A long time ago, in the 1990s, a good friend of mine attempted to lure me into a pyramid scheme.
He invited a number of friends to what we thought was going to be one of his usual fun house parties - but instead, it shocked the pants off us all when we were forced into a small dimly lit room containing rows of chairs, a screen and an overhead projector.
Let’s just say the party was a fizzer from the moment a picture of a pyramid graph was projected onto the screen, and he commenced his presentation on how we all had the potential to become millionaires… All of us were forever wary of accepting another invitation.
On Mamamia Out Loud, we talk about a brand of vaccine hesitancy emerging in women of a certain age. Post continues below.
That was the moment, too, I realised that any business model that remotely resembled a pyramid scheme or multi-level-marketing structure was slightly shady, and definitely not one I would ever endorse.
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If that’s not an alert to many that MLM’s are not legitimate businesses, then I don't know how else to state it.
Before the self-proclaimed MLM #bossbabes unleash their venom (or start burning sage or spritzing the screen with essential oils to rid my negative energy) you may find I have a point.
I don’t really care how other parents raise their kids, that’s their business - and I usually mind mine, unless I feel that I should speak out. Especially when it involves children being exploited online.
If recruiting friends, family members and strangers and luring them to join you on your MLM journey, by use of extreme ‘love-bombing’ and manipulation, is your jam, then who am I to tell you what’s right for you?
However, when you’re using your babies or young children in your posts, reels and IG videos because they’re ‘cute’, to generate and recruit new followers - and for the pursuit of wealth - then that doesn’t quite sit right with me.
I’ve had a few friends who’ve complained to me that long-lost acquaintances have contacted them on socials for recruitment purposes. I’ve even had a couple of random ‘Hey Hun’ DM’s myself, asking whether I’d be interested in joining their wonderful communities, offering me amazing business and lifestyle opportunities, should I opt into the world of Network Marketing.
So me being me, rather than deleting the messages instantaneously, I did some research.
This lead me to a number of social media accounts run by women with babies and young children, with visually appealing homes, looking eerily similar due to their use of neutral filters and earthy tones, selling a lifestyle and a community of friendship within these network marketing 'business opportunities'.