we idolize the handful of people that society puts up at the front showing us where to go, instead of realizing that within each of us is the ability to walk our own individual path. That the goal is to be walking, not at the front of the pack, but in a line of people all doing the journey, each one creating unique steps as we go.
When we realize that stepping out from the pack is possible, we open the door to realizing our full potential and our purpose in life. Life can then be full of freedom, possibilities and passion. The scary part is it’s then full of a whole lot of ‘OURSELVES’. Something most aren’t used too.
When you are standing in the middle of a screaming pack it’s hard to hear the tiny voice within yourself speaking out...
When your eyes are being flashed image after image it’s hard to let the one at the back of your mind come forth into view...
When you are surrounded by people telling you what’s worth being a priority in your life, it’s hard to connect your voice to the soul that’s screaming at you to focus on something else over to the right...
When all of these things are happening in unison it’s almost impossible to find YOURSELF.
Look around you. Have you noticed the number of men now sporting an arm full of tattoos and the latest fade haircut? Don’t get me wrong, it’s a damn fine look. Tattoo’s can be a unique form of individual expression. However, as with any avenues of expression, there is also the potential that they can be used in a negative way. How many of the people now wearing these sleeves have used the trend believing it to be a path that will bring them acceptance? There’s nothing wrong with the tattoo’s themselves, I simply question how many people were born into this world all having the exact same characteristics desiring to be displayed in that manner.
Will the confidence remain when the trend changes? Will they be comfortable to stand by their conviction of individual expression when the time comes when that style of tattoo is no longer what’s ‘in’?
Now hold on a second. I’m not suggesting we each get stuck on one look. There is no way that I’ll be promoting 80’s perms to be walking out of my salon doors. Styles growing and evolving is part of the life process and vital to society in every industry that things move forward offering different and more advanced solutions. Looks DO evolve because both hairdressers as artists and all of us as humans are continually growing and developing. The issue isn’t in the art moving forward. The issue is within the choice – which art is right for YOU?
What I’m saying is the process in which we pick from these solutions needs to be refined.
Can you take your thoughts off what everyone else is doing and think instead of what really feels like you?
Can you use images simply as inspiration and a means to seek how to express what you feel examples your character? Can you continue experimenting with it undeterred until you find what feels right for you in your current season?
Can you ignore what is popular for everyone else and do your own thing...even if you are the only one you know that is wearing it?
Be inspired by the art in hair around you, just don’t be defined by it!
Humanity is so diverse. When we are true to ourselves we think and act very differently to each other; we have an infinite variety of passions, viewpoints, desires, goals and dreams. If we are indeed expressing our individual character visually on the outside genuinely, how are so many of us looking the same? How have such solid ‘trends’ formed?
To me that’s nothing but a sign of the crowd noise winning the battle over the internal whisper inside you.
The choice of how you express yourself is yours. No one else’s. There is no grade to hit, no hurdle to jump. There is you and you alone in this race. The target is confidence. The goal is peace. The understanding is that it’s a continual journey that will never finish unfolding in front of you.
Are you winning?
Michael and Philip are two men that are trained classical musicians; one is a teacher and one is a training to be a doctor. They are gentlemen that are worldly, polite, determined and inspiring. They are the kind of guys that take a holiday overseas with their parents only to spend it in an orphanage showing love and value to the lives they touch. They are good men that set goals and work hard to achieve them; men that encourage the lives around them with their words; men that would never intentionally hurt the people around them.
These men, at this point in their lives, are in touch with who they were created to be. Though they, just like us, will always be on the journey, they have explored their character; have challenged it and accepted who they are with open arms into their lives. They have a peace about them you don’t see in a lot of people. They live a life of confidence.
I love that these men can sit in a salon chair and tell me that this preppy look is working for them because that’s who they are!!! Not because they can’t think of anything else; not because they are scared to change. Simply because it represents THEM. They knew to pick it, because they know who they are.
Does them having the same haircut contradict everything I’m saying about being true to yourself? Not if you know anything about twins. There is a deep spiritual connection between (*some) twins that connects parts of their character together. It’s no wonder that they have character similarities. Perhaps having that one buddy to step out from the pack with helped them take that journey...I guess we’ll never know what would’ve happened if they were on their own. There being one or two of them doesn’t matter though. Whether or not something is easier because of someone else’s presence is irrelevant as it’s still proving that the path is possible.
That’s all you need to know to take the step yourself isn’t it?
What if you had the same level of communication as these brothers do with another friend of yours? What if you could have one other person in your life that didn’t judge you, didn’t try to change you or compare you to others?
What if that person was YOU?
Nicole did an amazing job with this shoot! She chose a graffiti wall setting to display the contrasting characters of these men. She immediately picked up on their joyful vibe and had them working their musical magic in front or her camera. She exposed the bond between two people that are not only brothers, but best friends.
Thank you to our preppy men, Michael and Philip for not only taking part in our Celebrity Next Door Project, but by in doing so, allowing us to show the world a path to peace. Thank you for understanding the depths and complexity of having real confidence and visually living this example out in your lives inspiring others...even if you have been doing it unconsciously. Thank you for just by being you, showing the world how to walk boldly within their own destiny.
All For Mary - Creative Director
Take a look at all of Michael and Philip's images here.
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