You Get Into Mary Kay and Mary Kay Gets Into You (Part Two)

Written by SuzyQ

I got out of Mary Kay, so why do I still feel bad?

As directors, even if we weren’t wildly successful, we still were Mary Kay in our minds.  We made it to the TOP 2% of the company and we had everything together.

In part one, I talked about obsession.  Obsession is defined as: “1. the act of an evil spirit in possessing or ruling a person. 2. the fact or state of being obsessed with an idea, desire, emotion, etc. 3. such a persistent idea, desire, emotion, etc. esp. one that cannot be gotten rid of my reasoning.”   (Webster New World Dictionary)  I am not wild about the first definition, but the other two certainly do ring true.  Obsessions are very difficult to dismiss. 

Mary Kay reminds me of one of those old phone boards and operators we see on movies from the 30’s and 40’s… maybe even 50’s, when customers were connected manually by operators plugging one person’s phone cord into another person’s hole on the board.  The connection was made, and those two people could have a conversation.

We were plugged into MK’s board in a manner we can hardly fathom.  Imagine some of the needs we have; support, friendship, excitement, recognition, money, applause, phone calls, text messages, bling, “uniforms”, travel, make-up, training, potential, goal posters, dreams, rewards, drama, power, influence, spiritual guidance… the list goes on and on.  This is incredibly important stuff, and MK gives us all of that.  That bears repeating, MK GIVES US ALL OF THAT. One-stop shopping as it were.

We get so “plugged in” to MK that we subsume our identities to something bigger and better than we could possibly have done alone.  MK defines our success, our self esteem, our dreams for our families and our futures.  We relinquish custody of our souls to the company and the goodness and prosperity that will come, because we bee-lieve.

Dramatic?  Yes.  True?  Yes, again. For example, remember product changes and the spin we did for our consultants to get them “on board?”  How does one spin that? Better yet, how does a director sleep at night knowing she has just ordered $3600 worth of product she knows is being discontinued for a new consultant? On the last day of the month?

These plug ins we have with MK cover everything in our lives.  We box up our product and send it back, post a note on the discussion board, and celebrate the fact that “it” is over.  Except “it” is not. It just started.

The losses start to mount, and they are biggies— our friends, make-up stashes, customers, cars, units, unit names, unit pins, flags/signs we used at career conference to find our unit members, director meetings, endless phone calls, production tracking sheets, our dreams, our futures, our Facebook pages, our meeting agendas, interviews, inventory talks, debuts, email, Bible studies, nsd newsletters, company and area events, birthday and Christmas gifts from the company, contests, bling, director suits, thousands of social media posts,  early ordering, unit support packages, access to InTouch, production requirements, rosettes, sashes, pins, acrylic fingernails with French manicures… It’s all gone.  And we wonder why we are depressed?

When we have a loss, and make no mistake, when we quit MK, it is a loss, all of our previous losses come back for a visit too.  It’s very much like opening one file on your computer and hitting the drop down menu— everything  comes back.  (In my case, this loss list included John W. who dumped me my senior year of high school.  The creep.) And we wonder why we are depressed?

This company defined our very being for however long we were drinking the kool-aid and it will take some time to move through the grief process.  A loss is a loss and the grief process is the grief process, and trust me on this one— there is not really a way to get through it quickly. You just have to let its run its course.

We all have a personal journey through this, some of us seem to get through it quickly and without a lot of drama, and some of us get stuck.  We do not get graded on our responses, and it’s highly individualized process.  Even after all this time, I am horrified to find a cord that is still plugged into my old MK board. Like when I was looking through drawers to find a business card holder for my J.O.B. (I LOVE my JOB—it is my favorite, most meaningful work yet) and I found one.  It was part of the “pewter” desk set for a star prize years ago.  I use it now proudly for two reasons: 1) It tells me where I was and 2) It tells me who I have become.

It takes awhile to get into MK, it takes awhile for MK to get into you, and it takes about twice as long for you to get MK out of you.  And it is so worth it!

Welcome back!  You are still there and you are still fabulous!


  1. Char

    So much damage beyond the credit card. No wonder I deteste MLMing.

    It is so much like a cult headed by a greedy, abusive leader, yet the indoctrinated can’t see it. They think he, in this case she, is “saving” them. The monster has become their family – by design.

    I have no doubt it holds a spot in one’s heart owing to the psychological investment. We are human after all.

    (Note that I use MLM”ing” aka multi-level marketing because it’s something you do. It is not a “thing” like a company. The company simply uses the MLMing method. To understand the scam, it is critical that one understands that. Facts support, MLMing is a flawed business model that causes 99% of its “followers” to experience financial and emotional harm.)

    1. pinkvictim

      “So much like a cult”…?

      It IS a cult!!

      After observing what I have over the last 12+ years, after reading thousands of pages of research, after personally speaking with several of the foremost experts, there is no doubt in my mind.

      1. Char

        Agree. I better start proof reading my word usage 🙂

        And, I’m right there with you and know what you mean. I started following the scam of MLMing 15+ years ago. Not only is there no doubt about it being a cult, there is no doubt about it being a scam. It is what it is. Cult behavior is required to perpetuate the scam.

  2. onelessSD

    ^^ I agree, it is a cult. We were shamed into believing everything we heard from anyone higher up than us. We were shamed when we tried to look at things logically… we were told “Be too dumb to doubt”. We were told to mimic anyone successful in MK.. to model after them. We were told that “We were the Mary Kay people see…. so we should ask ‘what would Mary Kay do’, etc.” It’s indoctrination plain and simple. Mary Kay is a cult. It’s just as abusive as a cult, emotionally (it’s our fault we aren’t where we want to be), it’s physical (it’s our fault we don’t look, act, dress like star – or afford to), it’s spiritual (Mary Kay is looking down from heaven and she knows if you’ve worked your hardest, exhausted every avenue to achieve your goal.. if you miss, Mary Kay is disappointed). These are all aspects of a cult – so by definition, Mary Kay is definitely a cult. SO THANKFUL I’M OUT!

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