So, in a brief change of events, moving a little bit away from our usual technical discussions on MLMs, I’d like to tell you the story of the time I was accosted by a hunbro. And recently too, very, very recently.
I’ve started seeing a sports massage therapist to help loosen tension in my muscles and help with my recovery for olympic weightlifting. Let’s call him James. The first time I saw him was at the local therapy place where he rented a room, but he quickly told me he also does mobile and from his own studio at home, plus he’s a sparky in his other manly job (for those non Aussies, this means he’s also an electrician).
I like James. He has a firm touch but he seriously busts my knots out. The first time I met him, he was showing me a picture of his home studio, and happened upon a picture of his wife, Mary. It was a side-by-side comparison of her face and the skincare that “we” sold.
We … as in, her and you? The big burly, ocker Aussie tradie? I immediately smelled a rat.
A few weeks passed, and I had my second appointment. Hubby was also keen on having a massage, so I asked James to come over to our place. All was great, until the end when he forgot he had shown me the image of his wife before, and again he whipped it out to show me the skincare “we” sold. I said to him nicely, “Would you mind zooming in a bit so I can see it better?”
Lo and behold. there in a white solid font were the words “Rodan & Fields”.
My spidey sense was right, as it always is, after years of honing it on the job (my real, non pyramid scheme, job).
I laughed it off and moved on, booked my next appointment and forgot about it, but not before telling my pal, @RedCorvette.
So the Saturday that just passed was my third, and possibly last, appointment with James. What I did in the next few paragraphs may shock you, but in all honesty, I had been planning it. I had a feeling he would try and bait me again with this skincare that he and Mary sell.
Now a few facts before we continue:
- My skin — and I am thankfully somewhat genetically blessed I think, and I also attribute some of this to my excellent diet (no processed foods, refined foods, sugars or carbs) — is ridiculously clear. I may get a small zit or two around shark week or after prolonged sweating, but I otherwise have clear and soft skin. I drink lots of water, I eat good food, and I have excellent gut health. I attribute this as some of the reason I have really clear skin. Also, my mum is 60 this year and doesn’t look a day over 45, so I also attribute this genetic hand-me-down to her.
- Old mate, the sparky/massage therapist/hunbro James, is a really, really good massage therapist.
- His wife Mary is a certified and qualified beautician of at least 20 years, who shares the studio with him, for her beauty business.
- Also, from what I saw of her client book and her beauty room, Mary is making good coin. They’re going on an all-expenses-paid MLM trip/conference to Las Vegas in October this year for three weeks, potentially courtesy of Rodan & Fields, so she’s obviously some super gold diamond ruby sparkler of some sort.
So, after my massage, we hung around for a short while in enthusiastic conversation about electrical work and other things. He really is a very friendly guy and easy to get along with. Out of nowhere he said, “Wait here” and raced up to his house, which is also on this gorgeous Hinterland property on a few acres. Let me quickly rewind — just before this, we had been talking about how the lady he used to rent his massage room from in my town was trying to sell him her own, homemade skincare, made naturally in her studio, using a lot of local honey, herbs and milks, etc.
Now James launches into this grand tirade against her, and how she tried to put some of her product — I assume a cream or moisturiser of some sort — onto his face. In a dramatic move he clutched his cheeks and stumbled back, saying, “Don’t put that shit on me, I’m in the middle of a 60 day regimen!”
…….. Uuuuuh. Sixty day regimen …..?
In response, I mentioned a recent incident, when I went to this new local beauty therapist, who put her dodgy ass LipSense on my hand (a story for next week!), and how I asked her nicely to please not put that dodgy makeup on me as it not only stung, but I had my preferred makeup, and hadn’t heard anything positive about LipSense products.
This is when James bounded up the stairs and disappeared for a few moments. Hmmm.
He returns, clutching these three containers with “1, 2, 3” on them. He said, “Here, this is the skincare Mary and I sell …” before waffling off into the three step process developed by dermatologists, yada yada.
Now you’re probably thinking, what on this flat earth conspiracy theory bullshit is this anti-MLM activist doing? Aren’t they supposed to fight against them?
Yes, we are, and yes we do. But you know when you get that vibe off someone? And you just know that no amount of simple “NO” will get them off your back? Hey, I am the very first person who will tell you to stick up for yourself, and that “NO” is a complete sentence and a legitimate answer you should never be ashamed of. But he’s one of those people that just won’t take it.
Lucky, my body was aware of the plan, and proceeded to cooperate with flair.
So he handed me this mask thing, which was to stay on for two minutes before washing with some kind of toner, and then using a moisturiser.
First I’d like to say, that anyone that has used this shit on their face is fucking brave, cos God almighty did it smell like pure alcohol, and did it sting like a mofo.
I put this mask on, and the wafts of alcohol — kind of like when you go to put fuel in your car and the wafts hit your nose, that is how strong this shit was — immediately hit my face and burnt my eyes. I didn’t even last two minutes before running for the tap. I said “Dude, this is pure alcohol. This is literally scraping living skin cells off my face.”
I couldn’t even open my eyes to see his reaction, but I knew he was nearby as he handed me a towel. I quickly rubbed it off, before he passed me the toner, to which I applied again, hollering and squealing and then quickly wiping it off. By this point, due to possible acting flair, and legit itchiness and pain, my face went as pink as a newborn’s butt. I looked in the mirror and saw his reflection. He looked shocked, but also as if he didn’t know which way this was going. He offered the moisturiser to which I pushed back into his chest. He tried again, but I pushed back into him.
“Dude, no offence, but that shit burns my face.”
Again he tried to tell me it was made by real dermatologists and was like a legit product and on and on, but by this point I walked out of the room, pink cheeks in tow.
I grabbed my husband and pulled him towards the door as we were leaving — at this point I was already ignoring James, and just wanted to get out of there as soon as possible. But he kept us back by trying to tell my husband it was skincare for men too. Luckily my husband has seborrheic dermatitis and is really very fussy with his skin, so he just kept telling James no, repeatedly.
As we were leaving, James said, “If you like, next time you book you can come for a bit longer and make an appointment with Mary too — she hosts these events where women come for wine and facials and talk girl stuff.” To me that was very clearly a way for her to disguise the typical tell (a tell is a poker term when a player exhibits a shift in body language or behaviour which is a sign that they are about to be or are, deceptive) of an MLM selling model – the party plan, where the independent distributor hauls her plebs in to try and milk them for money for inferior products.
Firstly, I don’t do that “girl stuff” talk. Nothing against those that do, but I don’t do it.
Secondly, I come to you for sports massage and not to be harassed with you trying to sell me skincare.
Third, I drink scotch whiskey, on the rocks … I don’t do wine.
Now you might be asking why I did this. Well, I wanted to elicit that reaction not only from James, but from myself. I think I had a bit of a sick reasoning inside me to get back and make him look stupid, and yeh I admit that might be a childish thing to do, and not normally the advocate’s way. But I didn’t know how else I could get him to stop harassing me without seeing a visceral reaction to the products.
They legit stung my face, made me red and made me itch for the remainder of the evening. On the drive home I was telling my husband that was James was trying to sell us was an MLM and thankfully, my husband knew exactly where I was going with it.
Whether or not we see James again is another thing. I don’t feel comfortable going to him any more, knowing that despite my reaction, he will try and sell me skincare again. I very clearly stated the following various reasons over the last few visits when he has approached talking about skincare, and why I didn’t need or want his skincare prior to the incident:
- I have very clear skin, as you can visibly see, and my own current regime, made by the dermatologist who I see is suitable.
- I have combination, yet sensitive, skin, and I don’t like using products I haven’t researched to make sure they don’t have things I am allergic or get a reaction too.
- Thanks, but I’m good for products.
- Thanks, but I’m not interested.
- Thanks, but I have a very clean environment in relation to food and products I ingest, and my gut health is valuable, so I try to not use a lot of added chemicals.
I know that he still doesn’t get the full message, and if we were to go next time he would ensure that his wife would be there (thankfully she wasn’t this time), so that she can try and sell me her dodgy ass Rodan & Fields products.
Thing is — about the products — they’re feral. They’re disgusting — they feel like they rip your skin off. They smell purely of alcohol and nothing else. Nauseating. I don’t know how women delude themselves that this is a good product. They could go to the service station for much less, and just swipe petrol on their face for the same effect.
As we walked out of James’ door, funnily enough, I saw a line of dōTERRA oils on the counter, with an oil diffuser …
And in next week’s, tale, the time I was accosted by a beautician, for LipSense.
Until next time.