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Thursday, 17 September 2015

Shaming Mums For Money

I'm starting to have a real issue with this new fad for 'distributing' products & building your own business from home. You've all seen them right? You probably have several friends on your Facebook who do this, and if they weren't your friend before, they sure as hell will be now in an attempt to build their network. I have AT LEAST 4 friends on Facebook who are making a career out of distributing products such as Forever Living and Juice Plus. And they're great. They advertise their products subtly, they're not overly pushy, and they really seem to be achieving amazing things within their business.
However, (you knew there was going to be a 'however' didn't you?) I have recently been subjected to distributors who are not on my friends lists, and are not so pleasant. Distributors who are strangers that randomly request your friendship. Distributors who post comments on local selling pages, or mother and baby pages. These are the ones who are really starting to grind my gears.
It appears that these particular 'business owners' are that desperate to sell their products that they are stooping to levels that are sorely uncalled for. 
Only last week was I presented with an image as I scrolled through my Facebook feed that said this:
"MUMMY. PLEASE DONT GO TO WORK TODAY
Blah blah work from home blah blah be your own boss blah blah earn up to £2,000 a month. 
BE A MUMTREPRENEUR!!!"
Have you ever in your life? First of all, I'm not even going to acknowledge the 'mumtrepreneur,' because, well, it's just fricking stupid. That's what it is! You can't just make up words to make you sound like the female, mum version of Richard Branson. It's embarrassing. And I can't bring myself to talk about it, it makes me nauseous.
Let's focus on 'Mummy, please don't go to work today'
As a Mother who works full time, I hear these words pretty much every day from my son. And guess what? They make me feel pretty shitty. They make me feel like a bad mum, and ridiculously guilty. My child says it to me because he wants to spend time with me. He misses me. It is a perfectly understandable, and acceptable thing for my 4 year old to say. It is NOT acceptable however for a business owner to say these words, using my child's emotions to convey the message that actually I should join their business. Because if I don't I'm being cruel to my child. I'm not being the best mother that I can be.
And why are they using this message? Because they'll make money by targeting a specific group of women who will be experiencing the guilt of leaving their child to go to work.
Using a mothers emotions surrounding her children is definitely not a cool way to expand and develop your business. In fact, it's downright mean. I don't need that bullshit in my life, and I especially don't need to see it presented as a meme. 
Despite turning a blind eye to this particular marketing technique I was yet again subjected to the same type of crap sack just a week or so later. Although instead of shaming mums who work, in order to expand their business, this time they were shaming mums in general to sell their products.
"IS ANYBODY INTERESTED IN LOSING THEIR MUMMY TUMMY IN JUST 9 DAYS?' The post read.
No. No I'm not. I'm not interested AT ALL. And using cutesy phrases like 'mummy tummy' doesn't hide the fact that what you're actually saying is this.
'Not only are your boobs heavy & painful, you've had 1 hour sleep in 3 days, your child won't stop crying, and you're so emotional that you just cried to the theme tune of Eastenders, but guess what? You're also FAT. You're HIDEOUS. And regardless as to whether you are Breastfeeding, low on iron, or recovering from a traumatic birth, you need to stop eating for 9 days & drink these magical milkshakes, which will cost you a months rent, but at least people won't have to deal with the mental trauma of seeing your massive post pregnancy wide load walking down the street. So it's a no brainer really!'
Women are usually under enough stress to 'lose their baby fat,' mainly due to the 
pressure of media, other mums (mum wars) and occasionally tactless family & friends, without some 'distributor' who quite frankly probably knows nothing about a healthy lifestyle before or after pregnancy, aside from the brief training they've had surrounding their product, and that product alone.
But here's the deal. We get pregnant, we get fat. This happens to more or less every woman. It's NORMAL! There's a valid, biological reason for this, and shock horror, you will probably find that if you eat a healthy diet, it will come off eventually. Simple.
What's the rush? You've spent 9 months growing a child. Your body is amazing. Look at what it has managed to do! Look at what it continues to do! Your body is beautiful.
With all the added pressure of having a new baby, fixations on body image, and everything else that comes with being a mum, the last thing we need is distributors highlighting our sensitivities and using them to their advantage.
I'm fully supportive of anybody who is an opportunist and strives to be the best at what they do. I absolutely respect women who build a business from home, and consequently get to spend more time with their families. But please! Give us mums a rest. You don't need to prey on the vulnerable (because I feel we are rather vulnerable postpartum) in order to increase your sales. 
If your product is everything you say it is, then surely it will sell itself.
If it isn't, and you feel the need to employ shaming strategies then maybe you should consider distributing something else? Or perhaps you could get a full time job and listen to your child ask you not to go to work every morning. Then you can also have the same experience of cringing when you see those same words presented in a boldly printed meme on your Facebook newsfeed.


Life with Baby Kicks

11 comments:

  1. Amen, yes, I agree, I get ragingly angry at this stuff. I object to the fake guilt trip, pushing of expensive products on tired and vulnerable mums and also some of the claims they make are outrageous!! Thank you!

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  2. I'm so with you on this one! Some of these people are promoting a 'business' where you can work 2 hours per week from home and earn £2000 per month. That's never going to happen! I understand that they're just trying to develop their business but going about it in the way you describe above is not the way to do it! And the random friend requests bug me too! But it is also important to recognise, as you said, that there are many distributors who manage and promote their businesses in an admirable way.

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  3. Great post and totally agree!! Thanks for sharing on #justanotherlinky xx

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  4. Ooh great post. I can't say I've seen these (I guess I'm lucky) but I completely agree. Mother's have enough guilt to cope with without distributors preying on them. Well said. #justanotherlinky

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  5. AMEN.
    Totally agree with every word. Such an honest and great post. If I am honest I would prefer to go back OUT working instead of working from home.

    Thank you so much for linking up to #justanotherlinky

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  6. Hear hear. These are so annoying, and I always doubt these claims that you can warn thousands by working very little... Mostly these distribution companies are pyramid type schemes which depend on you having recruited people into it so you get a slice of their profits.

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  7. Totally agree. I actually signed up to forever living a while back and I failed miserably. I guess I just wasn't ruthless enough. I felt like I was annoying people and I didn't like lying about how fantastic the products were. Some really great don't get me wrong, but some were just expensive and shite ;-)

    Visiting from #effitfridays

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  8. Oh clean 9 I see there! I've used some products which were lovely. My husband did clean 9. The lady I bought the stuff off now wants to meet me for coffee to discuss joining the business....... sigh. With you a million percent. #effitfriday

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  9. Oh clean 9 I see there! I've used some products which were lovely. My husband did clean 9. The lady I bought the stuff off now wants to meet me for coffee to discuss joining the business....... sigh. With you a million percent. #effitfriday

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  10. Totally agree and I run a couple of businesses yet the blatant lies and buttons they push makes me feel so angry.

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  11. This is a fantastic post - shame on those creating marketing like that, it's truly awful. Have to share x

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