The way we dress is seen as a reflection of who we are.
Our clothes speak for us before we ever open our mouth.
What happens, though, when the clothing we choose rubs some people the wrong way?
This was the problem facing Redditor and Original Poster (OP) Any-Contribution-188 when she came to the “Am I the A**hole”(AITA) subReddit for advice.
“AITA for wearing a bikini at a family member’s house though it upset them?”
She began with a little background.
“My husband’s family is very liberal about clothes.”
“I’ve always worn bikinis and no one has ever cared.”
Before getting into the details of the problem.
“MIL(Mother In Law) gets topless in front of me when her son isn’t around, so I never thought she would be the one to care about clothes, but we went on a family vacation recently, and she had an issue with me wearing a bikini, due to being 8 months pregnant.”
“MIL told me it was a ‘bad look’ and if I couldn’t afford a maternity bathing suit, she could give me money.”
“I explained I just like the feel of bikinis.”
“She told me I was making everyone uncomfortable.”
OP then noticed changes in how she was being treated.
“I noticed that MIL’s dad wasn’t really talking to me, and MIL’s husband wouldn’t look at me.”
“MIL snapped at me later in the day that I am ruining the vacation and look how much I am upsetting her husband.”
“MIL’s husband admitted he couldn’t look at me and he has a real aversion to pregnancy, but he even said it was his problem to work through not mine.”
“He ended up going to their bedroom to eat (we ate by the pool) and MIL said I was being a dick and literally making him sick.”
“MIL’s husband hates children.”
“I can’t even put into words how much he hates children.”
“If you are childfree that’s cool, but he makes it his whole personality.”
“MIL said she didn’t get how I could walk around like that, and when she was pregnant with my husband she didn’t even want to leave her room and cried every time she saw herself.”
“Honestly, this is probably petty but I told MIL her tattoo was scarring me (it’s a mock henna tattoo above her hip, and she was also in a bikini) and that she needed to cover up because it was scaring me.”
“MIL just rolled her eyes and stormed off, but apparently she has been badmouthing me to family and saying that I was mean to her husband who has a severe phobia, and he always puts his big dog in another room because it makes me uncomfortable, so she pretty much said I need to treat my belly like his dog and hide it away.”
Having explained the issue, OP requested guidance from Reddit.
Redditors weighed in by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
Redditors decided: NTA
Some pointed to logic.
“This is definitely a them problem and not a you problem.”
“They cannot control how you dress and you cannot control how they feel. You can all only control your own actions.”
“The thing with actions though is they have consequences.”
“The consequences of you choosing to wear something they didn’t like means they may not like you, and may not want to spend time with you going forward.”
“The consequences of their actions is similar, you may not like them and may not want to spend time with them going forward.”
“You all are going to have to accept that or change your actions – and TBH I don’t think you should be the one changing.”
“I hope your husband sticks up for you.”~MercyXXVII
Others pointed out how ridiculous the situation was.
“LOL, the TOPLESS MIL is getting on you about a bikini???”
There were also concerns for the future.
“Question, if MIL’s husband hates children what is going to happen once you have the baby?”
“Does he leer in the corner making faces forevermore?”
“Does MIL come visit you guys alone and only invites you over when her husband isn’t home?”
“I’m saying NTA because this sounds like a them problem.”
“If you haven’t yet talk to your husband about setting up boundaries now when it comes to his parents and your kids because this just sounds like it’ll be worse once the baby comes.”~PegasusMomof004
Comments seemed suspicious of the ‘phobia’ involved.
“I generally like to give people with phobias the benefit of the doubt, but if he has a phobia/aversion to pregnancy that is so severe he has to eat in another room, I’m not sure how a maternity swimsuit solves the problem?”
“You’re still pregnant and will still have a visible baby bump.”
“It seems like maybe your MIL specifically just doesn’t think it’s ‘proper’ for pregnant women to wear bikinis and is projecting how she felt about her pregnant body onto you.“~ten_before_six
Though others were more conflicted.
“I would say NTA, because they’ve established that they’re liberal with clothes and a pregnant person’s body is still a person with a body?”
“I imagine a bikini is way more comfortable anyway.”
“They don’t get to dictate how you display yourself.”
“You’re giving them a grandchild, they should be going out of their way to make you feel more comfortable.”
“BUT also a little YTA because it sounds like it’s the MIL who is harassing you, not the FIL and you even said he said it’s his problem, not yours and he removes himself from the room.”
“Additionally you mentioned he also hides his dog when you visit because of how uncomfortable it makes you feel.”
“He doesn’t sound like a bad guy, I think you are a little AH because it sounds like he’s trying to meet you halfway and you aren’t going to do him any courtesies.”~Lyingkat9220
Our choice of clothes is important.
More important, though, is how we treat those around us.
Be wary of anyone who tries to limit your decisions about your own body and the clothes you put over it.