Denying the Reality of Mary Kay

Written by Raisinberry

Heartbreak is the only word that comes to mind, as we who have de-pinked, watch the parade of our friends going over the cliff, pursuing the Mary Kay “dream.”

For a long time, I actively cared about my senior director, my offspring, my fellow directors, and former unit members. I didn’t care much about my NSD. Even though I think she was in the pink fog, I think she was also well aware of the financial wreckage of all of her downline (current and past).

It is hard to believe that “denial” is a big enough word to cover it. We remember what it was to be fogged. When we were in MK, Pink Truth was the demon site. Women who were lazy, negative, hostile, ignorant, probably “C” personalities that always gave directors the most trouble ‘cause they just never were satisfied with our answers. Pink Truth members didn’t work Mary Kay the right way and just wanted to complain. Their failure was their own fault but they wanted to blame someone, bash the company, and ruin the dreams of others. Good riddance, we thought, to those Pink Truth members who left MK. But one day, we read more on Pink Truth. We couldn’t help ourselves. We came back and started reading and reading. We saw scenarios that we understood all too well. We used to think our Mary Kay failure was all our fault and that we weren’t doing things the right way. We found that the scripts and tactics used by the upline on us have been used for years. We saw that the shaming, the lying, all the dirty tactics are real and widespread.

The beginning of the end commenced. Today, far from the hoopla and hype, we can clearly evaluate what happened to us while in MK. Many of us are now watching our friends who are too afraid to look long and hard at this so-called opportunity. They make stupid decision after stupid decision because they still “bee-lieve.” We just can’t reach them. They won’t let us. (Not yet, anyway. Many come around if given enough time.)

A couple of years after I left Mary Kay, my senior director had to start paying for her Cadillac. She motivated my friend who stayed in, to become one of the “big girls.” My friend thought she owed her “success” to me because I believed in her for all those years. She was told I went “negative.” My cautionary tale fell on deaf ears. My friend decided she was going to be a top director. But within a few months of becoming a director, she went $9,000 into debt  just from her wholesale purchases (done to help cover the minimum production her unit needed, so she wouldn’t lose the director title, of course).

A woman who looked sharp and was willing, and wanted to matter and be accepted and important, slowly went into financial ruin, just to wear “big girl panties.” I was not able to reach her. I know my national and senior director saw exactly what my friend’s limitations were, and they happily took the wholesale from her anyway. I wonder how they thought she would ever catch up from $10,000 of debt the year before she became a director and the $9,000 after becoming a director? She hasn’t a chance in hell to move $38,000 worth of retail product at full price to pay that off, and nobody seems to want to face this level of opportunism.

The denial continues….


  1. Cindylu

    Years ago there was no PT. I did begin to see cracks in the veneer though. A local MK Red Jacket who was selling MK products in a beauty salon. She got very public accolades for her sales. A newly minted Director that quit immediately after Seminar. Those on the thrones giving their Yada Yada stories. They joined MK they ordered product and suddenly magically they were queen of sales. I listened hard to try to figure out exactly what steps were taken to get through Red Jacket, DIQ, and eventually to NSD. In my unit three DIQ’s were sabotaged by my SD and she took their recruits and customers. One made it to Director but rarely held meetings with my SD. It took her two tries to finally make it. Another Director living in a shabby row house. So much for executive income or empowering women. In the end two potential recruits who asked the same questions I was asking was a wake up call. Seeing directors boasting of a high pay check from years ago was another reminder that MK was not real. In blaming us, women are kept in the pink fog. Women are used to being denied many rights (Equal pay, affordable child care, family leave, safety etc). Women work in areas that are mostly under paid (Child care, Nursing, Retail, waitressing, Administration, Seniors Homes, cooking, cleaning, etc.). We try MK thinking a company founded by a woman will give us a level playing field. Instead we are given silly slogans, blamed, taken advantage of (With products unnecessarily changing and no where to advertise).

  2. Sandra Ellison

    Mary Kay has changed and not for the better. It has lost its heart. When Mary
    Kay ran the company she used to say “layer criticism with praise”. Not any more. The company is run by attorneys and a legal department. The focus instead of helping women has become the almighty dollar. Leaders and even top directors
    push consultants to order, order, order regardless of whether they are selling it.
    They are even told to give it away “just move it off your shelves”. Prizes and
    contests are used to urge consultants to order. To receive all your recruiting
    commissions you must order a minimum of $1000 a year or $225 a quarter. To get any discount you must order or have ordered a $225 wholesale order within 3 months. Within the last three years the company changed its entire product line leaving consultants with discontinued products on their shelves and no way to sell it. Even customers were not happy about the changes. Consultants are threatened
    with lawsuits and termination if they sell online or at other events. Consultants are
    left with hundreds, even thousands of dollars of limited edition and discontinued
    products. There is no buy back program for this except for one when the
    consultant chooses to terminate and then it’s limited and you are then terminated.
    If you are defrauded by an unscrupulous buyer on the company’s website, the
    Company will not support you. You are left holding the bag and suffer the loss. It is
    all about the company, not the consultant. Just realize if you sign up to sell Mary Kay, you will probably be in debt to the tune of thousands of dollars.

    1. TRACY

      The company hasn’t changed. It was ALWAYS predatory. You should read about how Mary Kay dangled cheap trinkets to get women to order. It’s always been the same scam. The difference is that it used to have a little old lady with a bad wig as its mascot.

    2. NayMKWay

      Mary Kay was never worthy of praise; its heart has always been black. Anyone with any sense of decency would have changed the business model once they saw how many were being hurt by it. But when Mary Kay Ash herself wrote that keeping women onboard was like trying to fill a bathtub with the drain open, or that women walked in the front door and out the back, you would expect that to be followed by some introspection. Why is everyone quitting all the time? Why do I need to constantly recruit just to keep up with attrition?

      She asked herself none of those things. She didn’t care that recruits were being hurt emotionally and financially. She just pushed everyone to recruit harder because what she had was working–for her.

      Hey, it kept her in cheap wigs and pink Cadillacs, right?


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