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

Loyalty, Hope, and Denial

mary-kay-abuseWritten by Raisinberry

A while back I got to wondering about all the women who are aware of Pink Truth, perhaps have read it from time to time, and still remain in Mary Kay, under some of the most damning “I stories” they could encounter.

The easy suggestion might be the “positive mental attitude” mantra that is so thick in Mary Kay circles. God knows you aren’t allowed to voice any business concerns or else ye shall be shunned. Mountains of objection-covering scripts exist to thwart that newbie who comes back to Miss Director with an accusation. She hasn’t a chance.

So, for a while I thought it was ignorance of the truth that no one can share, and belief in the expertly crafted propaganda of the upline. It seems to me the more you think about the activities and functions of multi-levels such as Mary Kay (there is no such thing as dual marketing…duel marketing maybe…) you also see the snare of emotional traits, like loyalty and denial.

In the hands of an expert manipulator, your LOYALTY is richly rewarded with time and attention, leaving you unable to believe that these women have an ulterior motive. The “uplines” that have years of experience know exactly how money is made in Mary Kay, and they know exactly how many losses occur. They know which directors are drowning in debt trying to save units and cars and make unit clubs, and they do not discourage them.

They sell them HOPE. They count on loyalty, with denial being an offspring, fueled by hope. These three characteristics will cloud the mind from evaluating and to the degree that you function at high levels of any of them, will keep you pretending that your Mary Kay career is reputable.

I want to reach my friends. They are good people. They are blinded by their loyalty and trapped in DENIAL. They have been taught some of the best rationalizations for why women “fail” in MK so they refuse to believe it is a con. It couldn’t be. Our NSDs are Christian women are they not? Don’t they “bee-lieve” in us? Even without any evidence that we would be great? Can’t they see our potential? Isn’t that worth supporting?

Want to test that? Bring all of the concerns you read about on Pink Truth to your national sales director. Tell her you will not bring another woman into this business until you get satisfactory answers for the frontloading, the lack of true sales performance tracking, the truth about “profit level”, the lack of ongoing real sales training beyond platitudes, the lack of recognition for longevity and expertise, the lack of real business management training, and the truth about the pyramid hidden by the product.

When she grabs her heart and fakes an attack, you’ll have your answer. Soon after, you will experience shunning on a new level, because once your loyalty is in question, you are no longer “director material”. If you can’t challenge your upline because you fear repercussion, you are already aware that you are being controlled and that is one of your proofs that you are functioning in denial. Reread that. If you already know that challenging will cause you distress, you ALREADY KNOW you are functioning in denial and pretense.

The skilled “top director” will attempt to diffuse your concerns by stating some “facts” about winners and losers. You will be told that if you work the business you get results. Consistency is the key. Are you working as much as you could? (Is anyone?) Your answer will be no, and your own words will convict you. Case closed.

That means that anyone on Pink Truth just didn’t “work the business.” We are summarily dismissed. It will take a paradigm shift to regain your logic and counter attack. Are we here because we failed? Or are we here because we succeeded? What could possibly fuel women staying on board, years after the fact, to warn others? If we failed at MK, would we continually put it out there for all to see?

No, we are here because for the most part our membership succeeded, and it was how “success” was accomplished, maintained, and featured to others that eventually corrupted our consciences. We are telling the world “the rest of the story.” The dirty little secrets that keep the con alive. The women on PT who may not have gotten high up the career path, “didn’t succeed” because they were unwilling to “make it happen.”

Make it happen is a euphemism for “get the charge card out.” Women on PT who left before they became directors, evaluated the cost of the word… “S t r e t c h” and decided that stretching was not an option. That most likely kept them no higher than red jackets. Lazy Losers one and all.

It’s a hard thing to reassess what is in front of you, stripping the fakery away. It is an easy thing to see if the countless women you have known in Mary Kay are all doing well, building huge client bases, gaining teams, or if what you really see if the constant churning of personnel, ripping through their warm market and dying out—OR— being escorted up the career path into the land of big debt? I would ask all Directors out there, to be honest, and ask yourself what keeps them? Their loyalty? Their belief? Their hope in what you tell them and their denial in what they see.

It is your failure to tell the truth about your own circumstance, that exploits that loyalty. It is your hope that your NSD is telling the truth that exploits yours. The top of the pyramid will always point to their success and say “you can too.” There’s that hope again. And because evaluation is not allowed, you will believe that her situation was identical to yours and can be duplicated. If you believe that statement is true, you are in extreme denial. You will spin your wheels until you finally become just enough unethical to make the numbers jive at any cost. All the many nationals who did such things apparently didn’t realize that the directors involved would talk. They have. It’s out of the bag, and it’s only the graciousness of the women here and the site owner that the names are not published.

Mary Kay produces wreckage in the lives of the women striving to reach the pinnacle, denying what the reality is of their “businesses” and forcing them to pass this “opportunity” on to others. It is consultant and director loyalty that keeps them in long past rational thought, and their hope that makes them believe in the words of their mentors.

Their mentors NEED them to continue on regardless of their “success” level or “failure” level because the pyramid collapses if directors face their financial ruin too early. Their loyalty is exploited, their hope maintained, and their denial in full bloom, which is why whistle blowers are called “losers” and charged with failing to work their business, while top directors and NSD’s are called “successful.”

They are successful. Sadly, so were many of us.


  1. Kristen

    Another great article by Raisinberry. Critics of Pink Truth, please remember that it is not just Pink Truth. There is evidence everywhere online that MLM’s are bad news. The secret is out. Yes, Mary Kay IS an MLM. They try to hide behind the semantics of “Dual Marketing” now but in my day, they called themselves an MLM because it was before people got wise to that term.

  2. Data Junkie

    Well said Rasinberry. It is impossible to be a “success” in Mary Kay and be blind to the financial carnage lower down in the ranks. You can only deny this reality for so long before you either embrace it (and then lie about it), or get out (as Rasinberry and others have done) as a matter of conscience.

    Every director in Mary Kay who is generating true positive cash flow for herself (and these are a scant few) knows very well that the key to continued success in Mary Kay is a high churn rate of down-line consultants placing as-large-as-possible initial inventory orders, and then where possible, personal stretch orders from existing consultants who still have room on their personal credit cards.

    The fact that sales to outside customers have no part this equation shows exactly why this is all such a scam.

  3. Mountaineer95

    For the MK faithful reading this excellent (and very TRUE) post, if/when you decide to leave MK (and lose all of the MK friends you thought you had), please come hang out with us. We will welcome you with open arms.

  4. NayMKWay

    Another great Raisinberry article! My favorite was the “alternate spelling” of “dual marketing.” This phrase popped into my head:

    “Duel Marketing: Recruit your own competition!”


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