A mother of two sons and three young daughters owns a precious dress she once wore to her prom that remains in pristine condition.
And now it has become a subject of much controversy amongst the youngest female siblings.
Redditor motherontheside was more than happy to lend her precious dress to her eldest daughter when she attended her prom, but when the second daughter insisted on carrying on the tradition, she had strong objections.
When tensions escalated in the household, the mother turned to the “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) subReddit and asked:
“AITA for telling my daughter she’s going to have to lose weight if she wants her dream prom dress.”
The Original Poster (OP) shared details about her family and the dress before delving into the drama.
“I (45 F[emale]) have five kids, including three daughters. My daughters are Kate (20), Lauren (17) and Maddie (10).”
“So I have this beautiful prom dress. It’s red and honestly the best thing to come out of the early 90s.”
“I never got married (I’m with their dad, but we’re not married) so it is the most sentimental item of clothing I have, and I pride myself on its pristine condition, and it was a gift from my late mother.”
“I had it when I went to prom, and Kate wore it back when she had prom. Recently Lauren has been talking about when she’s going to wear my dress when she goes to prom next year.”
“Lauren is a bigger girl. Always has been.”
“Nothing bad about that, but there is literally no way she is going to fit into that dress. The dress fits a US size 4, Lauren is a US 14.”
“At first I tried to subtly take her away from the idea, saying ‘are you sure,’ or ‘you’ve never really worn red before, you’re more of a pink gal,’ but she was dead set on it, said she’d been dreaming about it ever since her sister had it.”
“Then I was like, ‘Sweetie, that dress is too small for you.’ She responded, ‘I thought about that, we’re going to get it retailored so it fits me.’ I refused because that dress is one of my prized possessions and I don’t want it torn apart.”
“I said no, but offered to hire someone to make an exact replica in her size. After all, I was willing to spend more money as we didn’t have to spend money on her sister’s prom dress.”
“She refused, and said she wanted the sentimental value of wearing the dress that her mom and sister wore. I refused and she said I was being fatphobic and that I preferred my ‘skinny b*tch’ daughters.”
“Later, one of my sons told me that he saw Lauren taking the dress out of the special memory box we have in the attic. I found her holding the dress, about to put it on. I said to stop trying, she would ruin it.”
“I felt really bad for her, as she was crying about how unfair it was that Kate got to have the dress and she didn’t. I gave her a hug, and told her I would make sure she got the dress of her dreams, one that was truly her’s.”
“But she said that was the dress of her dreams. I took the dress round to my sisters for safekeeping as I know Lauren would try to put it on again.”
“Lauren has been badgering me non stop about it for the last week, even texting Kate at college, literally obsessed and refuses to back down. I even got her therapist (she has ADHD) to talk to her about it but to no avail.”
“I finally snapped when Maddie came crying to me saying that Lauren said that she had no personality because she was skinny and was going to have the whole world handed to her.”
“I was fuming as this had nothing to do with Maddie, and told Lauren off saying, ‘If you are so obsessed about getting that dress, you have to lose weight, because I am not going to tear up my dress for a bully like you’.”
“She called me fatphobic and is refusing to get out of her room. I feel bad, but I literally offered all the options and she is so fixated on that dress to the point that she is hurting her little sister. AITA?”
Anonymous strangers on the internet were asked if and where guilt belongs by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
- NAH – No A**holes Here
Redditors said the OP wanting to preserve the dress in its authentic state was her prerogative and expressed that the issue lay more with Lauren’s bullying.
“I’m probably going to get downvoted, but NTA.”
“The dress is equivalent to a wedding dress for you, especially since you did not have a wedding. If it was altered, it’s not your dress anymore emotionally.”
“That includes letting it out or taking it in. Kate was allowed to wear it because she could fit into it without alterations. If it would have to have been taken in to fit, then she wouldn’t have been able to wear it either.”
“You offered to customize her own dress in the same style, which is an acceptable replacement.”
“What people don’t seem to get is that although weight is tied into it, the primary thing OP wants to preserve is her own dress in it’s original form. It belong to OP and it is her choice.”
“I find it a bit off-putting that Lauren decided that altering would be done unilaterally without even asking OP, but that does not make her an a**hole.”
“What makes Lauren an a**hole is bullying her younger sister over her weight and making her cry. A heavier person bullying a skinny person over their weight is just as bad as a skinny person bullying a heavier person over theirs.” – Jendi2016
“This. NTA. I don’t think you can size up a dress that high either. I’m plus size and alot of my mom’s old clothes from her youth that she has kept is way too small. Not a big deal to me.”
“I rather get a dress that is inspired my mother than damage the original.” – dianerrbanana
People also discussed logistics to illustrate Lauren’s unrealistic ambition.
“Yea, I’ve been trying to figure out how Lauren could possibly expect the dress to be ‘retailored’ to fit her. You can take a dress in, sure. You can let out a seam to increase about a half size or so realistically if there’s extra material, OK.”
“But I don’t think it’s physically possible to increase a dress from a US size 4 to a US size 14 without mutilating it. That’s several inches more fabric on every measuring point than the garment is made with.”
“All the time and trouble to turn OP’s dress into a Frankendress of extra cuts of fabric when she could have one her own size, custom tailored to her body, for way less time and money, and look beautiful.” – Dull-Community
“No, she delusionally thinks that she can fit into the dress. The laws of physics don’t matter to her because it’s not about the dress. She keeps throwing around the word fatphobic as punishment for not buying into the delusion.”
“She sees it as a competition with her sister for your attention. If she can’t have the special dress moment, she would destroy the dress rather than let anyone have it, even her mother.”
“She’s being selfish and self-centered. Who knows if she was to lose weight, whether it would fit her. She may have a bigger body type.”
“This is about jealousy of her sisters being thin and anger that she can’t do what her sister did. NTA.” – Sciencegirl117
The OP later provided a few details:
“Lauren is in class of 2021, so her school has booked an event and is just crossing their fingers that all will be well by May ’21.”
“Honestly the first time my daughters heard about the dress was back when Kate was in senior year and I showed my eldest four my photo albums I got from my dad, and Kate fell in love with the dress, Lauren did too but I wrongly assumed that it was because she was deep into her copycat phase (aka copying Kate’s every move, hobby and outfit).”
“I tried to keep the dress out of harm’s way because I have two boys who seemed to leave a trail of dirt anywhere they went, along with some of mine and my husband’s childhood objects for safekeeping.”
Overall, Redditors declared the OP was NTA and said that her offering to buy Lauren a new dress was an acceptable alternative.