[Red:] Today we have a story from “Tilly”, an ex-Younique presenter who wishes to remain anonymous, revealing the truth of the ‘Y-Sisterhood’. Thank you for sharing your story with us!
Before reading her story, please remind yourself that all views presented in this blog are as told to us by the authors, and simply reflect their own opinions. Your own personal experiences with multi-level marketing companies may differ, negatively or positively. All names and identifying details have been changed at the author’s request.
If You Seek Amy
[Tilly:] I can’t remember how Amy ended up on my Facebook, but I remember seeing her post about makeup – some brand called Younique I’d never heard of. I always loved makeup and I watched her for a couple of months to see what all the buzz was about.
Eventually, curiosity got the better of me. I knew what MLM was – I had a couple of Facebook friends peddling everything from shakes to moisturiser – and (foolishly) assumed it was a good way to make some extra pocket money. Kat the Juice Plus ‘hun’ seemed to be doing alright for herself after all.
So I dropped Amy a message for some more info. I figured it was worth a shot. I liked makeup, I liked talking about makeup, so if I could earn a few extra quid doing it, why not? But more than anything, the thing that reeled me in was the ‘sisterhood’.
I got all my sisters and me
I had been taking medication for depression and Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD) for a year or so, so the idea of making new friends and finding a support system appealed. Amy always seemed so upbeat and positive, and the ‘taster’ groups she added me into were the same – everyone was so welcoming, so motivated. It was contagious.
I handed over my £69 starter kit fee.
In the few months that I was with Younique, I probably only made £100 in commission. I never made it past White Status and I never recruited anyone. But I didn’t really mind – what Younique had given me was worth so much more.
I went to jumble sales, I did house parties and I did Facebook lives. All with varying degrees of success, and most of which I look back on now and cringe at, but for someone who had previously been unable to leave her house, I was so proud of myself.
I shared my story with other girls on the team, and was overwhelmed by their support. I became a true believer in the Younique mission. There was a weekend convention taking place in a few weeks time, and I agreed to go and meet some of the girls there.
The Great Depression
Of course, eventually my mental health demons appeared again. My medication was doubled and I was referred for therapy.
Things in my personal life also started to hit rock bottom. I lost my job, my relationship with my fiancé was on the rocks and I was the lowest I had ever felt.
I spoke to Amy about my troubles, but her ‘support’ was half-hearted. She encouraged me to use my redundancy as an excuse to ‘smash my business full-time’ – but on £30 commission a month and a mortgage to pay, it just wasn’t possible. She seemed annoyed – she had been gunning for a promotion to Green Status for months, and I was her ‘rockstar teamie’.
Instead, I took some time to focus on getting better. Every time Amy asked me about the conference I said the same thing: ‘I’m not sure, it depends on how I’m feeling nearer the time.’ Meanwhile, she started making plans with the other girls in our team chat.
The weekend of the conference came, and I spent both days at home in my pyjamas, unable to get out of bed. I hadn’t spoken to Amy for a couple of weeks, but I could see from Facebook that she was loving life at the conference.
The end of the road
That’s when I started getting the texts:
Where the f**k are you? I checked at the door and you didn’t even register for a ticket. What the f**k?
I froze. I felt sick. I hate any kind of conflict. I didn’t realise it was so important — we hadn’t spoke for weeks, surely she’d assumed I wasn’t going? I felt guilty. I typed out my reply:
“…I’m so sorry Amy, I’m just really struggling at the moment. I didn’t realise you were counting on me to be there, I thought you’d be having fun with the other girls there…”
“…Yeah right. You’re such a bitch, you’ve made me look stupid in front of everyone. You’re supposed to be on my team supporting me…”
I cried for the rest of the weekend. I thought Amy was my friend, but I was wrong. She just wanted to look like a good team leader in front of the uplines.
The next day I left the group chat. I left all the groups I had been added into. I unfriended all the team. I was done.
A couple of days later I got a text from Amy:
“…Thanks for removing yourself from all my groups, saves me the effort of doing it myself! I’ve tried to support you and this is what I get, nasty bitch!”
“…Hi Amy, after our last conversation I assumed we were done. You attacked me when you know how much I’ve been struggling lately and I just don’t think this is for me anymore…”
What ensured was a two hour onslaught of messages via text, WhatsApp and Facebook. After a while I stopped trying to explain myself, and I just blocked her.
But every time I blocked Amy on one medium, she appeared on another. She had multiple Facebook accounts so that when she was caught spamming by Facebook and banned she could pop up again. She logged into all her accounts to contact me. One message stuck out.
“…No wonder you need help, you’re f**ked up in the head. Good riddance…”
That was like a slap in the face. After everything I’d shared with her about my issues. I typed a single reply:
“…I thought Younique was supposed to be about empowering and supporting women, not tearing them down. Do not contact me again, or I’ll show these messages to Head Office…”
I blocked her for a final time.
A year on
Looking back now, I realise that Amy was never my friend, I was a recruit. I was there to get her what she needed to move up the pyramid. Meanwhile, I got married, got a new job and started a career that pays way more than I could’ve made with Younique.
I hear Amy is still going strong in the team, but I don’t know if she ever got her promotion.
[Red:] Thank you, Tilly for kindly sharing your MLM experience. If you have any questions for her, please add them below and we will ensure they reach her.
Further Reading & Support
- Our Younique category, or our own Elle Beau’s blog!
- If you find yourself in Tilly’s position, take a look at this selection from our General Advice category: