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Mom Refuses To Let Daughter Get Acrylic Nails Because She Thinks They’re A ‘Waste Of Money’

Woman getting nails done.
eftoefto/Getty Images

With the holiday season upon us, we are once again reminded how surprisingly difficult Christmas shopping is.

As we peruse stores and catalogs, we must remind ourselves that those we are shopping for might not have the same taste or preferences as us.

As a result, we sometimes must buy things we would never get for ourselves in a million years.

As it will make the recipient happy, no matter how much it repels us.

When. Redditor Sad-Budget-7955‘s told her what she wanted for Christmas, she wasted no time telling her that she wouldn’t get it for her.

Entirely owing to the fact that it was something the original poster (OP) would never do for herself.

Despite her daughter’s pleas, the OP stood firm in her refusal, declaring it was a waste of money.

Wondering if she was being unfair, the OP took to the subReddit “Am I the A**Hole” (AITA), where she asked fellow Redditors:

“AITA for not letting my daughter get acrylics?”

The OP explained how she was unwilling to fulfill her daughter’s Christmas, feeling there was too big a disparity in price and value, despite how happy it would make her daughter.

“I (40 F[emale]) have a daughter (14 F[emale]) who asked me if one of her Christmas presents could be a trip to the nail salon.”

“She wanted to get long acrylics done like she sees a lot of other girls wearing.”

“I am going to be honest and say that I think acrylic nails are a waste of money when press-ons are much cheaper and can look just as good when done properly, even though they don’t last quite as long.”

“I wear press ons pretty regularly, which she knows.”

“When she asked if I would take her I said no, and explained my reasoning.”

“I told her that she could look online or I’d take her to ulta and get her press ons that I’d show her how to do.”

“Since that sounds cheap, and because it isn’t about the dollar amount, it’s about where the money is going, I told her I would try and get her a hair appointment and she could get something fancy done.”

“My daughter objected, saying that nobody gets press ons done and that press ons don’t look good.”

“Admittedly, I felt hurt as I think I do pretty good on my nails.”

“I told her that she can take my offer or leave it, but she won’t be disrespectful.”

“She continued to complain about how she’d be made fun of for having press ons and not the real thing.”

“I told her if she got her own money I’d take her to the salon but I am not paying for something I feel is a waste of money.”

“My husband says I’m being too harsh, and that acrylics are a status symbol for girls now.”

“I said that she’s 14, she doesn’t need a symbol of her status.”

“He pointed out that we could afford a trip to the nail salon.”

“I agreed, but reiterated that it isn’t about the dollar amount, it’s about the worth.”

“My husband grumbled for a bit and now they are both unhappy with me.”


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
  • NAH – No A**holes Here
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here

The OP found little to no support from the Reddit community, who all by unamously agreed that she was the a**hole for not getting her daughter acrylic nails for Christmas.

Everyone agreed that the OP was being completely unreasonable, ignoring how happy getting acrylic nails would make her daughter, with few people buying her rationale when it came to the price.

“My nail tech won’t put acrylic/gel nails on my 14 year old.”

“Could be a personal preference for her or perhaps state mandates.”

“But your daughter wants the experience.”

“It’s fun.”

“I get you think it’s a ‘waste of money’ but it’s a Christmas present.”

“I know I don’t own any gifts from my 14th Christmas, so ultimately any gift is a waste of money at that age.”

“Let her get the nails.”

“If she wants to pay for upkeep, that’s fair to ‘make’ her do so.”

“But what she wants for Christmas is about what she wants, not what you feel about it.”

“YTA for making her Christmas present about you.”

“Example: I hate the color pink.”

“My niece loves it.”

“I won’t avoid pink for her present because I feel a certain way.”

“That’s ridiculous.”- LenoreSkellington

“I’m going with YTA she’s requesting this as a gift not a general every day thing.”

“And just because you don’t find value in the gift doesn’t mean she won’t.”

“The gift is not for you it’s for her.”

“And while press on nails might be good enough for you it’s not what she’s wanting.”

“And given that this isn’t a money issue I think it’s reasonable for her to get the nails she’s wanting.”

“This is like refusing to buy a kid a toy they want for xmas just because you wouldn’t play with the toy.”- jraysun


“You can say no, but you are not being consistent.”

“It’s not about the amount spent, but what you want isn’t worth the value, how does this make sense?”

“Especially to a teen who wants the acrylics and not the hair appointment.”

“At that point it seems like you want to control her more than say no.”

“She isn’t trying to insult you by not wanting press on nails, but if she has seen one girl teased for press on nails, she is going to be reluctant to compromise here.”

“She is asking for a Christmas present, not a year long commitment.”

“You can say no, but trying to compromise for something that is similar and what you want rather than what she asked for without more reasons than ‘this is how I do it’ feels more like control and judgment of what she values than you actually listening to what she wants.”- s10wanderer


“There’s a difference between her getting acrylics once as a Christmas present and regularly spending the money on it.”

“Going to the salon is a whole experience.”

“She was gonna realize how much work is required to maintain them and you’d have been able to convert her to press ons then.”

“Instead of whatever you’re doing now, this could’ve been a learning moment.”

“Why do you dismiss your husband’s opinion on this?”

“Does he not get an equal say on what his daughter gets for Christmas?”

“I know that getting it done once and not going back will damage her nails.”

“That’s the whole lesson.”

“She will either screw up her nails because she chose the wrong options due to peer pressure or get a job to maintain them.”- FunkyOrangePenguin


“Why is it your decision what is ‘worth’ it to your daughter?”

“She’s asked for it as a Christmas present.”

“Would you also reject other presents about her interests if you don’t think they’re worth it?”-AusLiBossy

‘As a former stylist just know that they do actually damage your natural nail bed.”

“They have to grow completely back out because wherever the long nails are added will make the nails really thin because of the filing.”

‘They can get pricey with breakage if you aren’t used to them and know how to use your hands to help prevent it.”- Brain_of_Fog


“I’m a nail tech and I wear very long 2” long extensions.”

“14 is too young for long acrylics.”

“14 is too young for acrylics.”

“Monomer and polymer chemicals do not belong on 14 year old nail beds.”

“If she wants NICE press ons that aren’t cheap drug store ones those are available, there are tons of techs who make beautiful customs ones.”-pvpercrown

“The problem with acrylics is you have to keep doing them.”

“So who will be paying for fills and fixes?”

“If it’s a one time deal she’s bound for disappointment after a few weeks, but sometimes kids just need to learn.”- ToastMmmmmmm

“Acrylics are absolutely awful for your natural nails so I wouldn’t recommend them at all but gel nails are way better and look just as pretty.”

“Alternatively you could take her to the salon and let the techs know what you are willing to compromise on with your daughter and go from there.”- ElvenWinter

“This is a hard one because a full set of acrylics or dip is not a one time gift.”

“They require maintenance.”

“Removing them leaves damaged nails.”

“I told my daughter she could have acrylics when she had an income that would cover the cost of fills every two weeks.”

“She discovered very quickly they weren’t for her and then was stuck growing out her damaged nails.”

“YTA for dismissing something your daughter sees value in but you don’t.”

“However, not being willing to give this gift isn’t AH.”

“You could explain to her that she can do it with her own money and provided she can afford to maintain and let her make her own decision.”- Curious-Mousse-8714

Everyone is certainly entitled to their opinion, not to mention what they spend their money on.

Yet one can’t help but wonder why the OP is so adamantly against something which she knows will make her daughter happy,  particularly when money isn’t the issue.

Thankfully, she still has time to reflect on her decesion, and save this from being an unhappy Christmas for all.

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'.