Bride Doesn’t Want To Force Androgynous Niece To Wear A Dress To Her Wedding, Starts Family Drama
While weddings are a celebration of love, there are many things to consider to make sure your guests have an absolute blast. Take bridesmaid dresses, for example. You want your girlfriends to look fabulous coming down the aisle but ensuring they feel just as good doing it is equally important.
Recently, a soon-to-be bride took to the “Am I The A-hole” community to ask people for advice after she found herself in a family drama with her fiancé’s brother and his wife. Redditor Extreme-Break-6638 decided to invite their teenage daughter to be one of the bridesmaids but her good intentions were quickly clouded by poor judgment from the girl’s parents.
You see, they’re less than satisfied with their daughter’s “tomboy” look. “It’ll be nice to see you dressed like a girl for once,” her mother said, striking a nerve for the bride. She stepped in to say her bridesmaids are welcome to rock any look as long as it goes with the wedding color. What followed turned into a bitter conflict that left the user unsure of how she handled the situation. Read on for the whole story and let us know what you think about it in the comment section below.
This woman got into an argument with her fiancé’s brother and his wife after she refused to force their “tomboy” daughter to wear a dress on her wedding day
Image credits: Unsplash (not the actual photo)
So she turned to the AITA community to ask whether she handled the situation correctly
Image credits: Unsplash (not the actual photo)
Image credits: Extreme-Break-6638
Luckily, bridesmaid outfit etiquette has changed over the years. More and more women choose to let bridesmaids decide or at least get in on the action of planning their own attire. Modern brides want to embrace their girlfriends’ individuality and let them choose garments and accessories that speak to them and make them feel comfortable during the celebration.
According to Lauren Frankfort, a columnist for Martha Stewart magazine, there are several reasons why women let their bridal party choose their own dresses. “Not only does it take the stress of finding one flattering option off the bride’s plate, but it also allows a group of women with different bodies, style preferences, and budgets to choose a look they love.”
However, if you fear things might go completely out of control, Frankfort recommended setting some clear guidelines: “Make a Pinterest board of styles you love and send along some detailed guidelines. These should include the dress length, color, and fabric you’d prefer.”
While the author of this story decided that all of her bridesmaids should choose their outfits in one specific color, she still wanted them to pick a style they feel best in. After reading the post, many applauded the user’s efforts to make her niece feel comfortable at the wedding and said it is reassuring to know the 15-year-old girl is about to get a new cool aunt. However, the parents’ words really struck a chord for many members of the AITA community.
Dr. Julia Coffey, a sociology lecturer at the University of Newcastle, Australia, and author of Everyday Embodiment: Rethinking Youth Body Image, studies the effects of young people who frequently have their looks appraised by others. She aims to find out how they negotiate their identities and their surroundings to find ways of supporting their wellbeing.
For her book, she interviewed people aged 18-30 and noticed that those who often faced comments about how they looked when they were young revealed having long-lasting problems with their self-image. “Those who had the most difficult time with [body image concerns] referred back to childhood and felt that their bodies were constantly being commented on by parents and peers and everyone around them,” Dr. Coffey told The Sydney Morning Herald. “They felt they just couldn’t escape it. It was impossible to choose to feel good about their bodies when it was constantly being talked about.”
Needless to say, parents might have good intentions and want the best for their kids. But negative comments about appearance can affect children’s mental health and leave them with a negative mindset towards their bodies for a really long time.
“[Parents are] probably just not aware of how powerful those comments can be,” the lecturer added. “And I think that they might think it’s just a normal part of life. And that it isn’t a big deal. That women just care more about their bodies. It’s just part of this norm or narrative and can’t change. But that is completely wrong … It’s completely culturally constructed. But very real in terms of how it’s felt and experienced.”
Instead, people should encourage children and teens to direct their energy toward creativity, courage, kindness, and generosity, rather than pay so much attention to their looks. “It’s not like this cancel-culture type thing, where you’re not allowed to talk about [body image and beauty]. But be aware that if you talk about appearance all the time, you’re saying, ‘I think it’s very important and a source of value’,” Dr. Coffey concluded.