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Model Called Out By Cousin For Stealing Attention At Sweet 16 Party By Wearing ‘Fancy’ Dress

A young girl holds up a chocolate cake with candles saying 16
Vladimir Vladimirov/GettyImages

Proper dress attire for any occasion always makes a statement.

Nobody wants to be underdressed.

And nobody wants to be overdressed.

That can through off the comfort level for everyone.

But sometimes life intervenes, wires get crossed, and some of the fashions can cause chaos.

There are worse things in life, but it’s still uncomfortable.

Case in point…

Redditor ThrowawayLongdress wanted to discuss her experience and get some feedback. So naturally, she came to visit the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit.

She asked:

“AITA for showing up at a birthday party in a long dress?”

The Original Poster (OP) explained:

“I (18 F[emale]) sometimes do modeling work for friends.”

“Nothing big, but many people I know are in fashion, so sometimes they hire me to put on their clothes and jewelry to show on their social platforms.”

“A few days ago was my cousin Maria’s 16th birthday.”

“All the family was invited like usual for her birthdays but my parents live a little further than the rest and we sometimes can’t make it.”

“More often than not we just sent her gifts and well wishes.”

“This year, however, I had a video shoot at my friend’s place 40 minutes or so from Maria’s house so I told Maria I would attend the party.”

“My parents and brothers asked me to pass their gifts to Maria.”

“I had on a sundress and went to my designer friend’s place, intending to wear that dress to the party after work.”

“As we wrapped up, however, I noticed that my dress which was hung in the corner of the room was gone.”

“As it turned out, my friend’s girlfriend thought my dress was one of my friend’s works so she wore it outside.”

“My designer friend apologized and offered me a dress to wear and promised to return my dress to me later.”

“My options were limited.”

“My friend was plus-sized.”

“Her girlfriend left behind a dirty shirt and shorts.”

“All the dresses for the shoot were long and fancy.”

“I picked one of the more modest ones and left as I was already late for the party.”

“I was the last person to arrive and was also the most dressed up.”

“My relatives all showered me with compliments on how I looked, even Maria’s father.”

“I didn’t want to steal attention from Maria so I tried to keep close to our 80-year-old grandfather who only sat still and kept quiet most of the time.”

“But the rest of the family kept coming to greet me and complimented my dress and look.”

“Maria thanked me for the presents and served me cake.”

“She also thanked me when I complimented her new hairstyle.”

“I thought everything went well.”

“As I drove back home, however, Maria called me, telling me I was AH for showing up looking like that and stealing attention from her.”

“I apologized and explained my dress situation.”

“Maria said any decent person would just buy something else to wear before coming.”


Redditors shared their thoughts on this matter and weighed some options to the question AITA:

  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • NAH – No A**holes Here
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here

Many Redditors declared OP was NOT the A**hole.

“NTA, but being a 16-year-old isn’t easy, and when your model cousin shows up wearing designer clothes, I get why she gets anxious.”

“On another note, what is up with your friend’s girlfriend?”

“I know she’s the girlfriend, but does she just take the designer dresses without asking?”

“At a photoshoot?”

“She has no idea whether or not the dress is to be used in the shoot, and if it’s just lying somewhere, it’s most likely not hers to just take.”  ~ JegHaderStatistik

“That being said, the relatives also behaved badly, depending on how overt their admiration was.”

“In general, when someone takes attention away from the guest of honor, I think the other guests should not give in and try to keep the attention where it belongs.”

“No offense to OP, who couldn’t help it, but if someone showed up to a teenager’s birthday party overdressed in a designer dress, I wouldn’t be gushing about how great they look.”

“I would think it weird and probably roll my eyes internally.”  ~ Consistent_Dress_228

“Even at 16, this is pretty crappy.”

“Your cousin is hot. You invited her.”

“It would be one thing if she showed up in something inappropriate, but it’s quite another to say that attractive people are under constant obligation to dial it down to the point the rest of us are comfortable with.”

“Cousin needs to get over herself.”

“Half-pass maybe for being a kid, but I’d call this a teaching moment.”  ~ Circle_K_Hole

“I don’t think OP is the a**hole at all but I think that when it comes to a 16-year-old girl’s birthday, it sounds like she probably could have done a better job of actively putting the kibosh on the compliments and redirecting the attention towards her cousin though.”

“I’d give the teenager a pass because teen brains just straight up suck at emotional thinking and fully logical reasoning.”  ~ pacazpac

“She might be able to redirect the conversations directed at her, but there’s no way she can control the conversations that go on elsewhere in the party, many that I can reasonably guarantee were about how pretty OP was.”

“Those convos probably reached the cousin repeatedly throughout the day.”

“I actually have seen this firsthand, as one of my cousins has a stunningly attractive spouse, and every get-together they attend has the rest of the family commenting on her looks, whether she’s in the conversation or not.”

“Even after she leaves, the aunts yap on about her.”

“OP did try to avoid attention by hanging out with Grandma, and they still zeroed in on her.” ~ rosstedfordkendall

“Yeah, OP is not TA but I have sympathy for a teenager faced with this situation at a milestone party.”

“An adult can (and should!) suck that up because ‘my cousin is a model and wears fancy clothes’ is not the end of the world for a mature person and a developed brain.”

“For a teen girl, though? Ouch.” ~ winstoncadbury

“It’s worth pointing out that it wasn’t just a teen’s birthday party… it was her Sweet Sixteen.”

“In many cultures, especially for girls, your 16th birthday is a BigFrickinDeal.”

“Also, OP could have apologized and explained as soon as she arrived.”

“Instead she said nothing until after the party, so Maria spent the whole time thinking OP was making herself the center of attention on purpose.”

“OP explaining could have softened some of this.”

“I guess NTA for wearing the dress (though I definitely would have stopped somewhere and bought something else).”

“Gentle YTA for how she handled things once she got there.” ~ rialtolido

“NTA. It amazes me how many of these posts deal with ‘stealing attention from another person’ (graduate, birthday person, bride, etc).”

“Folks seem to be more & more insecure about themselves if a mere dress or hair color/cut can ruin their day.”

“You did not deliberately try to outshine your cousin on her birthday.”

“Things just got messed up at the video shoot.”

“But you made the effort to attend her party and deliver gifts.”

“Next year, skip the party.”  ~ sunset-tx-armadillo

“NTA/NAH. I hate the ‘stealing my limelight’ trope.”

“These events are meant to celebrate milestones and accomplishments, which are not appearance-based.”

“No one is going to forget who the guest of honor is if someone else is dressed nice or very attractive.”

“It seems more feasible that OP got attention from her relatives because she doesn’t live close enough to attend family events regularly, so her relatives were excited to see her and say hello.”

“If Maria did not want that, she shouldn’t have invited her.”

“I do want to acknowledge that she is 16 years old, so she may not be mature enough to realize that.” ~ Emayeuaraye

“If you’re asking if you’re TA for wearing a dress when you had absolutely zero other options, then the answer is obviously NTA.”

“Is your teen cousin’s feeling of upset that her model cousin showed up in a dress that has likely outshined everyone at the party, including herself valid?”

“Yes, that feeling is valid. NAH.” ~ iliketodisco

“Your cousin is 16.”

“She doesn’t understand yet that she can be in a room with other beautiful women, and it takes absolutely nothing away from her moment.”

“She was too young to understand she was, in fact, the center of attention.”

“The party was for her.”

“She just chose to be jealous instead of appreciating your efforts to turn the attention away from yourself.”

“You explained and apologized.”

“There’s not much more you can do.”

“Let it go. NTA.” ~ Alarming_Reply_6286

“NTA at all.”

“Life happens, and part of growing up is realizing sometimes people have to wing it.”

“16-year-old needs to put on her big girl panties. She’s almost an adult and should be able to handle something as simple as that, especially when the situation was explained.”

“What kind of entitlement does it take to say, ‘Better people would actually spend even MORE money to buy something else to wear last minute so I’m not insecure.'” ~ WeGoBlahBlahBlah

OP came back with some extra details… Dress looks kinda like this.”

“I won’t post an actual pic of the dress cuz it’s my friend’s property.”

“There’s no dress code for the party.”

“The few years my family attended, everyone wore whatever.”

“One of our aunts once showed up in a full evening gown as she was on her way to a work event, and nobody made a fuss.”

“I was paid for ‘modeling’ but not a lot.”

“My friend just started and couldn’t afford more.”

“The thought of buying another dress on top of all the gas money or burdening my friend with extra cost just didn’t make sense.”

“I’m saving for college.”

Well, OP, Reddit is with you.

You were short on time.

You made a judgment call.

You had no ill intention.

Hopefully, your cousin will get past this in the future.

Good luck.