pyramid scheme

Beware, “Boss Babes” of Missoula, you aren’t gonna like this one.

The most annoying aspect to the internet — apart from, you know, the alt-right — is the advertising. Ads are obnoxious enough when they’re in the corner of my screen and eerily specific to my last conversation (or internal thought?) But ads in my timeline however, from people I hardly remember from high school who post 16 times a day about changing their lives with makeup? This is my special hell.

Hell yeah, gang, we’re talking about pyramid schemes. I mean, uh, multilevel marketing systems. There’s a specific and minute difference between pyramid schemes and MLMs that might get me sued if I don’t point it out so: A pyramid scheme’s entire purpose is to recruit newbies. An MLM has a product it pushes, and recruitment is only like 90 percent of the source of profit.

But back to pyramid schemes. We’ve got Younique, Herbalife, ItWorks and so, so many more. Sometimes they don’t even have a brand in the advertisement; it’s just a vague Facebook status about how wealthy they’ve become off their couch, and it only cost $99.99 upfront. And honestly, if achieving that wealth only took $100 and embarrassing myself on Facebook, I’d be down in an instant. Frankly, I’m kind of surprised I didn’t try it out when I was 18 and stupider.

To be frank, I don’t know much about MLMs beyond the fact that my too-good-to-be-true instincts tell me to run whenever I’m confronted with them. However, after watching eight-plus hours of YouTube broads narrating their departure from Younique, I noticed a few trends. For starters, a majority of MLMs target young mothers and use generic phrases like, “Who wouldn’t want to stay home with their kids?” to guilt trip potential “representatives” into spending the money to join. I also noticed you have a better chance of getting benefits as a freelance taste-tester than a direct sales representative.

I can’t speak for the quality on any MLM product. Mostly because I’ve never been willing to talk to any of the girls from my high school who sell them, but also because according to the internet, MLMs’ products are both overpriced and of poor quality.

But even if the product quality were exceptional, I’d still feel a little dirty supporting MLMs after hearing a few stories from former reps. Local mother and former Younique rep Jessica Lee says, “I was spending $120/month and then some on makeup just to keep my business from getting shut off.”

It’s not just the little fish who are exiting the pond. Kara Newton, a former Black Status leader (apparently that’s a good thing) and self-proclaimed six-figure earner, left at her peak because, in her own words, she was losing her inner peace over “some things that you can only see and hear as top leaders.”

Moral of the story, kids, is to never pay a job to hire you and never pay it to keep you around. This goes for agents, managers and, yes, boss babes.