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Do you shop at T.J. Maxx so you “get to eat”?

By April 20, 2011 13 Comments
T.J. Maxx fashionistas favor fashion over food, according to their newest ads.

T.J. Maxx fashionistas favor fashion over food, according to their newest ads.

Fashion over food? Even you, T.J. Maxx?

There are a lot of things going on with this ad (apologies for the video quality;  this is the only online proof I can find of this nonsense) that on one hand seem harmless, and on the other are horrifying.

T.J. Maxx is a discount department store, which boasts name brands at discount prices.

In this case, it aims to prove itself as the ideal shopping destination for the struggling college student who is also a fashion-forward, attractive woman.

This is the line that kills me every time:

“Designer clothes that I absolutely need, and I still get to eat!”

Okay, I know they are riffing on the timeless cliché that college students are poor and only eat Ramen or cold cereal because higher learning is so expensive. I agree that school is crazy expensive and that there were times in college that a square meal seemed like a luxury due to my minimum wages and pile of bills.

However, I was never in that situation because I went out and bought a pair of this season’s hottest new clogs. And I definitely never forewent meals.

I hate that this ad paints this girl as successful, and that her smart shopping habits put her ahead of her peers because, unlike her, they are not eating because they bought jeans at full price. And I hate that this ad portrays this behavior as acceptable.

Her parents should probably stop paying tuition, because she’s clearly not learning any life skills here.

In a country where the majority of people have massive credit card debt, this ad rubs me the wrong way. Her priorities are so skewed that she would be living a lifestyle completely beyond her means, were it not for T.J. Maxx.

It implies that were she not able to get these “great deals,” she would indeed forego nourishment in order to stay fashionable.

Food becomes superfluous, a luxury, a want and not a need. Because what she needs is designer clothes. In fact, she “absolutely needs” them.

I’m pretty sure if she spent more time in her biology class and less time at T.J. Maxx, she’d understand that she “absolutely needs” to eat and really doesn’t need a new romper for spring.

One-piece garments are rarely flattering anyway.