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Guy Berated For Buying His Six-Year-Old Niece A ‘Frozen’ Makeup Set During Their Trip To Mall

Patricia Prudente/Unsplash

When we have a special kid in our life, like a niece or nephew or best friend’s child, we tend to want to make them happy.

Sometimes that means spending time with them, and sometimes that means buying them gifts, agreed the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.

Redditor aitamakeupset was excited to spend some time with his niece and was more than happy to buy a gift for her during their visit.

But when her parents lashed out at him for what he bought, the Original Poster (OP) wondered if he had made a poor decision.

He asked the sub:

“AITA for buying my niece a makeup set?”

The OP recently spent quality time with his niece.

“Last weekend, I (20 Male) took my niece (6 female) to the toy store, which I’ve been promising her for a few months before.”

“Just as we started browsing the store, she saw a ‘Frozen’ makeup set that she wanted.”

“I told her to hold her horses because we haven’t seen the rest of the store yet (she always changes her mind multiple times on a trip, and honestly, the set was expensive, and as a college student who works part-time, I was hoping she’d pick something less pricey).”

“She saw a lot of stuff that she liked, but in the end, she was adamant about getting that set.”

“I checked multiple reviews online because I don’t trust what the stuff on the package says and saw that it was safe for kids, easily washable, and non-toxic, so I got it for her.”

His niece was excited to show her parents her gift.

“When we returned home, she went running to her dad excitingly, telling him about what her uncle bought her.”

“My brother was happy and told her to say thank you. (She already did infinite times from the trip back home). But she still did it again and hugged me.”

“When my sister-in-law (SIL) got down from upstairs, my niece showed her what I got for her.”

“She told her, ‘Wow, that’s so nice,’ and asked her to go to her room to change her clothes and get ready for lunch.”

Then his niece’s parents lashed out.

“After my niece went to her room, my SIL got angry at me. She asked me what the h**l I was thinking about getting makeup for young girls and asked me if I was intending on buying my niece s**tty heels the next time.”

“She reminded me that I have a girlfriend who I could buy makeup for.”

“Afterward, she literally picked up the box and threw it in the trash, and demanded that I leave.”

“My brother escorted me outside and did a total 180. He told me that instead of checking up with him, I just had to ruin his weekend because I wanted to play the cool uncle.”

“He told me to just spare myself the trouble and stop buying his daughter stuff altogether.”

“AITA?” 

Fellow Redditors weighed in:

  • NTA: Not the A**hole
  • YTA: You’re the A**hole
  • ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
  • NAH: No A**holes Here

Some didn’t understand what the niece’s parents could possibly be thinking.

“What kind of nonsense is your SIL spewing?”

“Now ‘Frozen’ make-up sets are the gateway drug to becoming a s**t? SMH (shaking my head).”

“NTA.” – justsayg*y

“NTA. Kids like to play with makeup and there is nothing sexy about the way they put it on their faces. Her parents are entitled to their opinion on makeup, but they can’t expect you to just already know how they felt about it.” – daileyidentitycrisis

“NTA. Your SIL is making the mistake of thinking of the makeup kit as something a woman would use. I can tell you without even seeing it that it’s not.”

“Your niece will play with the makeup in funny ways. You’re not trying to make her a s**t, and most 6-year-old girls would love a makeup set.”

“I had one and you should see some of the photos – eyeshadow on my cheeks, lipstick around the eyes, etc. I had a ball with it!” – ClothesQueasy2828

“I still remember the big kids’ makeup kit I had for years. It was so fun and I loved playing with it, like, what kind of weird puritan s**t is this? Tons of girls and boys and kids of all genders play with makeup, it’s just like playing dress-up.” – reyballesta

“NTA. I can’t believe your SIL jumped to a conclusion like that. She sounds like a pill, and judging from your brother’s 180, sounds like he doesn’t have much of a backbone and can’t stand up to his wife if she’s in the wrong, so in his eyes, you ruined his weekend since he now has to deal with an angry wife.”

“When I was 6, I used to love playing with makeup, I had tons of makeup sets, and so did most of my friends. Also, you bought a ‘FROZEN’ makeup set, it’s literally made for little kids.”

“I’m sorry this happened, OP. You sound like a super fun uncle and your niece is lucky to have you!” – newenglandcoyote

Others were worried about what the parents were teaching the OP’s niece.

“‘Let it go, let it go! Wear makeup once and you’re a w**re!'”

“I feel so sad for OP’s niece with parents like that. Hopefully, he (the OP) can still remain close to her as she grows up and realizes how ridiculous her parents are!” – fecundissimus

“NTA.”

“Would LOVE to know how they explained to a 6-year-old that makeup is s**tty and that they threw it away.”

“I will assume she’ll go NC (no-contact) with them after the next 12 years.” – BlaqueDaliah

“Obviously NTA. Your SIL needs to see a therapist stat. SHE’S the one being a creep.” – Historical_Techer_6

“NTA. Your SIL overreacted. Buying your 6-year-old niece the item she wanted most in the toy store was a cool uncle thing to do.”

“It was make-up. So what? You hadn’t previously been given any boundaries, so you weren’t going against any known limits.”

“A six-year-old playing with makeup isn’t evil or s**tty (what a strange direction for her mother to go!) like her mom made it out to be. She’s actually using her imagination. She’s six!” – Calm2022

“NTA. There is nothing wrong with buying her makeup for children if she wants to.”

“It’s kinda weird that the parents think that it is s**tty, what the f**k? She will more likely look like a clown than a s**t.”

“If the mother is so worried about it, she should stop using make-up herself, because that’s probably why the nice wants make-up too.”

“Idk (I don’t know), this makes me mad. I had so much fun as a kid with the make-up set my friend had. it’s just gross that the parents have to sexualize that.” – _Timentes_

Some were furious that the SIL was so wasteful.

“What the f**k, they THREW IT AWAY? Didn’t even give you the chance to get your money back or exchange it?”

“Your brother and SIL are the a**holes here all around, and I’d demand reimbursement.” – AdministrativeFee153

“NTA. What the f is this. You bought a children’s set. For a child. Now, her parents are allowed to decide she can’t play with make-up, but to go off on you for it is just… bizarre.”

“And throwing it in the trash was rude. You could’ve returned it. Not to mention that your niece will undoubtedly ask for it. Your SIL sounds like she has some issues she’s taking out on you.” – Throwaway-2587

“$5 the parents tell her OP took it back because of something she did. NTA.” – Redwings1927

“NTA. SIL overreacted and should have let you return it, rather than throw it in the trash.” – radcam2

“NTA, you bought the set because it’s something your niece wanted, it wasn’t intended to fricking sexualize her. It’s ridiculous your sister-in-law is running rampant on this.”

“Albeit you could’ve checked In with her to see if it was okay to buy it for her because I can agree with some comments that are saying that some parents do have rules In regards to stuff like this, makeup is something that some parents aren’t comfortable with their children having, but it does warrant your SIL’s comments about you buying your niece slutty heels the next time you see her.”

“She could’ve said, ‘Next time just check with me before purchasing stuff like that,’ or whatever nice way you’d like to say it. She didn’t have to take it to the extreme.” – Mindless-Curve-8956

The subReddit was confused by the sister-in-law’s and brother’s reactions just as much as the OP was, and they were especially concerned about them immediately throwing the makeup away instead of looking for a different solution, not to mention what they were ultimately teaching their daughter about her appearance.

It’s understandable that makeup is one of those gifts that should have been cleared by the parents first, rather than simply coming home with it, but it was an honest enough mistake with good intentions behind it.

Written by McKenzie Lynn Tozan

McKenzie Lynn Tozan lives in North Chicago, where she works as a poet, freelance writer, and editor. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from Western Michigan University, and her BA in English from Indiana University South Bend. Her poems have appeared in Rogue Agent, Whale Road Review, the James Franco Review, Thank You for Swallowing, and elsewhere; and her essays and book reviews have appeared with Memoir Mixtapes, The Rumpus, BookPage, and Motherly, among others. When she's not reading and writing, she's in her garden or spending time with her family. For more, visit www.mckenzielynntozan.com.