To be a MLM promoter means to be a Pollyanna. A Pollyanna is an excessively cheerful or optimistic person, but it goes further than that. A Pollyanna is overly expressive, overly extroverted, excessively [often annoyingly] optimistic. Think about that and contrast it with the idea of an introvert, and a strong silent type.
Since the Watts story is the story of a fairy tale that turns into a family holocaust, let’s do our due diligence and briefly examine the fairy tale classic Pollyanna. Once done, have a look at the three videos posted below. All three are set to kick off at compelling moments that show real cracks in the Pollyanna performance.
The title character is Pollyanna Whittier, a young orphan who goes to live in the fictional town of Beldingsville, Vermont, with her wealthy but stern and cold spinster Aunt Polly, who does not want to take in Pollyanna but feels it is her duty to her late sister.
Pollyanna’s philosophy of life centers on what she calls “The Glad Game,” an optimistic and positive attitude she learned from her father. The game consists of finding something to be glad about in every situation, no matter how bleak it may be.
With this philosophy, and her own sunny personality and sincere, sympathetic soul, Pollyanna brings so much gladness to her aunt’s dispirited New England town that she transforms it into a pleasant place to live. The Glad Game shields her from her aunt’s stern attitude: when Aunt Polly puts her in a stuffy attic room without carpets or pictures, she exults at the beautiful view from the high window; when she tries to “punish” her niece for being late to dinner by sentencing her to a meal of bread and milk in the kitchen with the servant Nancy, Pollyanna thanks her rapturously because she likes bread and milk, and she likes Nancy.
Soon Pollyanna teaches some of Beldingsville’s most troubled inhabitants to “play the game” as well… Aunt Polly, too—finding herself helpless before Pollyanna’s buoyant refusal to be downcast—gradually begins to thaw, although she resists the glad game longer than anyone else.
Eventually, however, even Pollyanna’s robust optimism is put to the test when she is struck by a car and loses the use of her legs. At first she doesn’t realize the seriousness of her situation, but her spirits plummet when she is told what happened to her. After that, she lies in bed, unable to find anything to be glad about. Then the townspeople begin calling at Aunt Polly’s house, eager to let Pollyanna know how much her encouragement has improved their lives; and Pollyanna decides she can still be glad that she at least has had her legs.
The novel ends with Aunt Polly marrying her former lover Dr. Chilton and Pollyanna being sent to a hospital where she learns to walk again and is able to appreciate the use of her legs far more as a result of being temporarily disabled and unable to walk well.
There’s so much there that fits like a symbolic blueprint over the Watts case, isn’t there?
Now consider the import of the videos below, and Shan’ann’s attempt to Pollyanna-ize her self, her life and her family in the name of a MLM company and product.
Is Shan’ann a genuine Pollyanna? Is she genuinely optimistic? It’s too easy to simply dismiss the MLM aspect as fake. It’s too easy to dismiss Shan’ann’s personality, as the victim, as irrelevant.
What happens, what’s the emotional cost when someone in a marriage and a household isn’t happy but pretends to be, and more pertinently, how does it impact on someone else in the same household who has a different personality? What happens when the person you married becomes someone else, and even that someone isn’t real?
The irony is, if Shan’ann became that to him, a stranger in his own home, he also became that to her, with monstrous and devastating consequences.