Mary Kay Slogans and Manipulation (Part 1)

Written by Raisinberry

Before Mary Kay I worked human resources and taught supervision and organizational development with a large international firm. Part of my acquisition of information required that I attend some of the seminars of the major players in the world of “motivational speakers.” (I still can’t get SNL’s Chris Farley out of my head.)

Slogans and motivational quips were those quick mental adjusters that helped fear and lack of focus dissolve into confidence and determination.

They originally were designed to help a person through the lows of rejection and to become mentally tough. They were for our good. But, like any good thing, in the hands of a person with wrong motives, or bad intentions, a good thing can go very bad.

In the hands of opportunist Mary Kay nationals, the quips deflected what has been happening under the surface, and became a method for manipulating women by hiding a secret M.O. Mary Kay has been busy doing the opposite of “enriching women’s lives” by creating a method to foster personal dissatisfaction and at the same time, fogging over its exposure.

I am sure Mary Kay Ash gathered her famous sales force “sayings,” never imagining that they would be used to block analytical thought, ignore true conditions, foster denial, corrupt leaders, maintain fraud, hide opportunism, shift blame, or become religious doctrine.

But what sloganeering has become in the world of Mary Kay is a sublime method of blocking women from facing the reality of what is all around them, what their otherwise astute “spidy senses” would have allowed them to see, months and years earlier.

Slogans and sayings have protected Mary Kay’s empire and have created a sort of corporate shield that becomes a self inflicted mind control for all parties involved, and deflects any responsibility for the results of running a pyramid scam, away from Addison, Texas. But that is only one part of its purpose.

Independent Beauty Consultants who question anything are shut down like they just got jolted with a electromagnetic pulse and no one is the wiser. When she awakes from her stunning, she will believe that Mary Kay is the benevolent overseer who sacrifices for her benefit, and she is the one who, alone, must carry the ball over the goal line. Trusting her overseer, she proceeds. Her overseer reminds her to trust her Director. Her Director reminds her to trust her National. The stage is set.

“If it is to be it’s up to me!” she courageously ventures forth.

“Find a way or make a way,” she tells herself when engaging in creative recruiting practices.

“You must show up to go up,” her Director tells her when she has no money to pay for the winter retreat.

“Take your daily mental bath” she reminds herself when evaluating where her business is financially.

“No? NEXT!” she quips, to steel herself against prospects who say no and the fact that bookings aren’t coming easily.

“Take God as your business partner” she reminds herself and wonders why God has not blessed her with a woman in her path.

“3 plus 3 plus 3,” she chants, wondering when the next $300 week will appear.

“You can’t sell from an empty wagon,” her Director sells her, as she wonders when her buckling shelves will register “full” in her director’s eyes.

“A laurel rested upon soon wilts,” says her Red Jacket letter of congratulation, with the encouragement to find 2 more recruits ASAP, to go “on target” for car.

“It’s not for the chosen few, but for the few who choose,” she is told, when half her team quits and she is making up production on her own credit card.

“Act successful and you’ll be successful,” resonates in her mind as her director calls her up front at meeting to talk about her last weeks efforts.

“Believe and you will achieve” her NSD tells her; when she asks what she should do if she can’t get to 30 by Friday.

“Work will win where wishing won’t,” she tells her children as she goes out again to warm chatter.

“The cream always rises to the top.” She is told when other unit members stop showing up and she is flattered into staying the course.

”No one follows a parked car.” She is chastised when her warm market appointments are done and bookings have dried up.

“The speed of the leader is the speed of the gang.” Her NSD warns (when she says she can’t go, can’t order any more, won’t be finishing star) that she is teaching her team to do the same.

“The only person who fails in Mary Kay is the one who quits.” She tells her husband after he totals the credit card debt from years of “faking it till you make it.”


  1. Lazy Gardens

    In psychology, these are called “Thought-stopping Clichés” because that is what they do.

    Derail any thoughts before they can lead to independent thinking and actual analysis of facts.

  2. Morningstar

    Add to the sayings voice intonation and layering of (fast) speech as noted in the videos’ posted on this site yesterday (at the top and in the body of the forumn) and you have the perfect setting for manipulation. Masterminds at work to shake every last dime from you before you realize it. Not the sort most of us want to have in our lives, women on the TAKE.

    1. raisinberry

      Here’s the thing. The majority of the SD’s do not know that. They truly BEE-LIEVE.
      They are doing what they were taught and have come to have reliance on, as if from the voice of God on high. What the NSD’s say has to be the truth. If you have developed that much reliance on someone (like a cult leader), you CAN NOT…i repeat, CAN NOT walk away. It takes a crack in the armor …a little glimpse at fraud.

      Now since most SD’s can not risk that, what it takes now is a haunting suspicion.
      And that is what drives the search engines and the resultant arrival here. Like all of us, they arrive here because they start to suspect that since promises never materialize, their might be something they do not know.

      What they didn’t know, is that this is a very practiced con. In fact they can not even believe that! No way! No way would XXXX tell me BS to get me to order….

      Yes, sorry to say, she would. But I maintain, it is the Nationals who are the dirtiest con artists of them all.

      1. BestDecision

        In the new Applause, only 10 NSDs are on-target for Inner Circle. The numbers continue to dwindle.

        I agree. THe Nationals perpetuate the problem braise it’s who we, as Directors looked up to, were taught by, and believed they were “keepers of the flame” and wouldn’t stray from the Mary Kay way. Wrong!

      2. Char

        “But I maintain, it is the Nationals who are the dirtiest con artists of them all.”

        Absolutely agree. Part of the master con is the implanted assumption that the word “successful” means something good and positive.

        I remind everyone that we can have successful thieves, successful bank robbers, successful drug dealers, successful killers, and so on.

        A successful MLMer is never EVER a good thing no more than being a successful…… (see above list).

      3. ran4fun

        Raisinberry, you just described my loved one. Despite losing directorship and her “free” car (and co-pays, btw), she still calls herself a MK lifer (which always sounds like a prison sentence to me). She adores her NSD, who is a very nice person, but she has mentored my loved one throughout her “business”, and I personally blame the NSD for the debt of my loved one. There are plenty of cracks in the MK armor, but you can’t see them if you don’t look, and if you are in the pink bubble, you never look.

  3. MLM Radar

    “If it’s to bee it’s up to me.”

    This sounds like an empowerment statement. But it’s just a disguised blame-the-victim lie.

    When you first start reciting this insidious misleading statement, you’ think you’re assuming responsibility for your success. You’re told that anyone can do it but few have the drive or determination to make it happen. The company hands you a guaranteed success formula; all that’s needed is your dedicated effort.

    The next step is when the Director points out all the quitters and lazy loosers. She gets you to buy into the idea that they had the same opportunity, they could have succeeded, but they just didn’t want to. So you go home and repeat her words to your friends and family: the only reason the losers lost was because they didn’t want to do the work. Your director blamed them for losing, and you blame them too. But you WILL succeed. It’s a guaranteed system. Anyone can do it. You will do it.

    Later, when all your efforts produce only frustration, you’re all primed to blame yourself for failing. The guaranteed system isn’t producing the guaranteed results, so it must be because of something you’re doing wrong. If success is “up to me” then failure is “all my fault.” And you slip away quietly, in shame.

    Do you see the lie here? Tens of thousands of women join each month, and tens of thousands of women also quit each month. If the system is guaranteed, if anyone can do it, why do only 1% or 2% of those tens of thousands actually succeed? Is America just so swamped with lazy loosers?

    Or is there something else going on, something the company doesn’t want you to notice? Something else being that the system isn’t guaranteed after all, that it’s not really up to you, that you were just promised whatever it took to get you to pay out lots and lots of money like a cash cow being squeezed for the last few drops of milk.

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