Multi-level marketing schemes thriving around beauty products

The BBC's Kirsty Grant reports on the growth of multilevel-marketing schemes in the UK built around beauty brands. These companies are "cult-like" businesses operating as close to pyramid schemes as the law allows, barely bothering to sell product at all—unless you're an inductee, in which case you'll be spending a lot of money on product. The pressure to find new inductees is constant, and young and vulnerable women are winnowed by a culture of toxic positivity.

When Faye asked the person who recruited her if she could focus on selling instead of recruiting, she says she was shut down.

"She was like, 'no, we are selling products, but you need to get your team up and running to be able to sell together and get promoted'."

Faye says the "only time you were ever told to bother with the actual products" was if people higher up in the business needed to sell more products to get a promotion. In which case, people like Faye were asked to buy them.

I love the selfie (embedded above) that the BBC used to illustrate its story, from a seemingly-happy MLM recruiter it quotes. Just a perfect mix of delusional photo editing, cosmic horror and deep-fried JPG decay.