Good Directors and the Pollyanna Effect

Written by Raisinberry

We here at Pink Truth are still human. We didn’t de-fog out of Mary Kay and suddenly become vicious negative sub-human life forms, contrary to the Pink spin about this website.

It’s no wonder that NSDs really don’t want consultants or potential recruits coming to this site and reading an opposing view from what they are being told at a guest event or from a recruiter. The information here opens up doubt. When you read Pink Truth, suddenly your suspicions become confirmed.

But let’s face it, you already had the suspicions or you wouldn’t have been “looking.” You didn’t just “stumble across” Pink Truth. You had a crack in your positive mental attitude bubble and went looking for answers.

Supposedly there are “good” directors  in Mary Kay doing everything right, and they are not guilty of the things we bring out. I would say a high percentage of Pink Truth (former) directors would call themselves “good” directors. Good directors care for their teams and set a good example. They promote selling along with recruiting and attendance at all company events in order to constantly refurbish the “dream.” They teach about image and attitude and goal setting and 60/40 and full wagons and scripts that work.

They “bee-lieve” in the company and support their sister directors and national if they have one. They never talk about anything negative because they have been trained to believe that you never know when your negativity would cause the downfall of another who is questioning themselves or the company.

A “good” director would never be a party to the things that rob someone of their dreams. Yes, I think all of us here were “good” directors. So who are these “good directors” who stay in Mary Kay, who have settled on a completely different perception about the business?

When you limit the amount of information you will allow, as any good positive mental attitude groupie would, you have created a fantasy world where only hearts and flowers color your day. What appears to be a lifestyle of encouragement, seeing only the positive in all things, becomes dangerous behavioral ground when applying the same model to business dealings. Unbeknownst to us, in the real world of business outside the “pink bubble,” some behaviorists and human resource professionals call this the Pollyanna effect.

In a paper written in 2005, by members of the management studies department at the University of Minnesota, (Goel, Bell and Pierce – “The Perils of Pollyanna-Development of the Over-Trust Construct”) the authors dig into the Pollyanna-ish notion that everyone is worthy of trust and everything should be viewed with only the best possible intentions. Life handing you lemons in which to make lemonade may sound all cheery and right, until one determines that there might be a reason you are constantly being pelted with lemons.

While Pollyanna might continue to believe she needs to get out another pitcher and ice, as we would have been taught in Mary Kay, one wonders why she doesn’t stop to evaluate why she’s a target. The “Positive Mental Attitude” model reveals the danger in never evaluating the cause of the reoccurring trouble.

At the source is what Pierce, Bell and Goel state is “over trust”, which results in “leniency in judgment over your trustors (influencers), delay in perceiving exploitation, and increased risk-taking. ”

Mary Kay is a model of the Pollyanna effect and its debilitating outcome in that all of us who succumbed to the teaching soon found ourselves unable to suspect our mentors of any exploitation at all, and certainly our influencers/mentors could not possibly be guilty of such a thing, they were “women of excellence.” And of course we trusted the career path and those who taught it, and to be negative was seen as a sure way to be defeated, so with our wide eyed Pollyanna beliefs, we took greater personal risks, hoping against hope that all would turn out well. “Just think positive and Bee-lieve!”

Every event, every meeting, every tape produced by Mary Kay and the NSDs is designed to foster “trust” in what they are telling you. By omitting any negative downside, you are swept away in a construct of “over trusting” which is why you went for years doing the same things over and over again, with less and less ability to evaluate the consequences.

No balanced evaluation was permitted, as you searched for what was positive in the negative scenario you were witnessing. This very effect is why Mary Kay has never grown out of this model. Mary Kay cannot evaluate. Mary Kay can only “redouble our efforts to think positively” and “press on.”

Likewise, the many “good directors” are trapped in a “glad game” exercising their blind trust in the women above them, who believe in the woman who started it all, without any serious evaluation of the thousand upon thousands of women who stopped and reflected and evaluated whether the trust was warranted and the truth was shared.

It’s hard to believe that such a seemingly noble attitude of positivity is actually a formula for exploitation in the hands of the unscrupulous. The idea that nothing perceived to be negative is allowable for discussion or reflection is to remain a child, living in a world of pretense, hands clasped tightly over the eyes and ears, humming a tune. Our director and consultant friends, particularly those who are being coerced up the career path are being exploited for their trust. They cannot read this site because it will shatter their rose colored glasses: treasured beliefs that have held them in Pollyanna’s world for so long will come crashing to the ground.

When you have believed so much, trusted so much in those you thought were telling you the truth, let every defensive barrier down, and practiced only positivity in the face of every warning buzzer that went off, while burying every suspicion- chastising yourself for ever thinking badly, you are an example of a Pollyanna in Peril. We who have come here are not “negative”…we have simply evaluated the whole picture and have now seen the cost of blind belief.

Every unit has members buried in debt, chasing recognition and prizes. Every director knows that she has “over ordered” inventory — not based on sales but on survival or upline pressure. Every director knows that consultants come in and flush out, and never question if there is a problem or solution. Every director knows they have slanted their training and counsel, omitting the full story and hiding from the consultant, anything that might discourage them (like the fact that they pay for their “free” car).

We urge you to open your eyes, you who are also “good directors” and evaluate whether being a Pollyanna has served you well, and even more importantly, whether those who follow you deserve the same fate.


  1. Wow. This is so good Raisinberry!

    This jumped out at me:
    “Every event, every meeting, every tape produced by Mary Kay and the NSDs is designed to foster ‘trust’ in what they are telling you.”

    There is a parallel to building “trust”, and that is building “confidence”. It is an age-old practice to lower someone’s defenses by building “confidence” in the one seeking the target. Such purveyors of confidence were known as “confidence men”, which over time was shortened to simply “con-men”.

    Whether it be trust or confidence, it is there for the same reason: to get the target to volunteer to be exploited, willingly but unknowingly.

  2. Even the original Pollyanna wasn’t wilfully blind to negativity the way the huns are. She knew her life was difficult and and she played the glad game in order to make it bearable, and even she got depressed after she was crippled.

    The huns are more like Pangloss: “this is the best of all possible worlds” even when you’re facing execution and every natural disaster at once.

  3. Today’s article reminds me of the movie “The Truman Show” starring Jim Carey. One day he starts suspecting things aren’t the way they are presented to him; starts asking questions, and is ostracized. Eventually, though, he is able to literally break out of his bubble…and see things AS THEY TRULY ARE.

  4. A few key things that made me “a good director” wake up from the hypnotism that is mk culture.

    1. I realized that everyone was faking it till the day make it, which… the idea of that concept is good. But when everyone is faking it, how do you know if anybody is actually making it? A 10k month check from 6 years ago clearly is an indicator that things aren’t all peachy. ** If you are a director, do a breakdown of how much money an average unit club or pink Cadillac qualifying director will take home per year after removing ALL expenses. Don’t forget meeting room rentals, prizes, events, Suits, quarterly director packages, etc. they don’t make much money at all. The plastic, rhinestone, and metal jewelry is just a show to attract unknowing potential recruits.

    2. Directors talking at retreats about money management, dealing with debt, and realizing many of them had massive debt was also a wake up call to me. I realized quickly that nobody NOBODY who was (perceived to be) at the top stuck to the 40/60 split. If they did, they wouldn’t have been able to attend conferences, order their red jacket/suits, order unit prizes, attend workshops, section 2, and order more wholesale for goals or company promotions when their actual sales/skin care classes were not selling substantial amounts of product. Because all of those things should only take up 10% of their total sale in the 40/60 split. I used to teach my unit members it should be more if a 50/10/40. (50% to replace or order the product , 40% pay yourself, and 10 for events, and supplies/ all other business related expenses. )

    3. I had a baby, and of my too 4 unit members, 3 of them were going through major personal crisis. (One had a parent dying for example, another was dealing with a sexual molestation case against the father of their child, another was the mother of the molester (properly recruited). When I got a letter from corporate about making unit production the following month after these very real situations were happening, it made me realize they were not as caring as I have always been told. Why should I, a mother of a newborn baby, need to work extra skin care classes and recruiting events to preserve my unit and efforts for all of h th r prior years? Why didn’t my 9k wholesale months average out for the month we did only 3400? Did my hard work previously mean nothing? We did finish the production the next month, but the resentment was also planted.

    4. I realized that “corporate only changes the products every 5-7 years” was literally a lie. Packaging changes and formula changes , and then re doing the color selections , discontinuing colors all count as changes. This made me realize that the customers were truly the consultants, the company does not care if you sell it. They care to sell changes to you. Not to the consumer. Another eye opener was realizing #1 best selling brand was a lie because how could they possibly know it’s selling?

    5. I realized * I * the “good director” was blindly victimizing people. Another way I tried to take my personal guilt away was to say to myself “she said she wanted to hold 4 skin care classes per week, so it’s not my fault she ordered it and didn’t do the work to sell it. She lied to me and it’s her fault for being lazy”. But when you realize that the average new consultant orders 1k inventory, the turnover rate is high, and they even teach you 30% doing nothing, 30% on their way out, and 30% working … what does that say about the morality of convincing all of them that they need to place a large order? (Knowing fully that most of them will not sell it or do anything with their business after the debut and first order)

    Those big realizations led to many other smaller lies getting uncovered… like not testing on animals, Mary Kay being married at least double the times we were told, being taught at Harvard, etc. Nothing was true anymore, including the sisterhood which dropped me like a lepar when I said I was leaving. Imagine the hurt, all of my friends from 10 years, gone within a week. And later the rumors of my husband being abusive, me being a drunk, or that I wasn’t working with god as my business partner. Truly a sign I was dealing with “ungodly” women.

  5. “It’s hard to believe that such a seemingly noble attitude of positivity is actually a formula for exploitation in the hands of the unscrupulous.”—

    Great article. Do you think people realize that bubbles don’t only come in pink? That they might be living in bubbles themselves, and that they are being hypocritical when they criticize Mary Kay consultants as a cult of believers?

    It makes sense why “fact-checking” is so so taboo for believers. When you have verifiable facts, you don’t need belief or faith. It blows their whole narrative out of the water, and it stops con artists in their tracks.


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