3 Annoyances (Text-only Videos, Open-mouthed Portraits, and Essential Oil MLMs)

9/17/2017 (Opinion Post)

Three Things that Annoy Me:

ONE: Videos with only text – they should just make an article or a post.

Have you seen these videos? I thought mostly smaller sites were doing this, but then CNN also had these “all-text” videos (which are more like slideshows – paragraphs that take eight minutes to read).

I have watched at least six videos this month and it is annoying. For example, someone sent me a video to watch about their college and there was no audio – only loud music – colorful slides and text. It was a short video and I kept waiting for it to start – but all two minutes of it was text, color backs and music. Did not expect a formal video to not have someone talking. Another example comes from the recent video about Gomez’s kidney transplant. The video was introduced as revealing info about “how Lupus leads to kidney failure,” but instead of getting any information about the posited connection, there were photos from the hospital, music, and lots of text. It was difficult to look at detailed photos and read all the info. And I am kind of a speed reader (at times) so I don’t have a problem with a lot of text – just feel these videos need audio or they should create a post or article.

TWO: Annoyed by all these professional portraits getting done with mouths wide open.

I am not slamming the cute factor – or the joy that is captured, but I am perplexed at how this “everyone keep your mouth open and say cheese” has become a trend.

After my last post about Marcel (where he found clarity – here) someone reminded me of an old song from Fergie, “Big Girls Don’t Cry” (here)  – because the theme of that song aligned with Marcel’s stance. Fegrie sang, “..need to be with myself and center  – clarity, peace, serenity.”

It is such a good song, and it DID align with Marcel’s relationship clarity (because sometimes partnerships are wrong and tough calls need to be made):

“Fairytales don’t always have a happy ending, do they?
And I foresee the dark ahead if I stay?

I hope you know, I hope you know
That this has nothing to do with you.
It’s personal: myself and I.
We’ve got some straightenin’ out to do.”

Anyhow, turns out that in real life Fergie is having a breakup (sending good thoughts their way…) and her family portrait came up this week – with those wide-opened mouth smiles. ugh.

Please tell me why some people think this looks “so” good?

Have you seen these wide-mouthed professional photos? My eldest son had a professional photo shoot earlier this year and his top photo selected was one with the mouth opened. I respect his choice, but it is another example of how ubiquitous this theme is. I recall in the late 1980s when family portraits started having the matching outfits and by the early 1990s – the whole “denim and white” outfit look was everywhere. Then I remember when all white backdrops were used – like subjects were floating – we have some of those from 2002 – and then of course the outdoor “on location” portraits have come and gone for decades.  Most of us have done and Olan Mills portrait – and there are many church jokes about those studio directory portraits….

Again, I get the “aim” of the “opened mouth look like you are having a friggin’ blast” portrait – it is to show joy, right?

They are formally trying to capture the essence of a joyful family moment (that maybe ties into the ongoing Facebook persona) and while I like this exuberant capture much more than the staunch “lack of smiles” on old covers of Connoisseur, I just feel like this “caught in a smile formal portrait” is not my preference. (And I heard that many years ago – the reason smiles and open mouths were not chosen to use in photo portraits might have been related to teeth health – or it was because it was a sign of madness…. ha!)

THREE:  Annoyed by the “Multi-level Marketing Essential Oil Brands” – and the sales people who assume that they are the ONLY experts on essential oils. In particular, I am referring to the folks that sell Young Living and doTERRA essential oils. I like you – I do, and I am so glad that you “got into the eo biz” but some of us have been using essential oils for decades now and you are not the only authority on the matter – okay?

Multi-Level Marketing (MLM) pyramid-schemes annoy me in general, but I think they have value at times. I think some of these MLM companies can have a nice place in society. Because if it works for those folks — and if they are enjoying nice products, socially connecting, and making some moola- I will not judge their approach (just leave me out of the pyramid). And seriously, some of these products are really good items – but they are pyramid prices people…. For example, we went to a MLM party this summer (rare that we accept – but we were super curious about the ketosis smoothies – more on this later) and the product being promoted cost hundreds of dollars – ouch!

What bugs me in some of the essential oil circles is the ostentatious know-it-all mentality, which subtly creeps in when the topic of essential oil uses comes up. You know, where the sales person talks down to you and pretends to listen – as they wait for the chance to tell you how “out of this world and high quality amazing” their brand of essential oils are (as they try to justify pyramid pricing). Had this happen a few times this year and it is another example of how some people are so busy speaking that they forget to actually “listen” to what someone else is saying. They lack discernment.

And so listen up essential oil sales folks: “Some of us have been using  essential oils since the late 1980s – long before Young Living and doTERRA even started their MLM organizations.  Maybe even long before you were sucking milk from a bottle.  I am really  GLAD you have a small MLM business going – and I think you would be delighted to know that we share a passion for the powerful ways essential oils can make our lives better – for healing and overall body fortification. But “good quality” essential oils do NOT have to be so expensive. I don’t need lavender from the tips of a young plant in a rare French village – I just want a therapeutic-grade oil that is pure and has a realistic price (not even dirt cheap -but not MLM over priced).”

The bottom line is that essential oils are a gift and while MLMs often bring these oils to folks who would never try something like this – other times people are missing out because they cannot afford MLM prices. And this is why I use “NOW” for most of my oils (except for Neem oil, as Neem Aura does have a superior oil). I am not affiliated with any company here… just sharing my opinion.

So as these essential oil pyramid scheme brands make their rounds, I have been asked numerous times if I like these brands.

My response is usually the same.

“Yes, I like Young Living oils, but I use NOW brand for most of my oils.”

“Yes, I like doTERRA oils, but I stay away from pyramid/MLM businesses.”

“Yes, I love the formulas Young Living created, but their prices are outrageous and I am not looking for the ‘bestest oil in the whole wide world’ – I just want a high quality, therapeutic-grade oil that effectively delivers results — at a nice price point.”

“Yes, I love doTERRA’s OnGuard throat drops and once in a while I will buy them ($15.00 for a bag of 30) but I prefer to make my own “flu blend” using NOW essential oils.”


“NO thank you, I am not interested in coming to your MLM essential oil sales party. I use NOW essential oils, which I buy online and they have worked great for the Priorhouse. Really great.”

However, thanks to yogi Lucas Rockwood (here) I have a new response in my arsenal as he suggested,

“Simply tell people ‘MLMs are against my religion.’ It’s such an off-the-wall thing to say, it stops people in their tracks and they will often apologize and leave you alone. Be sure to avoid saying, ‘I don’t believe in MLMs,’ because that will open the door to proselytizing—they will want to make you a believer.”

And Blog readers, speaking of yogi Lucas Rockwood, seeing that September is National Yoga Month, let me add a little more from Rockwood because he wrote how predatorial essential oil MLMs can be:

“MLM companies target religious and social groups with their abusive business schemes, and yoga communities have become the most-recent target. Yoga is not a religion, but it’s an incredibly tight social group with many of the same characteristics as organized religions: local community centers, group gatherings, shared beliefs and practices. All of this makes yoga people the perfect recruits for MLM schemes, and since nutritional supplement and essential oils are widely used by yoga students anyway, the match couldn’t be more perfect.”

Rockwood also had a great tip for yogis (mainly for yoga teachers) about ways they could bring essential oils to their groups WITHOUT having to get caught up in a MLM pyramid scheme ((and sorry to those of you who sell or use Young Living and doTERRA – because again, I like those oils, I do, and I get that you have high-high quality, but the truth is that NOW oils also have a darn good quality and their affordable brand has helped me fortify my health for years now. Just sayin’….))

Rockwood offers wonderful advice on ways you can even market some of your own oils:

“If you love essential oils, for example, setup a wholesale account with a top manufacturer or even private label some oils and create your own company and your own brand. If you have a brand of yoga mats or clothing you love, again, register a wholesale account with them and become a distributor. There’s no question that more yoga teachers need to step up and take on business leadership roles, but it’s important we take on roles that truly serve our communities.”  

True that!

I personally think the essential oil market is saturated and I would not want to try launching an essential oil private label right now – but this does not mean there is not room for more private labels!

I think there is always room for a great product (if it is needed, fresh, effective, etc.).  Recently we remembered how Mr. Wonderful (from Shark Tank) once laughed at someone who was presenting a new yogurt brand- and I think Mr. Wonderful said the yogurt market was ‘way too saturated already’ and there was no need for a new yogurt – but thank goodness Chobani, Noosa, and Siggis didn’t heed such advice – because a saturated market does not always mean a new product will not find a place! While I am no expert in this area – I believe that even in a saturated market there could be room for a high quality, fresh product because humans like options and we love to try new brands – and sometimes a new brand is just needed.  Further, not all products need to become nationally available (as all the Sharks remind people – not all brands/products can be large-scale)….

So maybe Rockwood is right – maybe more yoga teachers need to step up and take on business leadership roles.” And Lemonis always reminds us that businesses need to make sure the “People, Product, and Process” are healthy and working right (here) and so who knows what success could unfold (without having to join an MLM).


In closing – here is an essential oil chart I made.


It is not exhaustive – meaning I did not list all the uses for these oils – nor did I list which oils could go directly on the skin (like lavender) and which need carrier oils (most do- and for proper carrier oils you might want to do research on which oils work with various essential oils).

My suggestion is to use NOW brand – and I AM NOT AFFILIATED with NOW in any way (all items can be bought online and I suggest the NOW brand ten-bottle starter kit, a large diffuser, glass roller ball bottles, and fractionated coconut oil for the roller balls).

If you want more information about essential oils, Dr. Axe (HERE) has some of the best posts about essential oils – (like this one on antibacterial oils -here).

Dr. Axe’s teaching style is direct and smooth and his company makes amazing infographics.

Also, I heard that more than 30,000 people listened in to Dr. Axe’s recent live broadcast about essential oils (right on…).

In closing, thanks for letting me rant about things that annoy me – while I also made a plug for amazing essential oils -Essential oils are one of my favorite things in the world. They can help you heal, clean the air, focus, lift the mood, and so much more. If you are not using essential oils – you are missing out.

I hope everyone reading considers making sure they try some essential oils – even if you just start with peppermint, lavender, and oregano (and sorry if I missed any experts out there – I know you already know all this and so thanks for reading).

37 thoughts on “3 Annoyances (Text-only Videos, Open-mouthed Portraits, and Essential Oil MLMs)

  1. This post cracked me up!
    I find the open mouth candids charming, but as a portrait, as a posed photo, a bit cheesy and um, dare I say, over the top?
    I prefer text to video and so I read transcripts whenever possible. It’s a time thing, I think. I read quickly. Maybe a bit of YOUR BACKGROUND MUSIC SUCKS, but we all have that, right?
    The oil thing kills me, cause like you, I’ve been into oils for ages. Not for everything and not in lieu of everything else, but they do improve my quality of life. Now that it’s mainstream, all these people who poo-pooed it twenty years ago, dismissing it as hippie dippy, are all like, “It will change your life!”
    FYI: A sprig of fresh basil can change the smell of your living room, or enhance the flavor of your soup, but it’s not going to change your life. Unless, of course, you can MLM your way into selling sprigs of basil. I’m just sayin. lol
    So, you know, same ol oils for me, thanks. When these people have moved on to whatever’s new, I’ll be enjoying my same ol oils.
    Again, great post! 🙂 🙂 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi joey – thanks for your comment – and no – I like to read transcripts to – and actually was at a site that only had video instructions and I was hurting because I could have read it way faster and been done -= it was annoying – and this was a formal business and usually the videos are paired with text in a post or article – trust me – I like what you are referring to –
      and I also love music – and back in the day made videos that had only music and text – so I love background music and even if it sucks – it can help a video big time = I also live when background music is used so subtly that you cannot hear it at parts –
      – so I do not think I described the type of video that i am referrign to – and seriously want your advice on them – so I will be by later to share a link or two to see what you think (and I really value your feedback and Joey, I almost quoted you when I wrote about melania’s clothing post- cos you have some notable humor on various topics… and maybe I will use the quote later)
      but the videos I keep seeing are difficult to explain….

      anyhow – the phrase “over the top” fits exactly for the photos –
      and thanks for the tip about the basil – so simple and cheap – unless – as you say – someone can MLM it.
      and laughing at the the hippy dippy term – we used to call them granola and even though I did use essential oils in the 80s – I dismissed most of them and partly because of the way they were presented.
      thanks again for taking the time to read and reply.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That tried my patience. It takes too long to load and I can read the article in seconds. Why do they make these videos? If one has to read to comprehend them, they’re not for the illiterate.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I agreed with these 3 items. The first one about video without sound or video just full of scrolling text.. for message rather than lyrics. They are just putting you off. I think I could not bear watching it in entirety.

    I’ve not heard of the wide open mouth portrait picture but from seeing the example picture here I think I agree with you. The dad picture looks worse than anyone. I can accept the boy picture and the lady is I thin ok.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks YC – and I can accept the boy one the most – it feels natural and fully agree – the guy one feels off.
      And we just got a flyer in the mail for a new business opening and the couple opening it have their pics with the wide opened mouths in a gaping smile – lol

      Liked by 1 person

  3. LOL, Y. I totally agree with you 😉 particularly the first one. I rather read an article than read a video. Quite often as soon as I saw the text scrolling, I quit. Another thing annoys me is the content of the video has nothing to do with the title. At the end of watching, I have no idea why I have to watch it. Don’t you hate that, too?
    Have a wonderful day.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This is an awesome post and thank you for being so up front. Isn’t it amazing how the “smile” has been replaced with an “O”pen mouth. Thank goodness it isn’t filled with food or is that the next level, lol. As for the essential oils we have been looking at them and some on your list are ones we’ll be attempting. We’re thinking they have worked for you right? We just hate the over the counter stuff with chemicals we can’t pronounce.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well I actually was thinking peppermint is the must get for you because I know numerous folks who use that specific one in vehicles and RVs – and peppermint is very versatile –
      My sis puts it in her SUV and last fall we drove to Rochester a couple times and truly felt the “aromatherapy” –
      Also – i owe so much to essential oils and my homemade flu blend has saved me many times.
      Side note – also love the doTerra on guard throat drops during flu season – they are special

      Liked by 1 person

      1. This is awesome to hear. We have often looked at the different oils at the Lori’s here in Rochester, the local health food spot, but didn’t know where to start. The peppermint sounds like the right one for us in our mini-home. Do you just sprinkle it or does it go in a diffuser of some sort?

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Hi – well right now Amazon has the 10 pack starter kit for only forty dollars – (and they are 1 oz bottles- which are a great size because most starter kits have bottles that are 10ml) – My sister just adds drops to her carpet – but has gadgets too
          and I have a small desktop/travel diffuser that is USB adaptable and I used it in a rental car last June – was awesome and the mint did help wake me up.
          And tip – if you buy a mist diffuser – go for the larger size (300 to 400 ml) I regret buying too small of one early on.
          I will send the link to the amazon oil starter pack – it really is a wonderful way to start

          Liked by 1 person

  5. I am so open mouthed at how much I am out of sync with the times 😀 I cannot believe that this is actually the trend! I thought open mouthed photos were done when someone dozed off in the middle of a journey 😀 Videos with just text/slideshows and awful music does suck. Essential oils huh? Better get cracking I had/ve no clue! Thanks Y. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Same with the videos. If it has text and I want to see what they have to say. I turn the sound off so I don’t have to listen to their crap music. Doesn’t open mouths look stupid. My Granddad would call them “slack jawed yokels” lol I am glad to see you can buy great Australian Essential Oils. I use Tea Tree and Eucalyptus all the time

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well thank you to your country for many things – and for both of those oils – after a decade of using tea tree for so many things – I hardly use it anymore – but in 2002 (xmas) I gave out a handful of small bottles of Jason brand tea tree oil and people thanked us for a while.
      And the eucalyptus – I almost included this in my chart – but left it out – that eucalyptus oil is sometimes under appreciated because it is so cheap – it is one of the most affordable oils (vs frankincense that can be pricy)
      And I only heard one complaint about eucalyptus – a teenager once said it reminded him of his grandmother’s cough drops – and so he wanted spearmint or anything different –
      But I think the affordable factor makes people sometimes overlook how awesome eucalyptus is – thanks mate – gday. (Cheesy)

      Liked by 1 person

    1. haha – living under a rock? no way – you are just running over them all as you glide the terrain with your running shoes – and stop for photo opps. lol
      and I will try and come back (next weekend) to share some of the videos I am talking about – I think “blast” had one recently

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Interesting annoyances 🙂 And I agree.

    Videos with only text are great when they are lyrics for the song being played. It helps aspiring/bathroom singers to practice a song. Other times, such videos may not hold much value. And it’s tricky how you pace the text – can’t be slow or fast. Also, as you right noted, video headlines can betray trust and waste time. I’ve come across several clips that don’t justify their headline. Furious, when I wanted to comment, I’d see that the video had already been commented (and cursed) upon, abundantly. I wonder what the creators of these videos get – read somewhere that if your video gets half a million hits, you start to earn a share of the revenue.

    Open mouth pics are as annoying as pout pics? Always wondered why people pouted. Read on google that “pout makes your face look sexier than smile – as though you’re giving a peck to someone – some pout their lips permanently by lip jobs – those who can’t afford these lips jobs just get used to faking it.”

    “…you know, where the sales person talks down to you and pretends to listen…” Yes! Never experienced it re: MLM essential oils, but I understand the (unhealthy) tactics. “…ostentatious know-it-all mentality…” Yes! And I must share that your chart is way more elaborate and simple – and I admire how you present it – basis which, I want to buy “affordable” essential oils. And re: private label, this example is so encouraging – “…Mr. Wonderful said the yogurt market was ‘way too saturated already’ and there was no need for a new yogurt – but thank goodness Chobani, Noosa, and Siggis didn’t heed such advice.”

    Cool 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Like with all new things, some people go over the edge, and never come back to reality. Since I bought a book about the healing nature of spices, I don’t need anything else, because at my age inflammation and too much sugar or salt is what I need to prevent.
    Open mouths are the addiction to appear happy and healthy – only the lithmus test in every day life when no one is looking:)
    I thought video meant “moving photography. Not slides, certainly not text.” I probably am as strong in my opinions:) or opinionated as my kids told me when they were teens.
    Now they have become wiser, and don’t reply when I voice my opinion, haha.


    1. Hi – I don’t read magazines either – and I stay away from the Hollywood shows- so I actually miss a lot – but ever since the spring I have seen these portraits with the mouth-opened – and not in magazines – but in graduation invites – and even a flyer in the mail for a local church starting in a high school – well it had the pastor couple and the dude was all open-mouthed and in an uproar for the photo – 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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