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

Waiting to Be Validated in Mary Kay

Written by Raisinberry

There appears to be a common denominator, in my opinion, with women who suffer the most from their Mary Kay career. I am talking about those who fell for it hard.

I think I might be on to something regarding why the whole recruitment scam, and subsequent huge financial loses, occur. Just being a part of Mary Kay for many long years, and watching those who stay far too long sucked in by “the dream”, as well as those who come here to recover, there appears to be a female characteristic that is being exploited.

It isn’t recognition, significance, or needing cash so much as a tendency by women to accept less than the best regarding their own lives. It is a learned behavior, born out of sacrifice, expectation and servanthood, that traps women into this financially predatory scheme. It is a willingness to accept the crumbs from the table, the lower wage, the leftovers, rather than draw the boundaries of what is personally acceptable and what is not.

In other words, the typical woman exploited in MLM schemes like Mary Kay, is used to being happy just getting a positive morsel and will wait at the table rationalizing until she gets another.

That sounds harsh but please remember, I, myself stayed too long at the fair.

Women with an accurate self appraisal would never be manipulated into doing something, over and over again that was destructive to their own future. But women are notoriously “givers” and are quick to sacrifice themselves for the sake of another. In the hands of a predator, women can be duped easily into taking on personal risk, by having unclear boundaries as to who they really are, and what they really deserve, especially if they have been raised with a deficit of attention.

Pleasing someone else appeals to that servant’s heart, and a negative self appraisal is quieted by a pop of validation. For example, selling even one item can send a rush up the arm that provides that quick fix of adrenaline and comfort that this woman needs. Recognition in the form of an “atta girl” is also a morsel of acceptance that she might go after to feel good and get a “fix”.

If she is used to getting very little attention, she lives on the toss offs of others in her life, grateful for even the slightest nod. Most women I know will say they feel undervalued in their families and under appreciated, and have come to “live” on very little in terms of validation. A woman who is underappreciated, either by her husband, her family or who was raised in any variety of abusive homes becomes a candidate for these types of fuzzy boundaries, often times hurting herself just to find approval.

Fuzzy boundaries are exploited by motivational, manipulative, money grubbing schemes masquerading as profitable businesses, because they “sell” recognition and significance. They promote class envy by leaving the wannabees out of the grander appreciation events. They play to insecurities, and bait the deepest longings of women to be valued and needed and important to a team or community. And to the extent that this aspect of femaleness is wounded in you, you will accept morsels of attention while you patiently wait for a tangible, solid solution.

That month end call to just “stretch” and do another $200 because we are “so close to the goal” is targeted precisely at you because you always come through. It is important to you that you are seen as a valued member. You do it to your own detriment, because your need is great. You want to matter. If you understood deeply inside yourself that you “matter” already, this silly act of financial madness would have no power over you.

These pyramids count on this weakness in women. They put in motion, an insecurity building game and then exploit you with your response to it.

If you get nothing else from this article, get that. They set the stage to produce insecurity in you, hoping you will respond by racing ahead to achieve significance and quiet the growing doubt. If there is any weakness in your self appraisal you will fall victim to it.

That is why some women, who appear angry and strong come here and just can’t get that you would be so stupid to have lost thousands of dollars buying Mary Kay products for stupid ladders or stars. These women have a low “servant” quotient and high self esteem. (Perhaps not accurate, just high). Having an honest self appraisal and a desire to do right, helping others and at the same time recognizing that there are sensible limits to helping others, are key factors in our recovery. We can not let this happen again.

When a company creates exclusivity the way Mary Kay does, it goes way past the “perks” of upper management in Corporate America. The romancing of prizes, suits and uniforms, cars, stage walks, name badge ribbons, special seating, special eating areas closed off from the non achievers, all contribute to a culture that thinks that dangling carrots produce the best results while creating discontent in a large segment of consultants.

Since the method to reach higher heights involves dishonesty, the underachievers are always in a self deprecating mode, feeling inadequate and insecure. As insecurity and self doubt grow, the desire to achieve rises, placing that woman in the crosshairs of her own personal integrity. Cheered on by her Directors encouragement, she “makes a way”. What she doesn’t know is that there is no quieting the doubt in Mary Kay because every achievement is met with another challenge and laurels you may have earned are soon whisked away.

There is no level in Multi-level that does not spit you out upon achieving it, in another place of comparison. You never “arrive” and you have been convinced by this method that you never should. Your life should be constant striving, because a “morsel” never fills. Each new level plagues the achiever with new dissatisfaction. You are a Senior Director? When will you be a Future Executive Senior? (Is there more a silly title imaginable?) You are a Cadillac Director? When will you be a trip winner? On and on, even to National. Are you an Inner Circle National? Or just a wannabee? So they race on, chasing morsels and crumbs thrown from the Tippy Top NSD or Director’s table.

The message is clear. You never measure up. Striving = significance. Oh if that were true. You were meant for so much more.

Your significance has nothing to do with a suit you wear, a pin you put on, a special seat you sit upon or which dining room you qualify for. If you were chasing any of that to once and for all, quiet that voice inside your head which says you are not where you need to be, release it. It is a carefully crafted manipulation to hook your wounded soul and extract your money, resources, time and talent. It is the M.O. of the multi-levels, all portrayed to be such motivational harmless fun.

Excellence in what you do is a reward that is real. It isn’t made of fake gold tone or plastic gemstones. It isn’t hype. It is quiet reassurance. It isn’t noisy, with tears and fanfare and crescendos. Learn to recognize the real thing, which is that your significance is in your very life, the fact that you think and breathe. The fact that you are. It is your honesty toward living that gives you all the security you need.

Pursuit of excellence will naturally get you where you want to go, without need of comparing yourself to others, captivated by envy and most certainly without stepping on and over others as you manipulate them into financial destruction.

Never again, give ground or attention to any voice that seeks to disquiet you by concentrating on your supposed “lack”. Recognize the manipulation -the bait- to make you feel “less than” others and dismiss it. And most importantly, never settle for morsels when your creator has prepared for you, a feast.

Mary Kaybots used to always say “raise your deserve level”. I think I now can agree with that whole heartedly. The best lies always have a bit of truth to them. You definitely need to raise your deserve level. Raise it so high, that Mary Kay and all the self serving MLM con games can never again stretch high enough to reach you. You were meant for so much more.


  1. Popinki

    The more I learn about how MLMs exploit our emotional wounds, the angrier I get. There have been times in my life where I’ve been desperate for attention and approbation, even if it was fake, and would have done whatever it took to get it.

    Anyone from any background, income level, intelligence level, race or creed can have low self-esteem. You don’t automatically have confidence because you’re rich or graduated from a premier school.

    My mother had a lot of great qualities but she was a perfectionist. She was also a bit cold emotionally and reserved praise for when SHE was happy with the results so I never quite felt like I was good enough. The result was I fell in with a group of toxic friends and it took me way too long to see the toxicity because they at least accepted me for what I was. I tried way too hard for far too long to keep the friendships going because they were all I had and had put so much into it already (the sunk-cost fallacy doesn’t just apply to finance) until things hit a crisis point and my own bubble popped.

    After it popped, I was angry, lashing out, feeling worthless again.

    Replace a perfectionist mother with any recipe for low self-esteem you like, replace the toxic friends with some Mary Kay ladies with their rah-rah girrrrrlfriend mentality as long as you keep buying enough stuff to keep them at their desired level, and the crisis with the husband discovering the hidden credit card debt, the director telling you you didn’t work hard enough when you’d been working your fanny off like a good little Kaybot, or what have you.

    Replace me lashing out with the ones who pop up here saying you’re all a bunch of wrinkled meanies. Maybe their bubble is about to pop and they’re expressing their fear and frustration.

    To them, I say that finding the worth within yourself and learning to like yourself can be the hardest thing you ever do, but it’s the best thing you can do. However it takes, whether it’s therapy, medication (there is no shame in mental illness and the more people who work to remove the stigma the better) or anything else.

    And when you do, tell your story and spread the word about how mercenary companies

    1. Popinki

      Hit submit too soon :facepalm:

      And when you do, tell your story and spread the word about how mercenary companies exploit your vulnerabilities to line their own pockets at your expense. If it’s a wake-up call for even one person, your ordeal was worth it.

  2. Data Junkie

    This is beautiful, Raisinberry. Signs of true greatness include deep-rooted integrity and the uplifting of those around you. Such attributes are nowhere to be found in Mary Kay.

    Mary Kay directors take far more from their consultants than they ever give. In order for all of this to “work”, the directors need to find selfless women to join their team. Since exploitation is a requirement for financial success in May Kay, selflessness then becomes the most desirable attribute in a consultant.

    Great work, Raisinberry.

  3. morningstar

    Received an out of the blue email this am from a director asking me to join MK as a personal use consultant. The same one who told me that it was beneath her “personal use” sign ups last oct 2021 at the county fair.

    Had to remember who is this name on the email? Then yeppers- end of the yearly body count needs to be turned in soon! like in 2 days. lol.

    ignore, blocked and deleted email sender. Very proud of myself thanks to this Pink Truth healing community. Directors are out for the last of the last be careful out there.

  4. morningstar

    Self love is key. Boundaries are key. MK fundamental tactics are ‘turkey vultures’ waiting for anyone to have a slight dent in the psyche. Love thyself not what MK projects onto you. Very tough life lessons.


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