Be your product

On youth, multilevel marketing, and nutritional cure‐alls in Puerto Princesa, Philippines
Open access article

by ANITA HARDON, IAN ANTHONY B. DAVATOS, and GIDEON LASCO

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Young people in Puerto Princesa, the Philippines, are drawn to working as salespeople for AIM Global, a purveyor of the nutritional supplement C24/7. The company relies on multilevel marketing, in which sellers recruit other sellers, offering youth not only the chance to earn money but also educational discounts, access to bank cards, and an opportunity to develop do‐it‐yourself entrepreneurial skills. Trainers encourage sellers to capitalize on their intimate relations, to tailor the supplements to assuage aging clients’ metabolic‐health anxieties, and to use C24/7 themselves so that they can testify to its benefits. Such “sociometabolic” work is omnipresent in urban settings, where workers in beauty salons and gyms likewise promise to mitigate the material, bodily disturbances caused by toxic environments and precarious living conditions.