Some people live their lives constantly worrying about the opinions of others.
How people will react, or what people will think about what they wear, what they eat, or the things they say.
Others, however, couldn’t care less about what others might think and proudly live their lives to the beat of their own drum.
The brother of Redditor Virtual-Goat4355 firmly fit in the latter category when it came to his fashion style, which tended to be avant-garde to the point of outrageous.
As one might expect, not everyone was so impressed by his choice of clothing, most notably his young son.
When the original poster (OP) told their brother that his clothing choices were causing his son trouble, the OP’s brother naturally was less than pleased.
Wondering if they were out of line, the OP took to the subReddit “Am I The A**hole” (AITA), where they asked fellow Redditors:
“AITA for telling my brother the reason his kid is bullied and unpopular is due to him?”
The OP explained why they felt they needed to speak up against their brother’s eye-catching clothing style:
“My brother is the type of person who decides to be their true self without anyone’s opinions.”
“He expresses this a ton with clothes, he will wear outrageous stuff often and his job is online so he wears his clothes often.”
“Think lady Gaga type of clothes.”
“One day he is in a dress and the next he is wearing skin suit.”
“This wasn’t a problem until recently, when he started to drop off his son for carpool.”
“My daughter goes to the same school and I used to drive both of them.”
“Ever since he started to do this he just embarrassed his kid.”
“My daughter refuses to car-pull with him and wakes up early for the bus.”
“Now what I got from my daughter is he is known as the kid with the weird dad and bullied for it.”
“She also informed me that she will not be helping him since she doesn’t want it coming onto her since it’s her uncle.”
“I’m a little disappointed she won’t stand up to them but I also don’t blame her for not wanting to get involved.”
“It was bad today and my brother called me ranting that my daughter should stand up for him.”
“I told him the reason his kid is bullied is due to him and he needs to send him on the bus or stop embarrassing him.”
“He’s pissed I blame him and being against his artist freedom.”
“He thinks I am a huge jerk.”
Fellow Redditors weighed in on where they OP fell in this particular situation by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
The Reddit community was generally in agreement that the OP was not the a**hole for telling their brother that he was embarrassing his son by wearing his over-the-top outfits to school.
While no one condones the behavior of those who were bullying the OP’s nephew, everyone agreed that there was a time and place for the OP’s brother to wear his outrageous outfits, and his son’s school was not one of them, while others were shocked that he would resort to blaming the OP’s daughter for his son being bullied.
“Him trying to put the responsibility on your daughter here is bananas.”- Express-Chapter9429
“It’s not ideal that he can’t wear whatever he wants without people making fun of his kid, but that’s the world we live in.”
“If he’s not willing to do something to stop what’s happening, then he’s a failure of a parent.”-blanketstatement5
“He wants your daughter to do for his son what he’s not willing to do himself huh?”
“He can f*ck all the way off with that.”
“While it is unfortunate that people judge others on their fashion, your brother is being ridiculous and selfish.”
“Kids will make fun of something so pointless and outlandish.”
“And your brother is putting his own whims above his kid and yours.”
“Especially because he is expecting literal children to argue with their classmates on his behalf.”
“There have been dozens of posts here about if a relative is the AH for telling parents not to give their kids ridiculous names which they’ll get bullied for.”
“Those are pretty consistently ruled NTA even though it technically is the parents’ ‘artistic freedom’ to name their child anything they want.”
“This situation is no different.”- Sebscreen
“Cyndi Lauper tells the story of racing from a photo shoot for an album cover to her son’s school so she could pick him up after sports practice.”
“Crazy hair and clothes as you’d expect.”
“She got out of her car and leaned against the hood to watch the last few minutes.”
“He stomped from field to her car and greeted her with:”
“DO YOU HAVE TO COME TO MY SCHOOL LOOKING LIKE CYNDI LAUPER!?!?”
“‘but I am Cyndi Lauper…'”
“Yeah, everyone is embarrassed by their parents so no need to make it worse.”- ShazInCA
“While he has every right to choose not to conform, he is being remarkably insensitive and narcissistic by not only expecting everyone to celebrate him for it, but demanding that you, your daughter, and his son pay a social cost for his non-conformity.”
“It’s also pretty entitled for him to cavalierly claim that your daughter has a responsibility to intercede in the mess he is creating for his son.”
“Especially given that this would mean confronting kids two years older than she is!”
“I do not consider something to be a true stand on principle if it is other people who pay the consequences for your stand.”
“That’s true whether or not the consequences are justified.”
“Here they are obviously not justified.”
“But it’s not your brother paying the price.”
“It’s his own child who is paying for his principles.”
“He should bend his principles to prevent that.”- He_Who_Is_Person
“Without irony, he is the weird dad, and not the annoying, slightly-embarrassing dad lol.”- NEEEEMZ
“I agree bullies are sh*tbags but sounds like your brother doesn’t care he’s the one giving them fuel to terrorize his son.”
“However, I doubt this is the only thing he’s being bullied over.”- little_runner_boy
“I’m a free spirit too.”
“But I can pretend to be a normie when I’m doing sh*t like dropping my son at school so his life isn’t the interminable hell our 90 aughts childhood was.”
“Reminds me of the dad from one of these posts a couple of years back who was a hardcore conservationist in California, where folks were asked to take shorter showers during a draught.”
“He banned his kids from showering completely besides once per month for 5 minutes and of COURSE was opposed to baby wipes (or alternative measures to get clean) because of ‘dangerous chemicals’.”
“He did not give a single sh*t that his kids were getting bullied for smelling really genuinely stinky, because he was trying to make some political point.”
“Kids needs for safety and mental health > parents needs for expression.”- butt_butt_butt_butt_
“NTA, but do not be disappointed in your daughter OP.”
“That is her literally understanding social queues that would get her ostracized.”- Therealbillbrasky69
There were those, however, who felt that the OP’s brother did have the right to wear whatever he wanted wherever he wanted, and the only ones who needed to change their behavior were his son’s bullies.
“The only a**holes here are the bullies.”
“You, brother, and daughter all have valid points.”
“But ima be honest, I think your brother changing how he dresses would only make things worse by emboldening the bullies.”
“Why would they stop or ease back if they know that what they’re doing is having this big of an effect?”- knharp
“This needs to be brought up to the school so that the people who are actually doing something wrong face consequences rather than the victims.”- knharp
While a select few didn’t think anyone came off looking too good, also agreed that the bullies who were giving the OP’s nephew trouble were the real problem that needed to be solved, and the OP and his brother were both ignoring that.
“I kind of think ESH for misidentifying the real problem.”
“Like, wtf, his kid is getting bullied and you’re blaming him instead of, idk, the bullies?”
“Or the school for failing to address bullying?”
“If it’s bad enough that his cousin is refusing to speak up because she doesn’t want to get bullied, too, then the school has a real problem, and it’s not being addressed.”
“I get that it’s way easier to just blame a loud, easy target like your brother, but seriously?”-Ippus_21
No one should be judged for their sense of style.
However, young children are still learning this, and don’t have the maturity to process outrageous clothing worn by their friend’s parents.
Then too, considering most schools have dress codes, the OP’s brother should think carefully about leading by example.