How the Pink Fog Overtook Us

Written by WorkedPink

She came into town, tall and beautiful with a look, demeanor, and “way” that many of us could just hope to ever possess. She was a Mary Kay Consultant, a business owner. Her makeup was always flawless, her black skirt and white blouse always perfect and crisp–such a lady. She often spoke of the “blessings of God” when she mentioned her business and soon, many of us were hooked.

You see, we were all Christian ladies in a small town and we wanted to have careers that allowed us time to be with our spouses and children. We wanted to work from home and be there when the school busses arrived and our husbands pulled in. We wanted Executive pay for private school and to supplement how hard our husbands worked. Many of us quit day JOBs, so excited about the opportunity. And, secretly, we wanted to be as beautiful and poised as she was. She embodied womanhood to us–elegant, cultured, well put together, SHARP.

I didn’t join right away. I did, however, become her assistant. I watched as she moved quickly–IBC, Red Jacket, car owner, Director. Oh, she looked so beautiful in her suit, with her the jewelry she’d won. I believed her when she said that some months she was short paying me because in order to have her business she had to reinvest short term. But it always bothered me that her nephew was a consultant. And those sheets she gave me to do newsletters, well the figures didn’t add up. And, tell me again, WHY you need to not pay me this week and will double up next week…

Other things didn’t add up either–like the obviously mentally disturbed woman who could barely read that had those pink cases hanging up in her home. Or the woman who had come to the church for a donation for her light bill–but had those cases hanging up in her home. But she told me that the opportunity was for all women and women who’d started out in worse circumstances had become highly successful businesswomen.

Soon, many of us traveling in the same circles were Consultants. It got to the point where those of us not in the fog started avoiding phone calls. We’d had as many parties offering facials to our unsuspecting co-workers as we could. We’d come to as many Pizza and Possibilities as possible. We’d had enough Muffins and Makeovers. And if we said as much to these Consultants, they’d sneer and let us know that there were positive people out there who would help them.

For many of us, the final straw was her Director celebration. We paid tickets to eat a catered chicken lunch on a weekend when many of us should have been with our families. We didn’t get our meals right away, no we had to watch her and her unit, which by now was really comprised of some questionable folks, hop around and chant, almost in a frenzy–we were uncomfortable, to say the least. Then we were ushered into a room where a different plastic director presented “the opportunity”. We were shocked. We thought it was supposed to be a celebration, we thought we were there to congratulate a friend who’d made quite an accomplishment. We thought that “no” meant “NO” and many walked out, pushing past the consultant who served as “doorkeeper”. The plastic Director continued her spiel, giving dirty looks to those who chose to look away from her. We finally got our cold, tasteless meal and many of us left, forever turned off.

Well, her Consultants were now “fired up”, especially the Red Jackets. If she could make it to Director, so could they and anyway, she now needed to look to the next phase. Those of us that remained out of the fog were now completely aggressive in saying NO to all the requests. No facials, no Tuesday night meetings, no Holiday Open Houses–NO. I think the most hurtful thing that happened was to the young woman who was diagnosed with depression. A Consultant stepped up friendship with this woman and invited her over for lunch–where the Consultant presented “the opportunity” as a cure for depression. “Are you ready to pay your $100 and get better?” she asked the ill young woman. That Consultant has since come out of the Fog but that relationship will never be the same. The Unit eventually folded although a few women got themselves “adopted” and continued to try to become Directors.

It was an awful time in this community. All of those women have finally quit but the worst part is that in their quest to make millions, they alienated friends–some of us had been friends for 10-15 years before the madness ensued. I’m glad it’s over–at least here.


  1. Tigger

    That is a very sad tale. It has been repeated over and over again for decades.

    Let’s see: we have The Greatest Generation, and then, we have the MLM Generation. How embarrassing.

    If you read anything on how mlms are trying to evolve, they mention going after millenials and dumping Boomers. Just reward.

  2. Sapphire

    In the begginging I am reminded of The Girl from Ipenema – Tall and tan and youong and lovely, The girl from Ipenema goes walking and when she passes each one she passes goes — Ahhhhh!

    In the end… The Girl from Ipenema bought in the Ebola Virus and everyone ran for the hills.

    Irreverance aside, The Woman from MK brings in the Pink Pox.

    1.. New person in the neighborhood (we’ll call her Connie because in the end Consultant will = Con Artist) with seemingly desirable qualities – everyone wants to be her and everyone wants to be her friend.

    2. Connie befriends several seemingly “just for friendships sake” and Oh BTW – she asks “Can I offer you a facial, a new business, a new way to view your life?”

    3. Several take Connie up on the offer. She is empowered and goes for the Goals (aka MK gold) and the neighborhood is amazed at her achievements – from sales to red jacket to car to (holy of holies) Directorship – Connie is now part of the MK elite and you, friends and neighbors, helped.

    4. The neighborhood is offered a chance to come to a celebration celebrating Connies achievements. On and BTW -tickets are $xyz – only because we have to cover the cost of the venue and the food.

    5. The “neighbors” who are still talking to Connie (civility = gentility and answers the question WWJD) go to the event. They are embarrassed because of the hyjinks of the “unit march” (or the March Hare Madness) they try to look away, they anxiously await their lunch but oh… BTW – They get yet another “presentation” about the MK business for the umpteenth time. They have just experienced the ol’ Bait and Switch. They thought they were invited to a celebration for a new business yet they were just “given the business”.

    6. The neighbors begin to avoid Connie in earnest now… Thank goodness for caller ID and the delete option in emails and text messaging.

    7. Connie loses her unit… Oh well, some of the neighbors who have joined her team may or may not still be in MK, but the Virus which is MK has just gone through yet another town in middle America destroying as many as it possibly can, leaving others wondering “what happened” and others thankful that they just didn’t “catch the vision” (virus).

  3. raisinberry

    The blind progression of this disease is really painful to read once your head has cleared. This is so true. People become potential targets and that is how they are viewed through MLM eyes…every situation, every event, every venue-antennae UP! Life becomes one long scouring of the earth looking to recruit or sell to someone. And since they KNOW they will get “rejection” if they are honest about their aims, they LIE (in the nicest way) about their invitations!

    Anybody hear this little quip? I won’t twist your arm to join Mary Kay but I WILL twist it for you to listen!

    See they KNOW what’s best for you. You do not. They are “in”. And you are “out”…how could you know?… and your resistance is just ignorance of the facts! So lies are therefore justified…they are just “little whites” anyway…

    MK is corrupt with deception, and behavioral co-dependence, exhibited by persons who think they need to insert themselves into your life to “fix” you, (using ever manner of manipulation) and it is really about THEM and THEIR needs.

    D Y S F U N C T I O N A L.

  4. Dhagen02

    That is a dead-on balls accurate(to quote My Cousin Vinny) description of how these people work. An acquaintance of mine(our husbands work together) is in SO many MLM’s and yet she still has to work a regular job even though she is doing “fabulously” with Mellaleuca, Air Purifiers, Candles, 31 bags etc. If you are doing so well, why does you husband have to work overtime and you still have to work a full time job? She is constantly asking me to her parties, open houses and whatnot and I simply tell her that I am not interested in joining anything so she says “Buy your sister a new purse for her birthday next month” I replied “I did. At the Coach Outlet plus Victoria’s Secret Steelers jammies and tickets to see Elton John in October, all for less than joining one of your “businesses”. She stopped talking to me now. LOL I really do love my older sister! LOL

  5. Weekended

    I can’t do better than what our friend California Gal says: “What a sad, scummy business.” What a disruption in people’s lives! I think it would be a good plot for a t.v. series…honestly.

  6. Cori

    I just became a Mary Kay consultant… and I wish I never did. My director even offered to pay for my starter kit of $100 because I couldn’t afford it on time to get the summer catalog. I still owe her money. But now I can’t sell product until I invest in at least $600 worth of inventory… where does she think I have the money coming from? I only make $600 a month from my part time job and being a full time college student. How do I tell her I want out?

    1. ThePinkStink

      Cori, you don’t need to tell your director you want out. You can call Mary Kay Inc. and cancel your consultant number AND get 90% back on the starter kit. Please save yourself from this before your director’s claws sink in!
      You do NOT have to communicate with your sales director or recruiter to do this. Simply call the company at (972) 687-6300. Ask for the repurchase option!
      Afterwards, your director/recruiter will start trying to call you, do NOT answer! You do not need to talk to them. They will attempt to convince to stay in. Stay strong, don’t answer, wait for the inventory list to get to you (it will be for your starter kit), send the product back, get the refund check, then mail back the full amount you owe to your director and wipe your hands of her!

    2. MLM Radar

      1. You can get a 100% refund on your starter kit if you return it, intact, within the first 30 days. If you’ve removed and used products from the kit you’re probably stuck with it, unless you go to Craigslist or eBay and buy matching replacement items.

      2. You do NOT need to purchase $600 in inventory – or ANY inventory – before you sell. Your Director was lying to you if she said you did. In fact, until you know what your customers may be interested in buying you should never buy any inventory at all. The reason she wants you to fork out $600 for inventory is so that SHE can get a bonus for you making a “qualified” purchase.

      3. Lots of people try to work their Mary Kay “businesses” by selling directly from the catalog, purchasing inventory only when they already have customer orders. Selling this way is in your own best interest. Your Director didn’t tell you this, because she doesn’t get bonuses when you run your “business” this way. But WATCH OUT! You have to place a minimum order of $225 wholesale / $450 retail to get your purchase at “wholesale” price. Even then that “discount” is only good for the rest of this calendar month plus the next two calendar months.

      4. BUT… When you take a look at Craigslist and eBay the first thing you’ll probably notice is that there are lots and lots and lots of people trying to sell Mary Kay at 25% off, 50% off, 75% off, free shipping, buy one get one, name your own price and just get it out of my house. If your customers can get all the Mary Kay they want at your “wholesale” cost or less, what chance do you have to sell it at anything close to retail price?

      Do yourself a favor. Send the starter kit back if you can, cancel your consultant number, and never, never, sign up for another MLM. Avon, Cutco, Amway, Melaleuca, Visalus, Legal Shield, and hundreds of other companies… they’re all the same. If someone else pitches you a “business opportunity” use your smartphone to Google it and find out if it’s Direct Sales / Network Marketing / Relationship Marketing / Multi-level Marketing. If it is, walk away guilt-free and don’t look back

  7. Mary and the K-Bots

    The more I read PT and about MLMs in general, the more I notice a certain lingo. Here are some more “buzzwords” and other clues that let you know whether or not a company is an MLM:

    1. “business opportunity”
    2. upline
    3. downline
    4. Party/class/home show
    5. Rank titles that have no meaning in the “real” business world (i.e. Platinum Vice President or Independent National Sales Director)
    6. The product sold is priced much higher than a comparable product available through a traditional retailer (i.e. MK “retail” prices vs. Sephora or Ulta).
    7. They promise you will make a lot of money for little work/effort. If it sounds “too good to be true, then run away, fast!!!!
    8. The people involved act like cult members.
    9. Your questions are never truly answered and/or are dismissed as “negativity.” Also, if you have not made a commitment, your recruiter may get the “deer in the headlights” look if you ask too many pointed questions. Or, your recruiter may tell you that all of your questions will be answered after you sign on the dotted line.
    10. Your recruiter gets defensive if you mention the words MLM or pyramid.
    11. Your recruiter gets defensive or stammers if you ask to see her Schedule C.

    I’m sure I’m leaving out some more clues. I am also going to post this list to the PT DB.

    1. MLM Radar

      12. You answer an ad for a legitimate-sounding job (receptionist, bookkkeeper, customer service specialist), but when you arrive there is no interview for that job. Instead you are ushered into a room with a group of other people to watch a sales presentation for miracle products. It ends with you being pressured to buy a distributor kit.

      13. Anyone can do it. No experience required. No resume needed. No references necessary. Any degree (or lack thereof) is acceptable.

      14. Be the first in your area to get in on this amazing opportunity. Don’t let this chance pass you by. Start building your team now before everyone else in your town signs up.

      15. You are asked to write down a list of everyone you know, including phone numbers and addresses. Bonus points if they try to take it from you.

      16. Just fill out the forms tonight and include your check / credit card number. They promise they won’t do anything with it until you give them your OK tomorrow afternoon. (They know you’ll get home late tonight, so you won’t have the chance to research the company before their arbitrary decision deadline.)

      17. Relationship marketing is the wave of the future.

      18. This is a paradigm shift in how people do business. Change your method of buying products you use every day and get rich selling products to yourself.

  8. Lib

    Can someone give me to the link to the discussion boards please.

    BTW, I have had home life problems since starting my business. They tell you you will have more time with your family….. Not. More like more time to isolate your family. ;(

    1. MLM Radar

      Welcome, Lib.

      To get to the discussion board:
      Go up to the top of this page
      Click on the header “Pink Truth” to return to the Home Page
      Look under the Search Block for the link to the Discussion Board

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