Written by Suzy Q
So, we taped hours and hours of painful, humiliating, humbling information about our experiences in Mary Kay, and ABC diluted it down to about 12 minutes. However, it made an impact and I was pleased to know that. It is not often that Darrell Overcash interrupts his Saturday to contact the directors.
This is for you, my sister directors. I left Mary Kay Cosmetics several years ago after a non-stellar run in massive debt. I peaked in 2003 or 2004, I can’t remember… and before all of the “I am quitting drama”, I started reading Mary Kay Sucks (the original name of Pink Truth) and I was totally devastated. I had never before heard or read anything remotely negative about MK. I couldn’t believe people were actually posting negative information— it was the first time I heard the term “frontloading.”
I told everyone I would bleed pink if it was required, and thought of myself as a lifer. I would never ever leave Mary Kay. I had given up a career, let my professional credentials lapse, and my only goal was to be the woman Mary Kay wanted me to be. I remember the call from corporate telling me about her death and I burst into tears.
As I look back, years away from it all, I am stunned at the effect it had on me. Mary Kay is a cult. It really is. I remember attending a Bible study group led by a NSD and we prayed for Red Jackets and DIQ’s. Really, who does this? I remember asking after my first seminar—what exactly does “taking God as my business partner” mean? I was told I would figure it out.
I recruited so many women. So many. I was good at that, and I was good at sales. The women came and went. I think (hope) I was able to reach most of them and apologize for misleading them. These were great people and they trusted me and I let them down. Since we taped the 20/20 episode, the memories are flooding back and I dream of Mary Kay frequently. I loved my sister directors, we were all in this together, and the only time we were honest was when the wine/beer flowed after the event was over for the day and we were in our shared room.
I remember vividly when my senior told me she was tired of “the process” meaning the activity that had to be done each and every month. I think I ripped her a new one. One of my sister directors called and told me she either had to quit or she would be forced to declare bankruptcy again. I told her that she needed to quit feeling sorry for herself and get back to work. I am so ashamed. I called both of them back later, too much later, and said I was sorry, they needed to do what they thought was best, but they had both been sucked back into the pink bubble.
My point is this… You are not crazy. IT IS NOT YOU. It is a horrible plan. (Not a “business” plan, because Mary Kay isn’t really a business for you, the consultant or director.) The plan does not work unless you are willing to make a living off the backs of other women. We are sold a bill of goods that includes God, just in case we didn’t get the” enriching women’s lives” thing.
When I thought about quitting MK, I knew I would face shunning… I didn’t know it would cause me a spiritual crisis. God and Mary Kay were so entwined, so enmeshed… how was I supposed to deal with that? Spiritual abandonment?
I am so glad you are reading this. I want you to know that it is going to be better. It really is. If Mary Kay people really bond “for life” then why is there shunning? Why do your BFF’s abandon you when you change direction? Why do they refuse to listen to your “negativity” when you express concerns? Why can’t you talk about being scared– waking up in the middle of the night wondering how you are going to pay your bills? Why are the highest checks talked about at events, even though that check might be 6 years old? Why does no one talk about all the expenses that eat up your commission checks, or all the extra product in the basement because you had to top off production several months? Why do most events request money orders or cash instead of checks from directors? Why do you ask that your check not be cashed until the 15th of the month? What happened to your dream? Why is the universe not responding to your requests? Why is your deserve level so low?
The answer is painfully easy. It is not you. You can do everything “right” and will most likely not succeed in Mary Kay. When you envy the nationals (even though we are not supposed to compare ourselves to anyone else) please know they have exploited and used so many women shamelessly to get where they are—I really can’t understand how they can sleep at night. I do not understand how they can exploit the materialism that is so common in other MLM’s and say MK is different? Seriously? Show me how Mary Kay Cosmetics is different from Amway et al. These are legal pyramids.
If you hear nothing else, please remember that Mary Kay give “sales figures” that are based on sales to consultants themselves. Consultants are the end consumers. They don’t give a shit whether you sell the products you order or not. That becomes your problem, your “deserve level” is not high enough, you didn’t work your business. Mary Kay has not ever and will never be #1. They will never track real sales which is why they can deny that people buy product to make production. I bought product to make production, did you?
IT IS NOT YOU. Please listen. You can’t win this game unless you are willing to hurt a bunch of women in the process. If you could succeed without hurting others, you wouldn’t be reading this far. Trust yourself, you know better. Pink Truth is a welcoming landing pad. Welcome. Breathe. It will be okay!