Mary Kay: Like a legal crack addiction, only worse

To anyone who is suffering (or has suffered) through the sad and unfortunate experience of observing a loved one caught up in the pink fog of Mary Kay Cosmetics, the comparison between a woman consumed by Mary Kay to an addict—be it gambling or drugs—is a familiar one.
Crack Addict
Unfortunately, women caught up in Mary Kay frequently exhibit extremely similar behaviors as those with addiction problems–including the highs and lows associated with addiction, as noted here:

During the winning phase, consultants experience a big sale – or a series of sales – that leaves them with unreasonable optimism that their success will continue. This leads them to feel great excitement, and they begin increasing their Mary Kay activity and ordering.


During the losing phase, the consultants often begin thinking about big sales they have had in the past and borrow money – legally or illegally. They start lying to family and friends and become more irritable, restless and withdrawn. Their home life becomes more unhappy, and they are unable to pay off debts. The consultants begin to “chase” their losses, believing they must work harder and order bigger to cover their losses.

During the desperation phase, there is a marked increase in the time spent on Mary Kay. This is accompanied by remorse, blaming others and alienating family and friends. Eventually, the may engage in illegal acts to finance their Mary Kay activity. They may experience hopelessness, suicidal thoughts and attempts, arrests, divorce, alcohol and/or other drug abuse, or an emotional breakdown.

Keepin’ it real…

Unlike those addicted to gambling or drugs, there are some unique differences with Mary Kay addiction problems that go beyond what some would consider ‘normal’ addictive behavior and it is worth noting some of those below.

  • Similar to crack dealers who lure their victims with a free “taste,” Mary Kay’s victims are often hooked with an invitation to a “party” where small samples are given to try out. They’re told that it won’t cost them anything…at least initially.

Unlike those with a Mary Kay addiction, most crack dealers prefer to keep it real:

  • Unlike Mary Kay, crack dealers don’t pretend that getting hooked on crack will be beneficial to a person’s family.
  • Like a crack addiction, women get quickly hooked on the “high” of Mary Kay and, often, when times take a turn for the worse, they don’t recognize it and end up ruining theirs and other lives.

    Unlike Mary Kay, however, most ‘crack heads’ realize that what they’re doing is wrong. For crack heads, it’s impossible to ‘fake it till they make it,’ so they don’t bother creating illusions of grandeur that do not exist.


  • Like a cartel controlling crack, Mary Kay operates on a pyramid-like, multi-level profit scheme with small-time players feeding the bigger fish in the food chain, all the way up to the sharks. [In the Mary Kay food chain, sharks are often referred to as NSDs.]

    Unlike a drug cartel, however, small-time Mary Kay dealers also get their merchandise straight from the cartel itself.

    In that sense, if their product wasn’t illegal, crack dealers could actually learn something from Mary Kay and other multi-level schemes that they have named “dual marketing”–selling drugs directly to low level dealers, while paying commissions to recruit more dealers.
  • Like a crack addiction, Mary Kay victims often go into debt once they burn through their cash.

    Unlike the drug trade (which usually operates on a cash-only basis), however, Mary Kay’s predators encourage women to go into debt immediately with credit cards and bank loans.
  • With crack, most families and loved ones would easily recognize the telltale signs of a crack addiction–rotten teeth, dramatic weight loss, and the like.

    A Mary Kay addiction is often hidden behind a mask of makeup and families are commonly told (or led to believe) that the Mary Kay addiction is helpful to the addict and her family.
  • Unlike most crack dealers, Mary Kay addicts are often led into their addiction using a variety of well-rehearsed, psychologically manipulative scripts.

Last, but not least, unlike crack dealers (who are equal opportunity offenders), Mary Kay specifically and discriminately targets women using the catchphrase “enriching women’s lives” while actually destroying them in many cases.



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