What a Difference a Year Makes

 Written by Raisinberry

In this former Mary Kay home, an entire year has passed since the decision was made to get out. One year ago I was angry, so angry and so ready to expose what I witnessed in Mary Kay. For the first time in many, many years, the scripted sayings and platitudes were no longer circling my head, numbing my brain and deceiving my heart. With one final December flush, all that went down the drain.

The full awakening has taken one full year, and allowed me to process what actually happened to me and why I refused the blue pill that would have shown me the reality of my life and unplugged me from the Mary Kay matrix.

By observation, I have noticed that strong self confident women seem to either refuse Mary Kay at the outset, or upon “trying MM on” are soon heading for the door.  I have noticed that a whole lot of Mary Kay women pretend that their “high D”- “high I” style is strength and confidence rather than a defense mechanism to protect themselves from below-the-surface insecurities.

There seems to be a multifaceted combination of character/personal wounds in women that Mary Kay exploits.  By providing a financial vehicle (make money = self worth) that adds a bonding team concept, with recognition, and a “product” that can open doors of conversation… the consultant is getting a package that numbs those “holes” in her psyche, but doesn’t quite heal them.

Add to that mix, the credibility and trust of a mentor (sometimes multiple mentors), who never fully disclose the trials and temptations that are about to be, the consultant blindly trusts where she is being led. In fact, when “Mentors” profit from keeping you in the dark, while appearing to be your best supporter, you are standing even more alone than you ever thought possible.

Coming to a true understanding of Mary Kay is like having a conversation with a pathological liar. There is some truth to what is being said, but the way to the core of the matter is mired in obstacles and diversions and mis-directions. One of the reasons it is so hard to accept that Mary Kay is a Pink predator is that we are programmed to believe that Mary Kay herself, and all her “daughters” have Christ-like qualities and sacrificial motives to see your life prosper. You simply can not believe that anything connected with Mary Kay could be less than above board. They are so positive! They are so nice! They are so caring! They are so supportive!

Slightly more than one year ago, I stepped out of denial and took a look at what was really before me. I changed all even seemingly “predatorial” practices in my Unit based on what I read here. Upon doing that, production tanked. (Who is surprised?) I confronted my National. I risked the “negative” moniker and spoke with sister Directors.

What do you know? They were all in the same boat.

Suddenly, with someone risking the truth, piercing the pink bubble, they came out one after another after another. That was when I knew that my experience was vastly more common than the one or two Directors who appeared to be at the top of the game, in effortless glee having been busy “enriching women’s lives.” After all, who would ever know if it was true for them. The higher up you are, the harder to admit! You have so many more self- serving atrocities to deny.

When news hit that I was gone, former Directors contacted me. Women who were carrying the scorn of Mary Kay shunning and the “loser” label, shared how much debt they were in, how long they listened to their NSD’s counsel, how often they were persuaded to “save the unit” personally. When it became obvious that those who went before me shared exactly the same concerns, and verbalized them in some cases, to my NSD 10, 12, 15 years earlier, the scales came off my eyes.

When the pink fog finally lifts, there is profound humiliation to deal with. How could I have been so blind? I doubt an outsider can really understand how much like cult brainwashing this really is. You simply cannot believe that you let it go on and on and played the game for the “acceptance” and to be “respected” and “admired,” even though that is exactly the card that was played to entice you! That was the “hook.”

You wanted to matter. You wanted to quiet that insecurity that said you were not living up to your potential. You started on this road and you just couldn’t bear the thought of one more failed attempt, one more “I told you so” from the negative voices in your life. You had to show them. You had to make your Director proud, you wanted to be friends with the Big girls, and finally “arrive.”

Mary Kay took the softest, weakest places of our souls and made a huge promise. No more. No more self doubt, no more low confidence, no more gnawing doubt about what we were and what we were capable of. You could do this! You could. With all this support and help, you will make it! And you will teach others. What an honorable career!

There is a kind of treachery in this, like no other. It would be different if vast numbers of women were successful in Mary Kay, but the numbers don’t lie… and they work so hard to absolve themselves from any responsibility concerning failure rates in multi-level marketing schemes.  With the 2%ers hiding their personal failures from their Units; less than 200 women at the top of the pyramid making an executive income (but who knows for sure) out of 1.2 million consultants worldwide; a drop out rate of over 40,000 per month (according to Mary Kay) the denial is staggering!

But! Success is all on you. And when we get you to fully believe that, by inflating income figures, pretending women are actually selling the product and creating the illusion that others are doing so well, you will be left, holding that bag of self contempt and insecurity in brand new ways.

It takes a full year to recover from Mary Kay, and for some who had not had the chance to see this site and vent, much longer. What has to happen is the recognition that because you wanted it so badly, and thought it would be “the answer”, you find yourself in worse shape, because of your own stupidity and blind trust. The one leg you were standing on is fully kicked out from under you.  But you must get up. You must reflect on it all, and determine where your worth really is, and how not to fall victim ever again.

You feel conflicted because Mary Kay held some good moments. You did have the occasional great class. You did make good friends and customers. You had fun at events, and you enjoyed whatever attention you got. You grew as a person, in good ways. This little nugget of truth is the piece that this pathological liar uses to keep you questioning what you see overall.

The inconsistent “success” of a few appointments is the always the method by which you will tell yourself, I just need to do more, I just need to try again. But you will find yourself always returning back to zero because multi-levels never have a firm foundation. You are building on quick sand and they never told you. They couldn’t, or you wouldn’t have stayed, pumping out the production and hoping for the soothing of your soul.

In my opinion, if you have faced some of these issues in Mary Kay it is probably time to stand up, on a solid foundation of belief in yourself, and the God of your own understanding. It is time, to define who you are and what you are and what you do and how you will affect your family and your community. It is time to assess the financial damage done and get professional help. It is time to face that you were not given all the facts, and you made decisions based on the input of people who didn’t deserve your trust. It is time to take the good that you learned with Mary Kay, and with a breath of maturity, blow the rest away.

A New Year is coming. You can find yourself, and define yourself completely anew, and step into 2008 committed to making decisions based on your OWN best interests, firm, secure and standing on solid ground. And should you decide to help other women from falling into multi-level marketing ploys, your experience will be invaluable here. Pay it forward, and Happy New Year.