I wanted to post this email exchange to give you some great insight into how people’s views of Pink Truth change as they continue to read the site. I know plenty of members who were aghast when they first started reading, but the more they read, the more they saw their own stories reflected on the site and they couldn’t help but admit the truth to themselves.
Oh, I know… there will always be some pink-to-the-core, die-hard Kaybots who will never believe their beloved Mary Kay is anything less than perfect. I understand. They just want to live in the pink bubble forever.
But for those who have been willing to open their minds to what is written here, they were able to recognize the fraud that Mary Kay has perpetrated on women for the last 45 years. What they experienced and what they read were one… one big fraud, one big pyramid scheme, one big scam in which only those few at the top get rich.
So here is the original email from “The Critic”:
This is actually my first visit to this website and most assuredly my last. I did however have a few things to say. Whether or not they’re posted, that remains to be seen. I’m intrigued at the rhetoric and anger on this site. In my humble opinion it seems a shame. Oops can I say that or did I violate the “etiquette” clause?
There is a great deal of passion and excitement expressed here. I hope you will all find peace and solace and can find a way to channel this powerful energy in a more positive way, in some other aspect of your life.
Yes, I am a Mary Kay IBC. I have a college degree and I am a high school social studies teacher. Most of the women I am privileged to know and work with in my National Area are also college educated and not by any means in a “fog.” This website has posted a lot of ignorant ranting by people “claiming” to be Mary Kay IBCs and such. I wonder.
Most of the women I have known in this business aren’t that common or malevolent to repeatedly use terminology like “loser.” Upon going through previous postings like that written by [another critic], I found the Pink Truth response was really unfounded. Pink Truth continually responds to any real challenge or opposing viewpoint as “hate mail.” Most of the intelligible e-mails were women in MK voicing an honest debate and while those were marginalized, the really seedy, sensational and insightful commentary was exploited to further rile everyone up. Does anyone else who reads this stuff agree?
Listen, you all have your individual experiences with Mary Kay that for one reason or another lead you here. I think it’s naive for anyone, whether a MK faithful or otherwise to believe any international company doesn’t suffer its abuses. No company, corporation or business for that matter is perfect and free from criticism. In addition, we’re talking about the sales industry. This type of door-to-door technique has been around for centuries. It’s not a new concept.
Here at Pink Truth it’s all the same, “the evil MLM.” I mean come on with some of this stuff you guys are complaining about. Every company whose main fiscal focus is centered around retail sales, tirelessly trains it’s sales force to sell the product to make it sound like the best thing to hit the market and to entice the public away from the competitor. You call it misleading, I think that’s really subjective.
If we are to follow the logic of Pink Truth, then turn off your TVs, your radios, don’t read another newspaper or magazine ad! Seriously, we are a nation of consumerism. The public has to be able to filter out what it does and does not believe. Every skin care company from Esteé Lauder and Revlon to Mary Kay and Benefit makes various claims about their products. Are they all real? Who knows? If you believe it though and are happy, then ignorance is bliss right? Isn’t that what we really trust in everyday when making a purchase? We’re not little scientists with some at home lab that can break down the molecular structure of Pine Sol and figure out definitively whether it’s better or worse than Lysol.
Let’s talk about “recruiting.” I served in the US Navy for 6 years. Do you think the US military has ever gone out into the general public and said to the youth of America and their parents, “Hey join the Army we’re so desperate for bodies and I need you to join ASAP so I can make my quota this month and oh yeah, did I mention you’ll probably die in war.” Be practical people!
Any and every headhunter or talent scout in America is going to give “the pitch” to a potential new hire. If you open up your own flower delivery service, are you going to put yourself out there publicly and proclaim, “Well, I really don’t know the business that well, but hey I think I can do a good job for you?” Or would you say, “I really haven’t made a ton of money yet and really have no staff, but you can count on me”? Be serious! You’re going to puff up your business and your accomplishments.
Even in a job interview you never tell the brutal truth like, “Uh well, I’m really not a morning person and you know if I need some printer paper at home I might grab a few sheets from the company copier on my way out.” You always make yourself sound better than you are or no one would ever hire you. What are résumés for? If you want to staff your flower shop are you going to tell your interviewees, “Well, I don’t really know if were going to ever get this business off the ground or if you’ll even make that much money here.” Wow, that’s motivating!
You criticize Mary Kay for trying to protect its business and livelihood from you and what you’re publishing here. Are you for real? You don’t do the same thing everyday? You don’t decide what e-mails you’re going to print and which like mine will probably get dumped?
Having UnitNet password protected keeps you from stealing other peoples’ photos right off their personal sites. Need I remind you, those sites were personally paid for? You then ridicule and exploit them all over the net. You talk about infringement rights and legal issues. Did you get the express written permission for every person in every photo you have posted here at Pink Truth? Like the ones from [sales director’s] Fall Retreat?
A lot of the rebuttal claims are false here too. Every company says they’re the number one selling brand. Mary Kay isn’t a stupid company and they have their surveys and documentation to back up what they say. It’s just like the Bible, there are hundreds of interpretations of the same book. I have worked for many political campaigns and I can tell you first hand for every claim you throw out there to discredit this company I can find just as many to validate it. It’s all perception.
I don’t think anyone here is a loser, nor do I believe the fine women who weren’t successful with this venture didn’t work hard enough. My mother always said, “If we knew how to be better we would be, if we knew how to do better we would.”
All I would like to leave you with is this, Mary Kay has its flaws and its shady people. That’s life. What facet of the world isn’t filled with a number of creeps? Jobs, schools, athletics, showbiz, corporations, governments, churches, temples, you name it they’re everywhere. You can’t avoid them. What you can do is rise above it and be an example for others to follow. There are people dying in Darfur and in the Middle East. Our soldiers in Iraq are really up a creek and as a political activist I would love to see all this anger and passion directed toward real issues and real problems.
If “busting big business” is your thing aren’t there bigger fish to fry? How about the oil industry? I was intrigued by a posting, where this woman was bragging about her nice new shiny SUV and why she wouldn’t take the “crappy” car offered by Mary Kay. I drive a really nice car too, but that extra money in my pocket sure sounds nice. If I win and lose it, oh well that’s life baby! You can’t take it with you anyway, so lighten up a little ladies.
To the originator of this website, take care because you also tread on dangerous ground. You may find you’re not so slick after all, leading your double-life! I wouldn’t be shocked to read about the lawsuit confronting you someday soon! I’m fascinated by the availability with which you possess such sensitive top level MK company material. I wonder which National you are? Maybe you’ve finally met your match! I might start a website of my own. See you in cyberspace sweetie!
Lovely, eh? She made her point clear. She disagreed with just about everything that Pink Truth stood for and justified the actions of Mary Kay Inc. and its sales force.
But a few short months later she wrote to me again….
Well, it’s my turn to eat crow and hopefully serve as yet another example to those women still involved in Mary Kay, who it appears are occasionally reading Pink Truth. As was the case with me, they may be teetering on the edge of walking away or as was told to me, “putting down my Mary Kay business.”
I use the cliché “eat crow” because I sent a pretty witty and eloquent e-mail (if I do say so myself) to you PT, a few months ago. Specifically responding to the criticism of [another critic]. I think it’s important I start at the beginning….
I was originally introduced to Mary Kay many years back and eventually signed up with a family member approximately thirteen or so years ago. I had just returned home from the US Navy and knew no one. My mother graciously tried to help me and offered up all of her friends. Let’s just say “my business” never got off the ground and out of pure fear of being cut off completely from the Mary Kay organization I never sent my products back and I tried to either absorb them or I simply gave them away.
I felt like a failure and in turn blamed my age, my location, and fussy customers that I really despised. I was hurt on some level, but felt relieved when I left. Later in life, I got my degree and started a new career in teaching. After several years I had a baby and took childcare leave in order to stay home and raise him. We still had bills and a pretty sizeable mortgage, so I was more or less keeping my ears open for some sort of moneymaking opportunity.
Again, last June I was in the company of that same family member who was still connected to Mary Kay. She pulled out a recent copy of Applause and told me how “things have changed so much in the organization and the company.” I told myself that I have a new life now and so many friends and extended family. Why, between my friends and my husband’s connections, I’d be a great success. I told myself that I’m older now and am more than capable of handling people’s complaints, concerns, and objections.
Worst of all, I bought into the whole “you can’t sell from an empty wagon” thing. I mean it made sense, who wants to wait for eyeliner? So I did it! I jumped back in with both feet and I was off and running. I mean I was really committed to being a big success. I knew this could be the ticket to all of my big dreams.
Now for the reality! Most of my friends and family were not “excited” for me. When I told them in my most enthusiastic voice and following the prescribed script that I was a proud and happy Mary Kay Independent Beauty Consultant, I was met with skepticism, annoyed sighs, or silence followed by the first two.
When I tried to set up bookings and host my debut open house I was challenged with a myriad of excuses, empty promises, cancellations, and no shows. That’s not to say no one came to my rescue but that’s exactly what it became! I did have a few skin care classes and was able to haunt 30 people in order to complete my Power Start.
I was still determined that I wasn’t going to let a few non-believers or naysayers get me down. No way, not this time. I’m going to stay focused and positive. I attended almost every Tuesday night meeting waiting to hear that golden nugget of success. You know that one thing that would spark and inspire my journey to the top. I wanted and waited to be like all those other successful Directors and Nationals, with diamonds and pink Cadillacs.
I even logged onto the internet and searched for a chat group of other Mary Kay girls that could talk me through the lows. Well, what did I stumble upon? Yes, dear ole’ Pink Truth.
What? What was this? An entire website devoted to women who seriously disliked Mary Kay. Was this for real? Of course I read and read the articles and stories. At first, I was horrified and angry! Boy are these women pathetic, they failed in their businesses and now they just can’t get over it and want to blame everyone else for their failure.
However, the seeds of doubt were planted and I couldn’t help logging back on again and again. I asked my Director who was also my National, what she knew about this. Her response blew me away. She said, ” Yeah I’ve heard about that. What can I say? They’re just a bunch of losers.”
That really shocked me. How unloving or unsympathetic could she be? These people whether right or wrong had experienced bad things and serious financial hardship. I expected a National Sales Director who lives by the Mary Kay mantra of God first to be a little bit more compassionate.
I guess I thought she’d assuage my own anger, which was masking my fear. I’m not going to say that was the catalyst, but it was the beginning of a breakdown in my over inflated Mary Kay psyche.
After a series of negative things that I experienced I threw in the towel a month ago and to keep myself from ever having another lapse in judgment, I sent every stitch of Mary Kay product back to Dallas. I packed up all the Section 2 stuff I could find and gave it out to other Mary Kay girls I know.
In my original e-mail I stated (paraphrasing here) that we’re all adults and we are all individually responsible for our own actions. It’s important that I say right now, I do fully take responsibility for my own actions. I worked hard! I tried to sell the product. I hosted and invited everyone I knew to a series of great events (Lipstick Party, Spa Party, Holiday Open House, etc….), which resulted in very low attendance, and tons of invitees not even responding.
So I eventually left my immediate circle of friends and family and branched out into the general public. I handed out over 200 goodie bags (business card, coupon and a lip gloss sample). I put my business card up all over town. I told everyone I met that I sold Mary Kay. I attended bridal show after bridal show (at anywhere from $82 to $100 a pop) hoping and praying for leads, possible recruits, basically any little nibble that would keep my business alive.
What did it all amount to? Not much. Certainly not those big dreams! I called my leads. I booked. I followed up. Short of begging I could not get “bookings” that would hold. I offered sales incentives and bombarded every person whose address I could procure with, promotional fliers, the Look book, and coupons. The self-marketing materials I made up were awesome and all the other consultants wanted copies. That’s where it ended though because no paying customers were interested!!! I didn’t even have any pesky customers to deal with.
Oh I know what my MK critics will say, I didn’t “warm chat” enough. I didn’t really pester the hell out of strangers with my line of lies and get their phone number and then drag them to the meetings. In other words, I wasn’t obnoxious enough! Guilty as charged.
Speaking of which, I charged my credit cards up into the stratosphere, buying Star Consultant just so I could feel slightly better about my peon status at meetings and I’d have something to show my aggravated husband, considering all my hard work and the countless hours spent away from home. Out of fairness, I was an adoptee where I live and my adopted Director and her unit were great and very sweet to me. I wish them no ill will.
Oddly enough, I really wasn’t that crazy about my home national area. There were a few nice gals, but mostly women totally in love with themselves and their MK celebrity status, which means less than nothing outside of the organization. Not to mention the heavy-duty religious overtones!
I live in a metropolitan area and have friends of many different faiths. I was so disgusted (and I’m Christian) by the New Testament scriptures being read and/or quoted and the numerous “Jesus bombs” being dropped all over the place. In my humble opinion, Mary Kay events should be a professional conclave of women looking for training and inspiration by another’s successful journey. I think that can be conveyed without the heavy bible beating and tent revival mentality.
I know Mary Kay consultants always point to prominent sports figures and entertainment stars who thank Jesus and God for their win and/or success. That’s not an excuse! That’s equally as irritating and it infers that God or Jesus chooses the winners and the losers. So what? Mary Kay consultants are God’s chosen few? Yeah right.
You know it’s one thing to go into a sales position, but then to fight the negative stigma attached to the brand name and then to recruit others to do so, while “inspiring” them to start a career in Mary Kay with an enormous inventory, is nothing short of ridiculous and cruel.
I hope this serves as a warning to others considering Mary Kay or still debating whether or not to get out. Save yourself! The company is designed to entice and foster these illusive dreams that few ever see to fruition.
If by chance they do acquire gifts, cars, and this fake celebrity status be advised most of those “successful” gals have bought it or pressured others underneath them to pay for it. It’s really criminal.
A large majority of consultants and Directors are in debt up to their ears, meanwhile smiling at every meeting and sharing their “I story.” It’s a big ruse. There really aren’t that many successful women in Mary Kay.
Pink Truth has shown over and over again how the financials which are printed and published are fictitious and don’t factor in the enormous business expenses. Let’s talk about all of those Directors who either bought and/or cheated to build their units. I know of several Directors who enlisted friends, family members, and their husbands (most of which wear the title of “personal use” but never have any intention of really using or selling Mary Kay).
These success-starved gals will actually use their own money to make the golden 30. Yet, they hypocritically stand up there at meetings and events and tell you how “hard” they worked. Meanwhile their units are doomed from the start because if they’re lucky they maybe have 5-7 consultants really “working the business.”
I’ve personally watched three Directors (seemingly on top of their game) falter and lose it all. The worst and really the most obvious offense (but the first thing overlooked by new recruits) is the success meetings. Not even the top corporate organizations in America bore the hell out of their employees every week, repeatedly reciting the same tired marketing plan. Mary Kay Directors call it “free training” but it’s not! I paid every week!
The training was minimal, nothing new and a big joke. In fact, I attended one meeting in which a Director got up and taught the most hideous and retro make-up tips. She had everyone walking out looking like a corpse.
Additionally, the real purpose and function is to recruit and any other representation is purely dishonest. If that wasn’t the main function why are all the Directors pushing so hard for their unit members to bring guests? It’s a one, two sucker punch and many a smart and otherwise sharp woman has been pressured, duped and/or bamboozled into signing up at one of those so called “success meetings.”
It’s shameful and I had to finally speak up. I hope it helps at least one person. Perhaps there is a woman out there feeling like I did, sick to her stomach at the debt she has created and all of those products on the shelves going nowhere!
Maybe there is a woman out there feeling ashamed because her so called Mary Kay friends dumped her and her Director couldn’t be bothered! Good luck and peace be with you.
What a difference a few months makes!