Heavily-Tattooed Woman Says It’s “Not Fair” That She Can’t Get A Job

A recent incident involving a job rejection at TJ Maxx has sparked controversy after a woman accused the retailer of discriminating against her based on her appearance. Ash Putnam, a 23-year-old who goes by @ashxobrien on TikTok, shared her experience of being denied a part-time job at the store due to her tattoos and piercings.


According to Putnam, she applied for the position and received a rejection email a few weeks later. Disheartened by the news, she took to TikTok to express her frustration, starting a conversation about discrimination in the hiring process.

Putnam’s first complaint centered around the impersonal nature of receiving a rejection email rather than a phone call. While this is common practice for large corporations, she felt it was insensitive given her efforts in applying for the job.

Upon visiting her local TJ Maxx to inquire about the rejection in person, Putnam was told by an employee that she lacked sufficient experience for the position. However, she suspected that her tattoos played a significant role in the decision, despite the employee’s assurance to the contrary.


Despite her disappointment, Putnam emphasized that she did not necessarily need the job but was seeking additional income to pay off debt more quickly. However, she found it unfair that her tattoos seemed to be a determining factor in her employability.

Putnam’s visible tattoos include imagery with Satanic connotations, such as a goat representing the deity Baphomet and a Leviathan Cross. While it’s unclear whether hiring managers saw her tattoos during the application process, thousands of TikTok users commented on her post, suggesting that her tattoos likely influenced the decision.

Some commenters argued that visible tattoos could be perceived as unprofessional, especially in customer-facing roles like those at TJ Maxx. Others pointed out the challenge for young adults without prior work experience to secure employment if companies prioritize experience over potential.


The incident raised broader questions about societal attitudes towards body modifications and hiring practices. Putnam questioned why tattoos should be a barrier to employment, especially when many individuals with tattoos are highly capable workers.

While there’s no definitive evidence that Putnam’s tattoos directly led to her rejection, the incident highlights the ongoing debate surrounding appearance-based discrimination in the workplace. As discussions continue, it’s essential to consider how hiring practices can be more inclusive and equitable for all candidates, regardless of their appearance.

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