Life-Giving Delusions and Deadly Truth in Mary Kay

Written by Ran4Fun

I am no philosopher, and trying to understand the writings of Nietzsche or others of his kind is not something I’m yearning to do. However, I recently read a phrase attributed to him that caught my attention: choosing “Life-Giving Delusions” rather than “Deadly Truth”. The page I was reading had nothing to do with Mary Kay, but I couldn’t help but notice how well that phrase seems to explain the “true bee-lievers” and #mklifers.

The page talked about how one must turn their back on the lessons of history; to voluntarily choose life-giving delusions instead of deadly truth; that one must fabricate a myth; and how it’s impossible for people with probing intellects to do this. It also states that objective history can destroy the delusion, but it doesn’t necessarily lead to genuine understanding of history.

I’ve been struggling against Mary Kay for several years. I’ve never been a believer, but I have a very close loved one who has been deep in the pink fog for a long time. At first, before I knew the ugly truth, I thought MK was just another MLM that everyone seemed to try at least once in their life, and that she would quickly fade away from it, like most everyone does. Then she got deeper in, and convinced me she was doing well and would do even better! For a short time, I thought maybe MK was different. Suddenly I learned the truth about her credit card debt. My probing led me here, to Pink Truth. The objective history I learned from this website destroyed any delusions I may have had about MK.

Armed with this new truth and evidence, I attempted to it show her. It will come as no surprise to you, it was not well received. Despite hard facts and personal stories, the Life-Giving Delusion she believes is stronger than the Deadly Truth.

Mary Kay Corporate and NSDs are great at promoting “Life-Giving Delusions” to the throngs of IBCs. That’s why Seminar is such a big deal. That’s why large commission checks are flaunted. That’s why pink Cadillacs are bragged about. That’s why stage walks, sashes, pins and cheap jewelry are used as bait. And as long as someone is driving the Cadillac and someone is getting a big check, then it’s not a delusion, is it? Well I suppose not, but I sure would like to see the Schedule C of all those car drivers. Or the actual sales receipts to real end-user customers for the Queen of Sales. (Oh, but let’s just double her wholesale order and assume she sold the whole inventory at full retail prices with no discounts. That’s a prettier delusion.)

Let’s face it – if the 99.5% below NSD level knew how fake it all was – that would be the Deadly Truth that would bring down the Pink Pyramid. That’s why they are told to stay away from this website, and taught to shun consultants who “quit”.

The only way that NSDs can continue is for they, themselves to turn their backs on the history of their own units over the years. Turn their backs on the hundreds, if not thousands of women who believed them, followed them, and ultimately went down the drain as the new recruits keep coming out the faucet. (Mary Kay Ash’s own analogy.) It never occurs to them that if people were succeeding at making money in MK, they wouldn’t be quitting! So, they continue to fabricate this myth.

They will say it’s not a myth because they achieved it! If they can, so can others! What they don’t get is that to succeed in MK you must turn your back to the reality that thousands of women fail, and that’s exactly how it was designed from the beginning! It’s the constant churning of new recruits with the largest possible initial inventory order that keep the big checks rolling in to the NSDs. If that churning of new recruits stops, the pyramid will crumble. That’s why it’s easy for them to turn their backs on all who fail. They must to survive!

The Deadly Truth is ugly, and it hurts. That’s why it’s so hard for family and friends to get their loved ones out of the pink fog. The unicorns and pink dreams of MK are much more desirable than admitting you were scammed by people you thought you trusted.

As far as my loved one goes, I have yet to find some way to dispel the delusion of MK being a legit opportunity. For now, just trying to keep peace is my mission. But now, after writing this, I’ve decided to try to find ways to develop Life-Giving Realities for my loved one that will hopefully draw her closer to the truth, and help her gradually see the MK delusion for what it really is – nothing but a vapor.

If you have any suggestions for Life-Giving Realities I would be open to them. Also, former consultants – what finally dispelled your delusions about MK?


  1. MLM Radar

    I don’t get stage walks or ribbons from my employer, but I do get a very nice 401k match.

    My 401k match will put gas in my car for a long time. Will your Mary Kay 401k match do the same?

    Oh wait…. you don’t have a Mary Kay 401k match. You don’t even get to sign up for the 401k that Mary Kay has for its corporate employees.

    You get something even better! You get ribbons and stage walks! Right.

    When you’re driving home from your Seminar stage walk, you can show your ribbons to the gas station attendant. But I doubt that will buy you any gas.

  2. coralrose

    You asked what helped former consultants open our eyes, mine is kinda funny: a cold chicken dinner at Seminar. My former director said there’d be “a gourmet dinner” at our Area Awards night banquet at Seminar. I was 5 or 6 months pregnant at the time and lived in a place where gourmet food restaurants are really rare. The promise of a “gourmet dinner” was a huge selling point for me in going. I got a roasted chicken breast (no sauce or anything) and green beans that were cold. Nothing gourmet about it, and I could’ve made something better at home. It made me think about what else was I promised that didn’t live up to the hype: the pay for the hours I put in; the crappy star consultant prizes; the “free training” that were actually rah-rah sessions, not actual sales training and it wasn’t free; and the “use” of God at Seminar made me feel very uncomfortable… the idea that God wants us to be rich and powerful, and that we “serve” women and “change their lives” and “do God’s will” by selling them over-priced make-up contradicts what I know about Jesus, who preached humility, generosity, and caring for the poor. Oh, I amost forgot: my director’s “I story” of how she got started in MK changed depending on who she was talking to. in one she hated working full-time and putting her kids in daycare, and wanted to be a stay at home mom, in another her husband wanted her to stay home with the kids, but she was bored and “you can only clean the toilets so many times in one day, right?” andd another she joined just for personal use, and “now look where I am”. if she can lie about that, what else was she lying about? (the gourmet dinner, for one!)

    1. BestDecision

      The mass-produced Seminar and Career Conference lunches were pathetic. How were we in so deep as to give up our weekends for those things?!

      And you’re right. The abuse of God was sickening. The very people praising Him from the podium were the same ones teaching how to cheat or were living hypocritical lives.

      Have you seen how Gloria Mayfield Banks is selling “souvenirs” now? Yes, posters. You read that right.

    2. Jamming Berry

      UGH! I’m so sorry about your “gourmet dinner” especially since you sound like you really just needed a night off and to be treated well.

    3. Prudence Dagg

      Yeah, my problem as a SAHM is just too much time to clean the toilets! HAHAHA! That’s a good one!

      The work can be boring, for sure, but I could never ever say there’s not enough of it. There’s always something I *could* be doing.

  3. BartheDoor

    I asked my friend who was deep into Mary Kay to talk to someone who does accounting; the accountant included things like what it cost to carry the debt of the stock purchases, her time, materials for sales, sample costs, party costs, hostess credits, gas and mailing costs, and taxes. It wasn’t good news.

    She was losing $200 a month when she added up the real expenses and time she spent on Mary Kay. I’d like to believe that her math skills are just poor, but it was just denial. She wanted to be a big shot, and Mary Kay fed her ego.

    Everyone told her to get out of it, because she wasn’t helping anyone but the Mary Kay company. This is where she moved the goal post on the whole thing. It went from being about paying for college for her kids and helping her family live luxuriously to being about enriching the lives of women. I asked her when that had happened, and she said that she had always been selling Mary Kay to enrich women, and the profit never mattered to her at all. :-/ It did matter the week before, when she was insisting she made $200 an hour, but she claimed that it was always really about being charitable underneath, so that was the real goal and I had misunderstood her. Move along, nothing to see here.

    She did eventually get out, when her husband told her that she was either out of Mary Kay or out of the marriage. She sent back what she could, sold at a loss what she couldn’t send back, trashed a bunch of stuff that no one wanted, and got a second job to pay off the Mary Kay debt.

    I’d like to say that she has steered clear of MLMs, but she’s now involved with one that was sued by a celebrity when the MLM claimed he used their products, and that had also falsely claimed an Ivy League school endorsed them. They quietly settled the first problem, and that latter problem they had they blamed on their salespeople and said they never said that the school endorsed them, so they had no idea why their salespeople thought that. They moved their goalpost to say that it was a scientist who WORKED at the school, not the school, and the salespeople who said otherwise were wrong.

    Our friendship isn’t in great shape. I am sorry about that, but I wouldn’t feel like I was her friend if I enabled her to keep being prey to these skeevy MLMs that take advantage of a person who they know will lose money. You don’t hand a person drowning in the pool a backpack full of bricks. That’s all these MLMs are for everyone but the few at the top and for me to support it with a pity purchase is the same as handing her that backpack full of bricks.

    1. Lazy Gardens

      the accountant included things like what it cost to carry the debt of the stock purchases, her time, materials for sales, sample costs, party costs, hostess credits, gas and mailing costs, and taxes. It wasn’t good news.

      WOW! Just like a real business does!

  4. BartheDoor

    PS She considered joining up with Lularoe, but four pairs of leggings that came with holes in them and the hassles she heard her consultant had getting credit for the damaged leggings from the company changed her mind. She knows her husband’s patience is paper thin. He already separated finances from hers over the Mary Kay mess, and he’s about fed up with her current Free Lexus obsession. She’s very careful to never bring any of it up when he’s around. She only tries to recruit people when he’s not there.

  5. Tasha Avila

    My eyes were open when the lady that signed me up, kept pushing me to buy inventory. But I wasn’t selling any of it then 1 day she called and asked for a huge favor. She said ” you know how we been working on MY directorship, weellllllllll I just need 1 more person to sing up and put in a $200 order.maybe your husband will do it”
    Then there I was been a big team member and giving her my husband’s info, then placing a $600 order because you want to get that special prize you get with that first order. Then she would only call every other month to make sure we were both placing orders. She has been in the company for 20+years and she has NEVER gotten a car. Last time I heard from her was last summer when I told her my marriage wasn’t going good, and I didn’t have time to sell MK.

  6. San

    I’m a MK Beauty consultant now. I can’t say that I’ve made any real money yet. This is actually my 4th time signing up because I wanted to pay off some debt. Well for those of you who have been there know what happened. I’m in more debt. I believe in MK philosophy and the Go-give spirit. I don’t necessarily need or have to have the Ra Ra that someone spoke of. God has given me a heart for women and what better way than to touch a woman’s life and help her see her beauty. What I know is that when I meet someone and get in front of them for a pampering session, they feel good when they leave my presence. I know there are directors who try to strong arm people into ordering and lie. However, if the company finds out about it, they will remove you as a consultant. I’ve seen it happen. If a celebrity or big shot sells books, cds, shirts to market themselves no one has a problem with that. Why do you have an issue with Gloria Banks doing the same thing?

    1. BestDecision

      MK Ash told NSDs they were paid “enough” so they shouldn’t rely on the sales force to pay them additionally. She used to shun it, actually. It’s only become as big as it has because there are so many NSDs that think they’re bigger than MK and/or have threatened to go public and to the media with their inside scoop on how things really are if they’re forbidden from doing so.

      Google Allison Lamarr and Robyn Blackmon-Dunda. Each of them have had histories with MK and selling products.

    2. Lazy Gardens

      This is actually my 4th time signing up because I wanted to pay off some debt. Well for those of you who have been there know what happened. I’m in more debt.
      And why did you think it was going to work this time?

      Please get out now and stop piling on more debt. A part time job as a burger flipper or a receptionist would pay you more and be less stressful.

      What I know is that when I meet someone and get in front of them for a pampering session, they feel good when they leave my presence.
      If you want to make people feel good – try volunteering at a women’s shelter, the library or somewhere. Mentor a high school student.

      If a celebrity or big shot sells books, cds, shirts to market themselves no one has a problem with that. Why do you have an issue with Gloria Banks doing the same thing?

      She has a Master’s degree in Business … if anyone knows the economics of the MLM business model, it should be her. The MLM model cannot succeed except for those at the tippy top of the structure. Without a constant stream of cash flowing upward from new recruits, it crumbles, and those recruits have almost no chance of breaking even, let alone making more than pennies.

      She knows that. But she continues to lure people into it, dangling her lifestyle and flashing her “love checks” as bait, lying about the chances of success, glossing over the expenses and the tiny number of possible customers, and the tiny income potential. That is exploiting women, not empowering them.

      Have a reality check:
      Mary Kay Inc.’s website says their global wholesale sales are $4 BILLION DOLLARS. Sounds impressive, doesn’t it. But, unfortunately, there are 3.5 million Independent Beauty Consultants in the world.

      $4,000,000,000 / 3,500,000 = $1,143

      That means that each consultant’s share of the sales is $1,143 per year. If any IBC sells more, some IBC is selling less, because that number doesn’t stretch.

    3. pinkpeace

      Fourth time around? And you’re still not making money?

      I don’t care how good you think you make women feel, selling Mary Kay products will not pay off your debt. It will increase it exponentially.

      Please take seriously what Lazy Gardens says. She knows what’s up.

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