How One Artist Interpreted Social Media's Viral "10 Year Challenge"

Mary Kaleta | January 16, 2019 | 8:28 AM
"Instead of posting myself 10 years ago and now, I am posting hair I did nearly 10 years ago, and hair I did recently. 💕 PS: this is not the same client!"

If you use social media regularly, chances are you've probably noticed at least a few people posting two photos of themselves to Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. The trend—aptly named the 10 Year Challenge—varies, but for the most part, social media users are posting a picture of themselves from 10 years ago and juxtaposing it with a photo from this year. 

Celebrities and influencers have also jumped on this trend, but a post from San Diego-based artist Carly Zanoni  @the.blonde.chronicles caught the eyes of MODERN editors because of her unique approach and candid story.

"Instead of posting myself 10 years ago and now, I am posting hair I did nearly 10 years ago, and hair I did recently. 💕 PS: this is not the same client!," Zanoni wrote on Instagram. "I was really proud of this hair back in 2010. If I posted this photo on my insta now, I’m sure there would be plenty of jerks who would be quick to comment on what a mess it is. The styling isn’t up to par, the blonde looks way too warm, the extensions aren’t blended, blahhh blahhhh blahhhh. Everyone has to start somewhere!

"Since then, I’ve spent A LOT of time learning, practicing, growing...personally and professionally. My work and techniques have evolved, and I’m thankful to say that I still love hair as much as I did 8, 10, 12 years ago 😍 I probably love it more!”

The post received more than 2,000 likes on Zanoni's personal page and when MODERN shared the picture, it received more than 3,700 likes and 63 comments. Zanoni says she posted her version of the challenge to remind herself and others that everyone starts somewhere. 

"I have grown so much as a hairdresser since I started doing hair, and the industry has changed a ton," she says. "My initial thought when I put the two photos side by side was that the old photo was terrible quality, I didn’t know how to curl, the blonde had no dimension...the list goes on. But then I had to remind myself how proud I was of that photo when I took it. I had just started to post my work on social media and was trying to build a clientele. That was my best work at the time."

Zanoni's simple post led to other stylists feeling inspired and motivated. 

"As a two-year-licensed hairstyist who has only recently started doing cut and color, I appreciate reading this," wrote stylist Krystal Dickerson @krystaldickerson. "I'm eager to learn but am still super critical of myself. This served as a reminder that I myself have to grow and start somewhere because everyone does. Thank you!"

MODERN Artist Connective Member Derek Cash @derekcashstyles also took to his page to share his own thoughts about interpreting the challenge in a different way: 

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