Heavily tattooed woman vents about the job market after being rejected by TJ Maxx

Heavily tattooed woman vents about the job market after being rejected by TJ Maxx

A heavily tattooed woman said that the job market was tough for people who looked like her.

In a TikTok video, Ash O’Brien (@ashxobrien) vented about how difficult it has been to get a simple job due to the way she looks. She felt the urge to film a video about her experience being rejected by TJ Maxx.

“I applied to TJ Maxx a few weeks ago and they denied my application,” she started the clip. “They couldn’t even call me. They just sent me some automated email.”

Annoyed, she went into the store to ask the hiring manager what she did wrong. She recalled, “So went in today and I was like, ‘What was the reason I didn’t get hired?’ And she was like, ‘Oh, like you just don’t have enough experience. There [were] candidates that had more experience than you.’”

The T.J. Maxx in Rochester Hills, MI. (Getty Images)
The T.J. Maxx in Rochester Hills, MI. (Getty Images)

O’Brien had a sneaking suspicion that there was more to the decision, namely the numerous tattoos on her face and body, so she asked if the tattoos were the true reason behind their decision.

“I asked her if it was ‘cause of my tattoos, ‘cause obviously a lot of places don’t like tattoos,” she recounted. “She said that wasn’t the reason. I don’t feel like that’s true but whatever I’ll leave it at that.”

She wondered if anyone else had experienced these obstacles in the job market, and urged viewers to share their experience with the job market, particularly young adults.

“I wanna know if I’m the only one experiencing this or not,” she said. “I hate that my tattoos are such a defining factor for me getting a job or not. Like, just because I have tattoos doesn’t mean I’m not gonna be a good worker... I do not understand that at all because quite literally some of the most smart, intelligent people I’ve ever met are people with tattoos and piercings.”

She continued, “I could be wrong but I’ve seen in Europe people with tattoos and piercings can get jobs like way easier there, so [has] America not hopped on the bandwagon?”

O’Brien added the job market has made it increasingly more difficult for those trying to enter the job market to get the experience they need. She noted that a lot of these places tend to choose candidates with more experience, putting younger workers who need the opportunity to gain experience at a disadvantage.

Viewers in the comment section were quick to add their varying opinions, with many pointing out that O’Brien’s tattoos were most likely the reason she was rejected.

“Tattooer here, it’s probably the tattoos,” one person wrote, while another added: “HR supervisor here. There is no way any company would put you in front of customers like TJ Maxx.”

Many harped on O’Brien asking her to be more realistic and to a much harsher degree less “delusional.” She maintained that she was self-employed on Only Fans and Uber Eats, but wanted more money to supplement her income and pay off her debt.

In the past decade, having tattoos has become less taboo in the workplace. Unfortunately, those who are heavily tattooed like O’Brien still encounter obstacles to being hired for public-facing roles like a cashier position. However, the likelihood of employment is dependent on the company, especially in white-collar jobs.

The art and design industry, in particular, views favourably those with visible tattoos for artistic credibility and creative edge, according to Rice University.