I will be relating my semester project to the store "TJ Maxx". I will explore many aspects related to the store including shopping, name brands, consuming, different products and the overall store. Attached is a commercial for TJ Maxx.external image tj_max_appleton_wi.jpg


Response 1: What would Allan Johnson say? January 28, 2010
The article “Where Are We?” written by Allan Johnson relates to pop culture of TJ Maxx in many ways. The main idea in “Where Are We?” is that society views men more powerful than women. I contacted our local TJ Maxx to gather information about job positions and if certain jobs were performed by males or females. Before contacting TJ Maxx, I conducted an informal survey of five people to determine whether they thought four various positions would be held by a male or female. I asked them if they thought the store manager, cleaning crew, delivery person, and salesclerks were most likely to be male or female. The response was two out of five thought the manager would be male, five out of five thought the cleaning crew would be comprised of females, five out of five thought the delivery person would be male and five out of five thought the salesclerks would be female. When I called TJ Maxx, I learned the store manager is male but they have two female assistant managers. The cleaning crew is led by a male, the delivery people are mostly male, but occasionally female, and the salesclerks are primarily female, however they do have some males working in the store. "When investigating the make up of TJ Maxx's I found that the CEO and President is female ( the same person has two titles) while the Chairman of the Board, and the four Senior Executive Vice Presidents are all male"
("2009 Annual Report").
The article also discussed zine circulations and how they can act as a, “Networking tool among female adolescents who otherwise may feel isolated in their homes, schools, or jobs. The circulation of zines, for example has been instrumental in disseminating riot grrrl’s “Revolution Girl-Style Now!” messages to female adolescents interested in empowering themselves and others” (Kearney [299]). Using an e-zine site or grrrl’s site are examples of ways that female youth can express themselves and their fashions on line. While this may seem rather impersonal it also is a perfect way for young women to express themselves without the fear of failing or showing a picture that makes her anything less than fashionable. They can learn about fashion sense from the e-zine sites and get feedback from the grrrl’s sites.
Overall, I believe that the article states the truth about young adolescents but there are many media’s that factor into creating young adolescents. They can include what they see on television, what their friends are wearing, what their parents are willing to buy, and what they are willing or allowed to wear. There is hope that TJ Maxx could gain market share of the teen adolescents because in April of 2009 T J Maxx tapped into YouTube and partnered with Liam Sullivan to become the pitchman for the teen section of its stores ("TJ Maxx Hopes").


Works Cited

Kearney, Mary Celeste. Producing Girls. N.p.: n.p., n.d. Print.
“TJ Maxx Hopes A New Ad Shop Will Help Ring Up Sales.” Forbes.com. N.p., 22 May 2009. Web. 14 Feb. 2010. <http://www.forbes.com/‌2009/‌05/‌22/‌tjx-omnicom-publicis-leadership-cmo-network-upforgrabs.html>.
“The TJX Companies, Inc. Enters E-Commerce with T.J. Maxx and HomeGoods Websites.” Business Wire. N.p., 23 Sept. 2004. Web. 14 Feb. 2010. <http://findarticles.com/‌p/‌articles/‌mi_m0EIN/‌is_2004_Sept_23/‌ai_n6209049/>.

"2009 Annual Report ." The TJX Companies, Inc. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Apr. 2010.
<http://thomson.mobular.net/thomson/7/2968/4250/>.


Response 2: What would Mary Kearney say? February 21, 2010

The article “Producing Girls”, written by Mary Kearney pertains to my pop culture of TJ Maxx. The main idea of “Producing Girls” was that young adolescent girls are consumers and not producers of fashion and trend setting.
“Producing Girls” draws attention to the processes by which female adolescent’s subjectivity is (re)produced ideologically (for example, through girls’ interactions with cultural texts like teen magazines)” (Kearney [286]). Throughout, the article Kearney addresses the idea that female adolescents get their ideas through magazines. This can include how they act, how they communicate, and what they wear. “Producing Girls” was written to explain what shapes or molds our young female adolescents. TJ Maxx has the potential to be an outlet for young adolescent girls to experiment with a personal style without spending a lot of money; however this is not the case. A young girl could buy name brand clothing, jewelry, or shoes for half or less than half the price at TJ Maxx when compared to buying it from a large department store chain. An example could include a North Face Jacket that originally costs one hundred dollars and TJ Maxx sells it for fifty dollars. I asked myself whether anyone would spend more money when they could get the same item for half the price. I concluded after shopping with my cousins this weekend that they would. TJ Maxx is not a place where young girls would want to shop because they feel as though buying at an outlet store isn’t the same as buying from a fashion store such as American Eagle (AE), Victoria’s Secret, and Gap. They do not have enough self confidence to share with friends the fact that they shop for status over price. It is more acceptable in a teens mind to buy from the AE’s in the mall over buying from an outlet store such as TJ Maxx. According to Business Wire, “ T.J. Maxx's target customer is a middle to upper-middle income shopper who is fashion and value conscious and fits the same profile as a better department and specialty store shopper” ("The TJX Companies,"). T.J. Maxx "are known for their treasure hunt shopping experience and excellent values on brand-name merchandise" ("2009 Annual Report").
The article also discussed zine circulations and how they can act as a, “Networking tool among female adolescents who otherwise may feel isolated in their homes, schools, or jobs. The circulation of zines, for example has been instrumental in disseminating riot grrrl’s “Revolution Girl-Style Now!” messages to female adolescents interested in empowering themselves and others” (Kearney [299]). Using an e-zine site or grrrl’s site are examples of ways that female youth can express themselves and their fashions on line. While this may seem rather impersonal it also is a perfect way for young women to express themselves without the fear of failing or showing a picture that makes her anything less than fashionable. They can learn about fashion sense from the e-zine sites and get feedback from the grrrl’s sites.
Overall, I believe that the article states the truth about young adolescents but there are many media’s that factor into creating young adolescents. They can include what they see on television, what their friends are wearing, what their parents are willing to buy, and what they are willing or allowed to wear. There is hope that TJ Maxx could gain market share of the teen adolescents because in April of 2009 T J Maxx tapped into YouTube and partnered with Liam Sullivan to become the pitchman for the teen section of its stores ("TJ Maxx Hopes").

Works Cited

Kearney, Mary Celeste. Producing Girls. N.p.: n.p., n.d. Print.
“TJ Maxx Hopes A New Ad Shop Will Help Ring Up Sales.” Forbes.com. N.p., 22 May 2009. Web. 14 Feb. 2010. <http://www.forbes.com/‌2009/‌05/‌22/‌tjx-omnicom-publicis-leadership-cmo-network-upforgrabs.html>.
“The TJX Companies, Inc. Enters E-Commerce with T.J. Maxx and HomeGoods Websites.” Business Wire. N.p., 23 Sept. 2004. Web. 14 Feb. 2010. <http://findarticles.com/‌p/‌articles/‌mi_m0EIN/‌is_2004_Sept_23/‌ai_n6209049/>.
"2009 Annual Report ." The TJX Companies, Inc. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Apr. 2010.
<http://thomson.mobular.net/thomson/7/2968/4250/>.

Response 3: What would Linda Parsons say? February 21, 2010

In the reading “Ella Evolving”, written by Linda Parsons the main ideas were that as children grow up and watch fairy tales they put themselves into stereotypical roles. The males in fairy tales are “dominant and rule others” and “it is not natural for a women to be active and powerful” (Parsons [138-140]). “A powerful female is most often ugly if not evil” (Parsons [138]). Parson feels as though, “Girls, more than boys, [are] willing to engage in [a] disruption of discourse” (Parsons [143]). Parson goes on to say that “all traditional fairy tales are a form of contamination and revisions are one form of contamination” (Parsons [138]). As it is now, fairy tales are known as women's literature. This means that women have allowed fairy tales to be popular and allow stereotypical roles to stay the same. It is time for the traditional roles of males and females in fairy tales to be expanded or changed to meet current society roles.
Most fairy tales contain stereotypical roles and “Just Ella” is no exception. In this story, Ella longs for sunshine and she thinks she has found a way to see the sun if she attends a tournament. She is let down when she finds out that women are to remain in a tent away from the sunshine, because the “combination of virginity and beauty” “would distract the competitors.” Women are “created to be like flowers providing color and beauty to the world” (Parsons [150]). Women are a symbol of what men desire. They are beautiful and content to wait in the wings of their beloved.
I can find both positive and negative relationships between this article and TJ Maxx. In many ways TJ Maxx goes against what is typically seen in fairy tales. As you enter our local TJ Maxx store you are greeted with woman's attire. If the store were set up like a fairy tale the first department should be the men’s department. The princess would be taking care of her man and making sure his attire is fashionable. If the store were set up like a fairy tale the last department would be the woman's department because the last person to be considered would be the princess herself. She would be content to put herself last.
I can also relate this article to TJ Maxx because our local TJ Maxx has arranged the store in a way that includes a variety of departments to shop in. They allow the women or princess to think of everyone and everything including their homes, their children and their men. They can take one shopping trip and make their home surroundings beautiful, accessorize rooms to add color, shop for the men or princes in their lives, and purchase for their children.
Lastly, we might be ready for a societal change. If I compare the layout of our local TJ Maxx to the way fairy tales can change, I would allow the store layout to reflect a new way to arrange society. As you enter our local TJ Maxx, you enter the womens department, home furnishings, children's department, and lastly the men's department. This could symbolize that women should be encouraged to think of themselves first, their homes second, their children third, and lastly the men in their lives. Parson quotes Haddix as saying, “Our lives are intertwined with those of others” (Parsons [152]). “The goal of agency is self-discovery and personal development rather than domination over others, and human interdependency, rather than competition, is stressed” (Parsons [140]). If women are allowed to take care of themselves first, their house second, the children third, and lastly the men in their lives they will grow personally and discover who they are. TJ Maxx does a good job of including everything a women needs to achieve this goal. Gone are the days where “Fairy tales are sites for the construction of appropriate gendered behavior.” Women can learn to be independent and still intertwine their lives with the family around them.

Works Cited
Parsons, Linda T. Ella Evolving: Cinderella Stories and the Construction of Gender-Appropriate Behavior. N.p.: n.p., n.d. Print.

Response 4: What would Rebecca-Anne C. Do Rozario say? February 28, 2010
In the article, “The Princess and the Magic Kingdom: Beyond Nostalgia, and the function of the Disney Princess”, written by Rebecca-Anne C. Do Rozario the main idea is that Disney has consistently updated it products so they appeal to their consumers. As Rozario stated, “That by keeping its products forever and forever available…Disney rewrites its own history (Do Rozario [36]). Disney updates the technology by putting movies that were once on VHS to DVD or Blue Ray Disks. By doing this they allow consumers with the lately technology equipment to watch Disney films with the best experience possible. Disney does a great job of advertising new re-releases and supporting them with merchandise young children can buy. The article talked about how Disney updated lipstick colors, body shapes of the characters, tone of voices and colors of clothing to give their movies a more updated appearance. TJ Maxx is much like Disney in that they are constantly updating their products and are looking for items that make women feel good about buying new merchandise. TJ Maxx offers name brand clothes that fit well, are in the most popular colors at great prices.
This article also relates to Allan Johnson’s article in the idea of male dominance. In Johnson’s article he states, “Patriarchy is male dominated in the positions of authority” (Johnson [5]). Rozario tells us after Walt Disney died his company was renamed Team Disney. Team Disney is led by Michael Eisner. The president and CEO of Team Disney is Roger A. Iger. I did research and was curious to see who directs Team Disney movies. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs were directed by David Hand. Cinderella is directed by Mark Roseman. This shows that upper management jobs are still currently being held by males. If we are trying to create equal job opportunity for males and females, then all of directors and presidents shouldn’t just be males. Disney is unlike TJ Maxx because the president and CEO of TJ Maxx is Carol Mayrowitz. This shows that TJ Maxx is trying to create equal job opportunities, while Walt Disney still has no women in positions of authority and no women that are mothers in their movies. Even in one of Disney’s most recent releases “UP”, Russell the young stowaway has no mother and when Carl’s wife Ellie was young she was unable to become a mother.
TJ Maxx and Disney are unlike each other because TJ Maxx has females in positions of power whereas Disney does not. In the Disney movie “UP” Carl is always thinking of ways that he would be able to live by a waterfall and the reality is the money that he and his wife set aside to take this trip continues to get used up with normal household expenses. A quote that Rozario used was, “One side of the couple is identified with reality and other with imaginary divine or unreal” (Altman, 1989, pg 154). This is similar to the people who shop at TJ Maxx. They want to imagine themselves dressing like the very wealthy but the reality is that they are buying clothes at a discount store. The reality is they are too poor to afford the full price of the clothes they dream of buying. On page 55 I like the saying, “If you were born a street rat, you will die a street rat.” To me, this symbolizes if you were born a bargain shopper you will die a bargain shopper. These people are like rats scrounging around for their next bargain.

Works Cited

Do Rozario, Rebecca-Anne C. The Princess and the Magic Kingdom: Beyond Nostalgia, the Function of the Disney Princess. N.p.: n.p., 2004. Print.
Johnson, Allan. The Gender Knot Unraveling Our Patriarchal Legacy. N.p.: n.p., 2005. Print.

Response 5: What would Holly Hassel say? March 6, 2010
In the article, “Susan Murphy, Ginormica, and Gloria Steinem: Feminist Consciousness-Raising as Science Fiction in Monsters vs. Aliens” written by Holly Hassel the main idea is that patriarchy is challenged when women are given roles in science fiction genres. In the case of Monsters vs. Aliens, Dream Works gives the main role to a female who has an epiphany in her thinking and becomes independent, assertive and confident. This does not happen instantly. “Early in the film, before her full transformation, Susan is still longing for the comfort and familiarity of her previous life vision” (Hassel [10]). This life vision included being subservient to her fiance Derek. “For Susan, her awakening to her own literal power operates on more than one level, as her physical strength is actually synecdochal; it is her own independence, agency, and self-discovery that she has truly awakened” (Hassel [ 10]). Another aspect of this article is the difference between reality and image. Susan says “….Just think, this time tomorrow, I’m gonna be in Paris. And someday, we won’t just be honeymooning there. Derek will become anchor or a foreign correspondent and we’ll travel all over the world” (Hassel [5]). She is imagining herself married to a successful new reporter. Her self- image is dependent on how successful Derek becomes and she fantasizes about living someplace exotic.
I can relate TJ Maxx and the idea of transformations to this article. When females feel sorry for themselves, or they are having a bad day such as suffering from a breakup with a boyfriend their thoughts go to doing something to make them feel better. They have to choose how to get over whatever situation has them upset. They can scream, fight, or after time reflect on how to overcome their obstacles. They aim for self-improvement and defining a new image. In order to create a new image they may place themselves in the clothing isle of TJ Maxx. They buy new clothes to create a new fresh image. Another way they may feel better is to have a girl’s night out. The following quote summarizes how females can develop a transformation of self- image, accept the reality in their lives and become aware of situations that will slowly take away self identity. “In the group we use a specialized way to talk to one another, called raising consciousness. This technique increases our sensitivity to the various forms of oppression in our lives. In order to adjust successfully to our conditions, most of us have had to develop elaborate blinders. Raising consciousness helps us recognize our blinders and let out our angers and frustrations so that we can take hold of our lives and rechannel ourselves. Ideally one raises consciousness to the point where one can and must change her life” (Hassel [8]). Senior Designer, Rowena says that "Even in the craziest of days and most stressful of work times, the team and management always has a positive outlook and a reinforcing smile of encouragement that helps you get through the rest of the day" (The TJX The TJX Companies,). Women feel the same way about shopping. Shopping can and does reduce the level of stress we feel in our everyday lives and that is why women love to shop.

Works Cited
Hassel, Holly. “Susan Murphy, Ginormica, and Gloria Steinem: Feminist Consciousness-Raising as Science fiction in Monsters vs. Aliens.” Reading.
The TJX The TJX Companies, Inc. N.p., n.d. Web. 1 May 2010.
<http://www.tjx.com/careers_benefits.asp>.

Response 6: What would Lisa Hager say? March 6, 2010
In the article “’Saving the World Before Bedtime’: The Powerpuff Girls, Citizenship, and the Little Girl Superhero” written by Lisa Hager she challenges gender stereotypes. In The Powerpuff Girls, Professor Utonium creates three distinct girls called the Powerpuffs. “Each Powerpuff has a clear personality that is revealed through her signature colors, hairstyle, ingredient, expressions, and theme music instrument; noticeably each girl also takes that stabilized persona to extremes and exceeds the rules of her character” (Hager [70]). “Using their ultra-superpowers, Blossom, Bubbles,, and Buttercup have dedicated their lives to fighting crime and the forces of evil” (Hager [70]), and “Through their disruptions of the law that they maintain, each Powerpuff works within the pattern of her personality to disturb the ability of that discourse to account for her” (Hager [70]). This article relates to TJ Maxx because each person that shops at TJ Maxx is able to create their own style with the different items they buy. This could include choosing an outfit and accessorizing it with jewelry, handbags and shoes. Each person can be an individual and create a sense of self through TJ Maxx. “Since the Professor’s goal in this experiment is to create the perfect little girls, the definition of girlhood itself is in the process of being constructed in his experiment” (Hager [66]). This is what TJ Maxx does when they purchase clothing that is current and in style. TJ Maxx tries to create the best image possible for all ages of girls.
Another aspect of The Powerpuff Girls is that they offer viewers a “strong sense of sisterhood and cooperation” (Hager [64]).TJ Maxx is similar to the Powerpuffs in that they want employees to feel like family and want everyone to work together. At TJ Maxx women shop together and form bonds similar to those found between sisters. Women try on clothes to get another persons’ opinion before they make a purchase. Shopping is often a past time for women and can be done anytime. When girls get together they are able to multitask with shopping and visiting at the same time.Sometimes two people may buy the same top so that they can portray the image of sisters. This happens often in young girls who want to look just like their best friends.
TJ Maxx is interested in the quality of their merchandise more than the quantity of products they are able to put into their stores. They travel all over the country to buy merchandise they feel will be popular with customers. "Buyers for TJX are entrepreneurial, love to travel, live to negotiate and build strong business relationships" (The TJX The TJX Companies,). This relates to Professor Utonium who, “Embraces a science that is not solely interested in quantification data but rather is keenly interested in qualitative data that resists any quantification” (Hager [66]).
I viewed video clips for information about Promoting, Corporate Buying, Corporate Merchandising Training, and Store Management at TJ maxx. Each segment reveals woman's interests much more than men's and features products that are for the home, children, or women. They did not show or talk about any men buyers purchasing for men. They promote family, community and discuss how TJ Maxx values their employees. They promote from within and since most entry level jobs are held by women it only seems natural that women would have access to upper management positions regularly.

Works Cited
Hager, Lisa. “Saving the World Before Bedtime: The Powerpuff Girls, Citizenship, and the Little Girl Superhero.” Reading.
The TJX The TJX Companies, Inc. N.p., n.d. Web. 1 May 2010.
<http://www.tjx.com/careers_benefits.asp>.

Response 7: What would Schrum Say? March 14, 2010
The article “Teena Means Business”, written by Kelly Schrum began by studying, “the broader societal changes that led to the rise of teenage culture and Seventeen’s place within that culture. [It] Deepen[ed] our understanding of consumer culture by focusing on the formation of an age and gender segmented market, it then analyzes Seventeen’s role in developing images of teenage girls through promotion materials, relationships with advertisers, and editorial content” (Schrum [135]). This relates to TJ Maxx because TJ Maxx consistently revises their advertising campaigns to meet current economic times. “As TJX looks ahead to keeping things rolling in the second half of the year and beyond, the company wants a new ad agency for its 800-plus T.J. Maxx apparel chain, which, pooled with Marshalls, posted $12.4 billion in sales last year. The hope, clearly, is that a winning ad effort will convince cash-strapped wanna-be fashionistas to chose this discount retailer over Target ( TGT - news - people ), J.C. Penney ( JCP - news - people ) and others for hot togs and good deals. TJX spent $105 million on advertising last year, says TNS Media Intelligence. It spends about $35 million on broadcast creative work. It could be a good opportunity. TJX companies are suddenly demonstrating some promotional spunk” (Drakoulias). TJ Maxx is, "Taking this opportunity to launch an integrated campaign asking shoppers to re-think their retail choices and join them in a national spending intervention to stop spending too much on fashion" they are asking shoppers to consider TJ Maxx because they offer high value for your dollar ("T.J. Maxx and Marshalls"). The article discussed that after World War II the United States economy rose significantly. Media devoted attention to teenagers during World War II. This was, “A time of instability, international insecurity, and mass destruction”. “Even during shortages, retails sales increased” (Schrum [135]). This relates to our current times because we are at war and are in a very uncertain time. Teenagers are becoming aware of the tough economic times because they are having a hard time finding jobs. This leads to a lack of money to spend. Teenagers are trying to get the most for their money. A limited budget does not allow them to buy name brand merchandise from name brand stores. They are relying on stores such as TJ Maxx for their fashion items. These tough economic times made a huge impact on name brand store such as Abercrombie & Fitch, Hot Topic, Wet Seal and American Eagle Outfitters. According to The New York Times, “The teenagers said they were also shopping more at TJ Maxx, which sells designer brands at affordable prices. As it turns out, TJX Companies, which owns TJ Maxx and Marshalls, just had its best quarter ever. The chain reported an 8 percent same-store sales increase in November, and retailing analysts said it was taking market share from teenage clothing stores”. “Statistics and other uninspiring economic reports are inescapable even for teenagers whose parents do not tend to discuss finances around the dinner table. The teenagers said they could see the impact that news reports about the economy had on their parents” (Rosenbloom).TJ Maxx is finding success during these hard economic times. "Today more than ever, consumers are looking for a better way to shop. They don't want to overspend, and they don't want to pay high prices for high-quality merchandise. They want the same merchandise they were buying before the recession hit, but don't want to spend as much to get it. According to a recent Roper Report, value is not all about low cost to consumers, even in this recession; consumers feel now, more than ever, quality products that last are the ones that provide real value" ("T.J. Maxx and Marshalls").

Works Cited
Drakoulias, Peter. “Forbes.com.” TJ Maxx Hopes A New Ad Shop Will Help Ring Up Sales. N.p., 22 May 2009. Web. 14 Mar. 2010. <http://www.forbes.com/‌2009/‌05/‌22/‌tjx-omnicom-publicis-leadership-cmo-network-upforgrabs.html>.
Rosenbloom, Stephanie. “The New York Times.” Recession? Teenagers Get It, and Are Cutting Back. N.p., 25 Dec. 2009. Web. 14 Mar. 2010. <http://www.nytimes.com/‌2009/‌12/‌26/‌business/‌26teens.html>.
Schrum, Kelly. Teena Means Business. N.p.: n.p., n.d. N. pag. Print..
"T.J. Maxx and Marshalls Join Together for a National Spending Intervention:
It's Time for Consumers to Re-Think Retail." TradingMarkets.com. N.p., 4
May 2009. Web. 1 May 2010. <http://www.tradingmarkets.com/.site/news/
Stock%20News/2305704/>.

Response 8: What would Brumberg Say? March 21, 2010
In the section “Sanitizing Puberty: The American Way to Menstruate”, written by Joan Brumberg the main idea Brumberg argues is over who should be the person talking to girls about menstruating. Should it be the mother, friends, relatives or doctors? Should the idea of being sanitary, clean, and bacteria free be stressed more than the notion of entering womanhood and now being able to conceive a child?
In the section “Sanitizing Puberty: The American Way to Menstruate”, it states, “The way we menstruate in America today not only affects the economy, it also contributes to the way in which adolescent girls make the body into an intense project requiring careful scrutiny and constant personal control” (Brumberg ). This relates to TJ Maxx because we don’t buy clothes anymore to protect ourselves from the natural elements of weather. The reason we buy clothes is because we want to be attractive. We take mothers with us to shop so they can scrutinize our purchases and instill confidence in us that we look good in a new outfit. In the section of “Sanitizing Puberty: The American Way to Menstruate”, it also states, “American girls and their mothers characteristically head for the mall, where coming-of-age is acted out in purchases-such as bras, lipsticks, and high heels, or “grown-up” privileges such as ear piercing” (Brumberg ). This relates to TJ Maxx because they an, "Ever-changing assortment of accessories; including jewelry, ladies' shoes, handbags,
belts and luggage. TJ Maxx has "new merchandise arriving every week to each store" for all ages ("T.J. Maxx and Marshalls"). The coming of age is a constant revolving door that starts when children are babies and extends to the young girl becoming an adult. “At the moment when they begin to menstruate, American girls and their mothers typically think first about the external body – what shows and what doesn’t – rather than about the emotional and social meaning of the maturational process” (Brumberg). TJ Maxx has clothes for all ages and it seems as though the clothing young girls are wearing are becoming more seductive at an earlier age. Young girls and their mothers are not considering what message they are sending to others with the suggestive clothes they choose. It seems as though young girls want to grow up faster than previous generations. TJ Maxx allows them to make purchases without spending a lot of money and therefore they can continuously update their look.
Works Cited
Brumberg, Joan. The Body Project. N.p.: n.p., n.d. Print.
"T.J. Maxx and Marshalls Join Together for a National Spending Intervention:
It's Time for Consumers to Re-Think Retail." TradingMarkets.com. N.p., 4
May 2009. Web. 1 May 2010. <http://www.tradingmarkets.com/.site/news/
Stock%20News/2305704/>.

Response 9: What would Zipes Say? April 3, 2010
After reading “The phenomenon of Harry Potter, or Why All the Talk?, by Jack Zipes I began to image what would happen if I substituted the words literature and phenomenon with fashion or shopping. There is such a similarity between what made Harry Potter popular and what makes fashion popular and by changing a few words I can demonstrate that the author could be talking about fashion in this article rather than Harry Potter.
Zipes stated that “What readers [shoppers] passionately devour and enjoy…[may be] a phenomenal [fashion] experience [that has] personal significance, but it is also an induced experience calculated to conform to a cultural convention of amusement and distraction” (Zipes). By replacing the word phenomenal with fashion, it explains that shopping for the latest fashions is a form of entertainment and distraction from our everyday lives. We shop at TJ because they offer the latest fashions at reasonable prices. We conform to cultural acceptance of current styles because we want to fit in with everyone and the latest fashion trends.
Zipes states that “The ordinary becomes extraordinary, and we are so taken by the phenomenon [fashion] that we admire, worship, and idolize it without grasping fully why we regard it with so much reverence and awe except to say that so many others regard it as a phenomenon [fashion] and, therefore, it must be a phenomenon [fashion]” (Zipes). Shoppers do not think about whether they like what the current trends are, or how they look on them, they buy items because others view it as a fashion trend and they don’t want to be left behind.
Zipes also stated that “What appears unique conceals the planned production of commonality and undermines the autonomy of judgment. A phenomenon [fashion] can sway us from ourselves. We become dizzy and delirious” (Zipes). The saying, “We dress to impress”, comes in play here. We don’t always buy to get the most use out of clothing, we buy to impress other people and to appear in style at all times. We want to create an image of being unique while maintaining fashion trends.
People shop or read because it gives them time to get away from the stresses of everyday life. Reading and shopping can be beneficial and allow individuals to forget issues “of abandonment, loneliness, and alienation” (Zipes). We shop to make ourselves feel and look better. Shopping fills a void of emotions with happiness.
Shopping to stay in style rather than shopping out of necessity is a luxury that is enjoyed by the wealthy. Zipes states that the reading of Harry Potter “is probably limited to affluent white children and their parents, and that all these readers [shoppers] react in highly diverse ways to the Harry Potter books [fashion]. I cannot speculate about the positive psychological effect that theses novels are having on children and adults” (Zipes). He felt this way because when Harry Potter first came out the books were only available in hard copies which made them quite expensive for the average family. This is the same as current fashions. The latest trends are normally afforded only by the wealthy and those that are willing to shop at TJ Maxx.
Works Cited
Zipes, Jack. Sticks and Stones. N.p.: n.p., n.d. N. pag. Print.

Response 10: What would Heilman and Donaldson Say? April 4, 2010
In the reading, “From Sexist to (sort-of) Feminist Representations of Gender in the Harry Potter Series” written by Elizabeth E. Heilman and Trevor Donaldson they talk about the difference of the number of girls and boys throughout the series of Harry Potter. I compared the employment rate of TJ Maxx to the series of Harry Potter to see if there was a correlation between female and male workers to characters in the Harry Potter series. In the Harry Potter series there is an estimated 36% females and 64% males. Overall, at TJ Maxx there are 37% male workers and 63% female workers ("TJ Maxx Statistics"). TJ Maxx’s website states that, “Our Associate base as of the end of 2008 was over 75% women”. However they also state that “[there] management was comprised of about 60% women. The President and CEO are identified as female, and the Chairman of the Board is male ("Valuing People and Leveraging").
This would indicate that TJ Maxx may be sexist against males, while Harry Potter is sexist against women. However, upon further examination I found that TJ Maxx’s board of director members are 17% female and 83% male indicating a sexist bias towards men in management positions ("Valuing People and Leveraging"). This is very much the case with the Harry Potter series as well. “The more important characters are predominantly male” (Heilman and Donaldson [141]).
I believe that the data is typical of our society. Males tend to get high paying jobs when compared to women. Women typically don’t think they are equipped to handle a position of power and settle for working at the retail level at TJ Maxx because they can relate easily to clothing and other accessories. Women’s jobs are often considered the second income and are used for family luxuries. Men are traditionally known as the bread makers in the family unit. They are more highly valued and are known as the head of the family. This appears to be true of the Harry Potter series as well. “The main characters are two boys, Harry Potter and Ron Weasley” (Heilman and Donaldson [141]).
In the Harry Potter series, “Female characters become more prevalent as the series continues, their pragmatic femininity develops beyond strictly feminine attributes, and their roles may be more representative of an equally distributed gender hierarchy” (Heilman and Donaldson [144]). TJ Maxx does a good job of accepting women in positions of power and they realize they must continue to work at equality. “We believe that the diversity within our workforce and vendor base makes us a better Company, and realize that our work must continue in order to meet and exceed the expectations of our increasingly diverse customers, Associates, vendors and communities” ("Valuing People and Leveraging").
Works Cited
Heilman, Elizabeth E, and Trevor Donaldson. From Sexist to (sort-of) Feminist Representations of Gender in the Harry Potter Series. N.p.: n.p., n.d. Print.
“TJ Maxx Statistics.” Linked In. N.p., n.d. Web. 4 Apr. 2010. <http://www.linkedin.com/‌companies/‌tj-maxx>.
“Valuing People and Leveraging Differences.” The TJX Companies, Inc. N.p., n.d. Web. 4 Apr. 2010. <http://www.tjx.com/‌corporate_leverage.asp>.