GIRL WITHOUT MONAT: the almost-quarantine-hobby that never was (and never will be)

it seems like everyone has discovered some new hobby or hidden talent this pandemic, whether it be baking bread from scratch, trying their hand at quarantine art, or figuring out how to become the next houseplant whisperer.

there was a day and a half where i thought i might have found my quarantine hobby: monat. for those who have never heard of monat, it’s a company that sells “beauty and wellness products,” primarily hair and skincare (and apparently now supplements). in short, it’s been said that its an MLM (i don’t know very much about multilevel marketing, but i do know it’s often compared to a pyramid scheme, also known as a scam).

by participating in the market partner program, you advertise their products by posting hundreds of stories a day of you “catching up with your team/bossbabes” or dripping holy rejuveniqe oil on your scalp to display to the world that yes, you do indeed use the shit you sell.

it’s incessant, and it’s annoying. and i have too much pride to be annoying.

when this guy i met at a club in castro district four years ago reached out to me on instagram asking me to take part in “his hair and skincare business,” i blinked dollar signs and imagined a new life where i could drop $25K on Rodeo Drive without thinking about it. he has never reached out to me before and the memories of that intoxicated night were hazy at best.

the promises of all-expenses-paid vacations seemed too good to be true. in this stagnant, pandemic-ridden world, we all need something to look forward to these days, even if it was all in my imagination.

rookie mistake number 1: there is no such thing as free shit — no free money, no free vacations, no free cadillac (why the FUCK would i want to drive a cadillac anyway? gimme a mclaren, so i can tear up the roads like youngboy).

rookie mistake number 2: it’s important to know what the business is. maybe it’d be helpful to know whether he owns it himself or if it’s part of a larger corporation or maybe it’s an MLM, pyramid-scheme type bullshit. Ask for the name next time, because fleur, you are a dumbass. i fucked up — i didn’t ask him for the name of the company. my bad for thinking it was HIS business that he started in his basement, laboring over the perfect formula for all natural haircare.

i’m gullible so i agreed. thinking back, why would he want me to be a part of his “company”? Remember, i’m a nobody. i haven’t really had an online presence except for the occasional instagram post. I AM A NOBODY.

next thing i know, i was cornered in an awkward zoom call between him and this other girl who tried so fucking hard to sell the “community” aspect of becoming monat market partner.

it felt more like a formal job interview, with them asking me why i think i’m qualified, what my work ethic looks like and how much i can commit to this company. they wanted to see if i can post constantly, multiple times a day to show everyone how much i love monat.

i can fake an interview — it’s easy. just show how eager you are, how on top of your shit you are even if you’re nothing close to what you come off as. i’d say that in a moment of ego, i wanted to ace the interview, so i sold myself as someone who’d be willing to adopt monat as my religion, to live and breathe monat. they sucked up every word i said.

i purchased the $300 hair and skincare starter kit under my new “mentor.” it was an impulse and i definitely regretted it.

rookie mistake number 3: DO YOUR RESEARCH. maybe you’d discover the multiple lawsuits against the company and thousands of 1-star reviews claiming the product causes balding. maybe if you did your research, your boyfriend wouldn’t have to introduce you to the term “monat huns,” or have to explain to you the new “friends” you met over zoom will actually become your next cult leaders.

these monat people are quick when it comes to shipping out packages but not when it comes to answering customer service questions. and of course, that would trigger a spiral — i had send so many emails ranging from formal to completely unhinged, called multiple times only to be put on hold for fucking hours. and when they did answer (finally), i demanded that my order be cancelled and that i’m refunded ASAP in a rambling, clusterfucky fashion, i’m pretty sure it was more trouble dealing with me than just giving me the damn refund.

lesson learned: in times of urgency, it’s okay to be unhinged. well, obviously don’t be a karen and don’t lash out at store employees (those in the service industries are human beans too). but for trivial shit like shampoo, it might be the key to getting what you want. for the record, i have no regrets and this whole chaotic mess can kiss my ass.

i got my refund (otherwise i’d have a conniption). so in the grand scheme of things, it’s ok, they’re ok, whatever. i still don’t have a hobby though. i’m still working on that.

maybe the haircare products work wonders, but i’m good with not finding out for myself. i refuse to sell shit that i won’t even try. i refuse to lose my hair as i already stress-pull as is. i won’t lie to my friends and risk losing them if they end up going bald from putting toxic shit in their hair (although, i wouldn’t mind selling the shampoo to someone i dislike for the fun of watching them lose their hair).

i refuse to be a parasite. i don’t want to be that annoying friend that pointlessly posts everyday and shows off a product i don’t want association with.

most importantly, if i were to be in a cult, i’d never be the follower.

i’d be the leader, bitch.

GFY, fleur

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