… And Mary Kay Gets Into You

Written by SuzyQ

You get into Mary Kay, and Mary Kay gets into you. Yesterday I talked about the culture of Mary Kay and how it becomes an obsession. I got out of Mary Kay, so why did I still feel so 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.

Yesterday 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. Ruby Slippers

    If you think you want to quit, I implore you to send it back!!!
    I did not . I have 8000 retail which is 4000 wholesale and about $5000 total loss of ACTUAL MONEY!
    Don’t make that mistake.

    1. Cindylu

      So Sorry to hear Ruby that you hesitated to return that product. Then you had to figure out what to do with it. Thank you for having the courage to warn others to return their products, not blame themselves and hopefully move on to better things.

  2. BestDecision

    Or buying a new Starter Kit every time they redesigned one. Scary to still see Red Jackets from 20 years ago and that gold crest stitched on them. It’s interesting how few buy the new ones, and I think it’s because they realize they’re not making money and don’t want to waste it.

  3. Cindylu

    Just watched something called ” the Social Dilemma. ” I highly recommend it. Individuals from the tech industry Jaron Lanier, Aza Raskin, Justin Rosenstein, Shoshana Zuboff etc. discuss how marketing etc and technology have evolved and not necessarily in a good way. I also think most adults, teen and pre teens should watch this. When I look at the pioneers of MK’s day: Norman Vincent Peale, Napoleon Hill, Zig Ziglar and Tony Robbins and (NLP Neurolinguistic Programming), I see how motivational speakers, rallies, seminars etc. suddenly become nefarious. If they were working on techniques to convince us to join mlm’s decades ago, now they’ve adjusted their MK sales pitch to truly convince us to join, stay and have this vision mindset and business opportunity. Trouble is we are the product. We are the customer. MK’s sales force do the buying and recruiting. MK Corps reaps the benefits without having to maintain a store front, doing any real advertising or many of the costs. Including the costs of shipping, seminar costs and actual training. A win-win for MK. Meanwhile with front loading and a saturated market selling their over priced products has become mostly unattainable.

  4. NayMKWay

    “John W. …dumped me my senior year of high school.”

    Hey, his loss, I say.

    “…the ‘pewter’ desk set for a star prize years ago.”

    “Pewter” in quotes? So… it wasn’t real pewter? I mean, how cheap can you get? Pewter is mostly tin, which runs between seven and eleven dollars a pound. It’s not exactly expensive. But then, Mary Kay corp is not exactly known for its largess.

    Hey, SuzyQ, it could have been worse. You could have ended up with a flounder light, like poor, beleaguered Mary Kay Ash did when she thought she was going to get a designer handbag ( pinktruth.com/2020/10/12/mary-kay-ashs-leadership/ ).

    I had to look up what the heck a flounder light was. It wasn’t easy, because most of the search results were not so much what it was as where I could buy one. But I persevered, and eventually learned it’s a light for gigging, which meant I had to look up what THAT was.

    Gigging is fishing (in clear water) with a multi-point spear called a gig, and you use a bright light to find bottom-dwelling aquatic life that you want to cook and eat, like, oh, say, flounder. It seems that a bright light not only helps locate a flounder (camouflage markings are no match for technology!), it also blinds them so they don’t see it coming. You’d think the bright light would clue them in that something bad is about to happen, but…nope. They just lie there and take it.

    Stupid flounders.

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