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Teen Scoffs After Stepdad Insists She Get Tattoo Removed Since She Didn’t Ask His Permission

A woman getting a tattoo.
microgen/Getty Images

It can be a challenge for many stepparents to know when it’s appropriate to discipline stepchildren.

Since they are not their actual parent, stepparents often want to tread lightly and remain on good terms with their stepchildren, and thus might be inclined to give a lighter touch than the child’s actual parent might do.

Of course, in some cases where it’s clear scolding and punishment are in order, stepparents have no choice.

Other instances, however, could arguably be considered gray areas.

Redditor TemperatureOk405 recently made a decision regarding her body with the full consent of her mother, covering the cost entirely on her own.

However, when the original poster (OP)’s stepfather learned of what she did, he made sure his displeasure that she did not ask his permission before doing so was apparent.

Permission the OP felt she didn’t remotely need.

Wondering if she was out of line, the OP took to the subReddit “Am I The A**hole” (AITA), where she asked fellow Redditors:

“AITA for telling my step dad my body isn’t his?”

The OP shared why she felt her stepfather was sticking his nose where it didn’t belong:


“I (17 F[emale]) recently got a tattoo, it’s a small heart+semicolon on my arm and it’s not really visible unless you really try to look for it.”

“First I did talk to my mom about it, and since she does know the tattoo meaning she’s getting a similar one, kinda like matching tattoos.”

“And I paid for It myself.”

“Well the problem is whenever my step dad can, he brings up how he didn’t approve of it and how I should get I removed because I didn’t talk that out with him.”

“He said I already have a piercing (on my bottom lip) and tattoo is too much.”

“I told him it’s my choice and if my mom agrees he shouldn’t say sh*t.”

“Well now my mom said I’m the a** and thinks I should apologize.”

“But I don’t see where I’m wrong.”


Fellow Redditors weighed in on where they believed the OP fell in this particular situation, by declaring:

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

The Reddit community unanimously agreed that the OP was not the a**hole for telling her stepfather he had no right to tell her what to do with her body.

Everyone agreed that the OP was the only one who had any say as to what to do with her body, especially considering she paid for it herself, with many surprised that the OP’s mother would defend her stepfather after she gave the OP her blessing to do it.


“Your body is your choice.”

“Spend your money how you want to.”

“The only approval you ever needed was from your mom, and you got that.”

“Your stepdad can go pound sand.”

“If he doesn’t respect your bodily autonomy, he doesn’t respect you.”

“I’m sorry you’ve been put in this awkward situation.”- BeardManMichael


“I know what that heart and semicolon means, and I hope you’re okay.”

“I’m so proud of you for getting this far.”- HonkinClowns

“I, like your stepdad, am very much against tattoos.”

“But that’s the thing about them – it’s a personal choice.”

“This is your body, nobody else’s.”

“You can’t stop him or anyone else from having an opinion.”

“But they have no right to control your actions or your body.”

“For him to complain that he didn’t approve of your tattoo is inappropriately controlling.”

“Clear NTA.”

“If you want tattoos, get them.”

“That all said, swearing at him wasn’t the nicest.”

“Overall judgment unchanged though.”- ironchef8000


“Why is your stepdad such a gross creep that he thinks you need his approval to do something with your body?”

“Your mom probs just doesn’t want to rock the boat with him because his ass is unreasonable.”

“Don’t apologize, because you are right and he needs to stay in his lane.”- Cute_Grapefruit1393


“For everyone saying she should have spoken in different terms, no.”

“She said what she needed to say.”

“That’s her body.”

“One thing though, why is your mother not stepping in?”

“Go ahead and ask what happened the last time my stepfather commented on my body any sort of way.”

“My mom handled that expeditiously with way WAYYY worse adjectives.”- Serpent_Virus94

“I have a few tats of my own.”

“My daughter is 16 and has mentioned wanting to get a tattoo.”

“Now, I am not against her getting a tattoo.”

“If done right, they’re very beautiful, and there are many reasons for people to get them.”

“I told my daughter that I was a little iffy about the situation, because she’s still young and tattoos are permanent.”

“So I told her that, if she gets one before 18, to put some thought into it and make sure it has some deeper meaning so she doesn’t look back later and have to cover or remove it.”

“You, like my daughter, sound like you have something very dear and personal for your art.”

“And as such, I think you made a fine choice in doing it.”

“While I’m not so fond of cursing out SD, I’m also not too fond of the way he decided you needed his opinion to do something to your own body.”


“He needs to better learn to communicate so he doesn’t come across as controlling and superior.”-ShenaniBatman


“It’s none of his business.”

“End of story.”- RoyallyOakie


“Your step dad is the a**hole for thinking his opinion extends outside his own physical.”

“He has no control over your choice of what to to do with your body- not to mention that’s your STEP dad.”

“Also if your mom if getting one too, how would he deny that for both of y’all?”

“That’s his wife.”

“Just don’t listen to him.”

“It’s just an opinion but that doesn’t have to affect you unless you guys can have a mature conversation about choices and expectations and come to an agreement.”- Gullible-Move69


“Tell your mom and step-dad that if you wanted to hear the opinion of an a**hole, you’d fart.”-whisper_to_the_void


“Your step-dad is a loser that cares too much about things that don’t concern him.”

“He should get a better hobby.”- –akr–


“Your mom’s job was to tell him to back off.”

“Instead she joined ranks with him and that makes her an AH.”

“He must be a major AH for her to switch sides like that.”

“No apologies to him and tel your mother how sad you are for her.”- Educational-Glass-63


“You can placate him with simple ‘yup’ and ‘uh huh’ when he brings it up, but the longer you have it the more he’ll realize he’s opinion has no basis on your current or future tattoos.”- Cannabis-aficionado

“Your mom just got chewed out by her husband, which she shouldn’t put up with and gave the mic to you so you suffer the consequences of your step dad’s bs take on how you should dress and look like.”

“My only advice is to keep him off your hill and if you really want to annoy him, consider shaving your head on the sides and sporting a green mohawk and wear a t-shirt with ‘I didn’t ask for your opinion’.”- 

“If your mom doesn’t have a spine around him, doesn’t mean you can’t or shouldn’t.”

“You are clearly NTA, much love.”- Dramaticlama


“Your body, you paid for it, your mother gave consent.”

“His opinions on how you decorate your body, truly irrelevant.”- TheFoxRuntOfficial

“’Stepdad, why are you so focused on my body? That’s creepy’.”

“NTA.”- Beck2010


“It isn’t his body and he isn’t even your dad.”

“Your actual parent is okay with it (not that it’s her body either).”- SoftestF-ckingDemon


“It’s your body and your decision.”

“Your step dad needs to back off and respect your choices, especially if your mom is supportive of it as well.”

“He has no say in what you do with YOUR body!”- hadjiprimesx30

“NTA step dad needs to learn his place.”

“He can’t tell you what to do on your body.”- No_Jellyfish_2350


“Good for you.”

“Don’t let people walk all over you especially when they are being hypocrites.”- woman_thorned


“Its ur body and ur mum said u can so theres nothing he can do about it.”- aassoori


“He’s got no say in anything about this.”

“You are correct to put up that boundary with him, and that’s not anything to apologize for.”

“If you feel like you were overly rude in making your point you can apologize for that but not for the sentiment.”

“But since he was being so pushy about this I don’t think you even need to apologize for that either.”- sarahmegatron

It would be one thing if the OP used her stepfather’s credit card without his knowing it to get herself a tattoo.

However, considering that not only did she pay for the tattoo herself, but also got her mother’s permission for doing so, it would have probably been in the best interests of the OP’s stepfather to keep his mouth shut.

Even if the OP might want to avoid profanity when proving her points in the future.

Written by John Curtis

A novelist, picture book writer and native New Yorker, John is a graduate of Syracuse University and the children's media graduate program at Centennial College. When not staring at his computer monitor, you'll most likely find John sipping tea watching British comedies, or in the kitchen, taking a stab at the technical challenge on the most recent episode of 'The Great British Baking Show'.