Facts, opinions, and the real story behind Mary Kay Cosmetics.

Why Does Mary Kay Use Slogans?

Written by Raisinberry

Yesterday I talked about the various slogans and one-liners that Mary Kay directors and NSDs use to get consultants to stop thinking for themselves. Today we look at the purpose behind using slogans.

Mary Kay corporate has a symbiotic relationship with the upper sales force.

They rarely put in print, anymore, the slogans that NSDs model to directors to repeat to beauty consultants. That might make them accountable. Those quippy slogans deflect the consultant’s real concerns about their businesses, the career path, and the inconsistencies they see between what “Mary Kay says” and what Mary Kay (the corporation) does, which is, create dissatisfaction in women.

Ironically Mary Kay today functions like a “straw man.” All NSDs teach a recruiting script that calls for the director to create dissatisfaction in the lives of guests and new consultants by baiting them with prizes, glamour, sorority, independence, focusing on their unappreciated work and family life.

Directors exclude consultants from “being in” and then using that exclusion, appeal to their need to belong. (Want to be in with the Big Girls?) Directors rarely room with consultants, heightening their exclusivity.

Corporate sets up the hierarchy of titles, designations and apparel to continue that dissatisfaction. Subtly controlling the dialogue between sales force and sale leaders by repetition of slogans and refusing to listen to anything that could be construed as “negative,” the beauty consultant measures herself against whoever appears to be “making it.” She rarely gets any real answers, but she is constantly prodded with comparing herself to others.

She will always come up short, because unless a person is working her MK business 24/7, 365 days a year, there will ALWAYS be a nagging doubt that she “could have done more.”

Mary Kay has put in motion one of the most negative environments possible for a women. They have flamed the fires of her insecurity, and then pretend to be her savior. Read that line again. Mary Kay flaunts the “achievements” of others and baits the typical consultant to want the suit, the car, the blouse, the better blouse, the beads, the ring, the stage, the luncheon, the dinner, all sold to us as “achievement recognition,” when it is actually performance manipulation, since the “achievements” are nothing more than manipulating women into ordering!

During my directorship there were at least 4 to 7 different “promotions” running concurrently at any given time, from the company and my national… none of them based on tracking actual retail sales and turning in sales receipts. Remember the old slogan “inspect what you expect”? That’s a slogan that was never used for retail recordkeeping among consultants or Directors.

By selling us all that the Pink Bubble was actually our salvation and safety, we never look at Mary Kay’s business model for what it really is. If we ask to see real sales activity proof, we are “negative” and “difficult” and taxes are private information and we “just don’t get it.”

As long as the slogans work to numb our minds and stop our questions, Mary Kay trudges along capitalizing on the insecurities and the dissatisfaction it has manufactured in us from guest night to grave.

Like a software company that sells virus protection while secretly releasing the virus, Mary Kay sells itself as the ultimate provider of “financial security” while robbing that security in endless phony contests for cheap trinkets and peer recognition that have nothing to do with real sales and real financial security.

From the minute you walk into your first guest event until the day you recognize what has really happened to you, you are bombarded with images of what you do not have, what you are supposed to strive for, what you “lack,” all the while believing that what “others” have achieved is true.

You feel dissatisfaction within yourself, when if the truth be known, you are comparing your performance to the deceitful performance of others who can not admit what they have done, while testifying to all things grand and good in Mary Kay!

The longer you are in, the more you know. Veteran directors know exactly how those Unit Clubs come together and how national areas are built . They go to “Leadership” to snooze and swim, and make an appearance because their offspring are watching. New directors go to classes with baited breath… mostly to learn how to put a good meeting together and orchestrate the right ordering promotions. The newbies just want an answer and reassurance that they will be able to dig out of the debt they’re in.

So. Who wants you “bee”-lieving? Who wants you striving, and feeling like you never do enough? You guessed it. All of Mary Kay is carefully crafted to make you long for acceptance and recognition within your Unit – then your Area – and then, within the company. You pursue this “being a team player” by regurgitating the slogans that quiet your mind and keep you “plugged in”… while you go for the Caddy, the cruise, the blouse, the charm, the head table.

If the achievement was real… like the Super Bowl or winning a gold medal for the best time, the carrots dangling in front of us would simply be motivators. But this contest is who can rack up the most women who will order large amounts of inventory, sell off a portion, and sit on the rest in hopes that ONE DAY, she will “work harder” and try again. Brilliant!

And here is the bigger tragedy. If a director actually did achieve in honorable ways… who would believe her after all we’ve seen? Mary Kay is guilty of preferring this way of doing business in order to reap the most profit, knowing full well what fraud exists. They simply make more money, letting it go on. They do not require sales tickets because it would prove how fancifully they lie.

They grabbed us by exaggerating dissatisfaction in our lives, and then continued to play that card all through our careers, using slogans and “positive mental attitude” to lock us in for as long as possible, hoping that what they were promising the sale force would come to pass.

And while we proceeded on, destroying our financial security to make their profit, we rationalized that a company this good would never take advantage of us. We could not have been more foolish or more wrong. The one slogan we have all heard years ago, before we ever got in to this, does remain to be true. “If it sounds too good to be true, it isn’t.” Simply put, Mary Kay isn’t too good to be true because it is not good.


  1. raisinberry

    What astounds me is that it still works! In 2020, will so many people on to the MLM game, they still sucker in women, who blindly believe and repeat every slogan, jingle, or quip , seemingly content to never get a real or decent answer to their objections.

    You bring about what you think about was another one. How many of you have “created” a new reality, like debt reduction, or became a car winner, or paid off your home, or got that promotion by “thinking about it”.

    If thinking produces action, planning, effort, follow through, that’s one thing…
    I’ve never heard one Mary Kayism that had the word, “Analysis” in it.
    Oh Wait! Yes I did.

    “Analysis paralysis”…like it was a bad thing.

    1. NayMKWay

      Well, if those cliches didn’t stop thought, they wouldn’t be called what they are. I think their manipulative power comes from the fact that they are pre-packaged and pulled out as needed, giving the recruiter an advantage over the recruit: they can respond to objections so quickly, the objections lose their strength. It’s like being in a debate where the opponent’s rhetoric is so rapid-fire that you feel intimidated and unable to keep up. You are rocked back on your emotional heels and vulnerable to manipulation at that point.

      A word to anyone who finds themselves at a recruiting meeting:
      Mary Kay and other MLMs pass out this verbal weaponry to out-gun the prospective recruits. The mistake people make is thinking they can out-argue the recruiter. Forget it; that’s just playing their game. Your best response is a simple “Nope, I don’t want to,” and don’t even bother to tell them why. If they ask why, do NOT try to come up with reasons, just demand that they respect your decision.

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