Written by A Mary Kay Quitter
Faking it. That’s what I was doing as a Mary Kay Independent Beauty Consultant. Could it be you, too?
Do you find yourself wearing clothing that really isn’t you–but you do it because you have a ‘dress code’ to follow? The rules under my director were simple. As a new consultant, you wear a black skirt, pantyhose, a white button down shirt, and a black blazer.
Once you ‘earned’ it, you got to buy the red jacket. Even if you didn’t have the money, this was required of you at all meetings. I was to look the part of a business woman. The owner of my company. Successful.
But I wasn’t. I faked it all the way. I was told I shouldn’t leave the house without my face and hair done. Don’t wear jeans or yucky clothes if you were going out in public with anything Mary Kay on your person. Certainly don’t hand out a business card or tell someone you sell it unless you were dressed for success.
At first, this was a huge self-esteem boost. Looking like a million bucks . . . fooling yourself and everyone around you . . . but then I started to realize that I wasn’t me. Somewhere along the way I had sold my self-esteem.
But how is that possible? Well, when I was dressed the part, when I had the role down, and when I was in my Mary Kay persona, I wasn’t me. I felt I needed to hide who I was. I was ashamed to be a middle class woman. I was ashamed when I, a dressed to kill consultant, didn’t make a dime at a class. How could I not have made the sale? I was dressed the part. I had faked it. Why hadn’t I made it?
Well, because I wasn’t really me. I found that when I was wearing jeans and a t-shirt, when I was approachable, I did better at Mary Kay. But that isn’t what they want. They want a bunch of women all dressed and looking the same, faking who they are and what they believe in to be representative of their cosmetics. In fact, it was Mary Kay herself who once said, “You can’t sell a Cadillac in a junkyard.” Well, actually, you can.
Once I finally walked away from Mary Kay, and the dreams I had set for myself, I was able to make goals that were realistic for me that didn’t involve cash and jewelry and cars. They involved reboosting my self esteem. Valuing who I was based on who I was. Not what I had sold the week before. My clothes became comfortable again. I was happy in my skin.
I was done living a lie. My outer shell matched my inner shell, and I felt like I was a person of worth. Of value. Isn’t that what life is about? The ultimate goal?